Blog_Distributor.jpgNo retail operation can survive alone. In order to sell product, you must first receive it, and to do this, you depend on the relationships you have with your distributors. Each distributor presents a unique partnership with its own set of opportunities and challenges, which begs two questions: Are you making the most of the opportunities? Are you minimizing the challenges?

Value of Strategic Sourcing to manage your distributorsEvery relationship is different, and at Topco Indirect we’ve found that the most beneficial relationships between retailer and distributor come from agreements where thorough groundwork is laid out from the very beginning. We broker deals like these every day, and once we award new business to a supplier, we start the implementation process by finalizing the formal contract. This contract will include final terms and conditions, and we monitor each agreement using three key metrics that ensure our customers can make the most of this opportunity while minimizing their challenges. Contact us to learn more.

These three metrics include:

1- Monthly reporting supplied by the distributor. Vital SKU specifications and movements are delivered to Topco Indirect through the required Distributor report. These reports are captured in a growing database that helps us spot changes in the distribution pattern such as price increases, SKU declines or any other metric that may impact our customers.

2- Mid-contract supplier scorecards. No matter where you are in the supply chain, there’s always room for a performance review, and our mid-contract supplier scorecards provide the opportunity for both the customer and the supplier to offer their feedback on the partnership. Both parties grade the relationship, offering their thoughts on crucial metrics including: cost, delivery/support, flexibility/ease of business, quality of the product, partnership/technology, and risk/compliance. We then gather all this information and share the feedback with both parties to provide total clarity and discover opportunities to improve the relationship over the contract's second half.

3- Member feedback. While the scorecard provides us the broader view of the contract’s success so far, customer feedback provides the third, integral piece of data because it delivers real clarity to the day-to-day actions that happen in these relationships. We actively encourage our cusomers to let us know their thoughts on these relationships, and if a situation arises where a customer is not getting the return they are due, we handle the situation on the customer’s behalf and see that the problem is solved.

Getting the most from your distributor relationships

Your business doesn’t exist on an island, and in today’s competitive market, you simply don't have time to make sure you're getting the best possible return from each and every relationship. We can help. When you partner with Topco Indirect, we'll work with you to find the best value on the indirect products and services you need. We want to make sure the return is just as fruitful for your store as you thought it would be when you first agreed to the contract. 

To learn more about how Topco Indirect can help you successfully manage your relationships with your distributors, contact us today.