Supply Chain & Distribution Research Consortium
The research team from the Texas A&M Global Supply Chain Laboratory (GSCL) is planning to conduct a research consortium on Optimizing Small Distributors. Following on the successful completion of the Optimizing Business Analytics and Optimizing Value Added Services consortia, this initiative will conduct applied research and develop practical methodologies and tools that can be implemented by consortium members to optimize one or more of the following: profitability, human capital development, pricing, sales and marketing, channel compensation, and distributor growth and market share. Participating companies will get access to all resulting knowledge created, methodologies and tools developed through workshops and education session.
Overview and Need
Today small distributors are facing unprecedented difficulties in technology, human resources and investment. Technology continues to change at a rapid pace, becoming less costly, and spurring innovation in operational efficiency as well as sales and marketing at distribution firms of all sizes. Best practices in process, human, and information capital development have demonstrated their importance in revenue management, improving customer relationships, enhancing the sales process, and reducing cost and risks. The demands of multi-generational buyers and new purchasing behaviors are pushing distributors to adjust internal structures and sales processes. Furthermore, consolidation is accelerating at both the supplier and distributor levels. Such consolidation may lead to realignment of the channel and territorial conflicts, challenging small distributors to remain competitive.
According to a Federal Reserve forecast, economic growth will remain in the 2% range over the long run. It is therefore imperative for small distributors to recognize both the challenges and opportunities in order to improve business processes, leverage new technologies, and effectively manage assets, revenue and expenses. Unfortunately, much of distribution research that has been marketed as beneficial for “distributors” has often been produced with only “large distributors” in mind. In a number of areas small distributors do not enjoy the same economies of scale large distributors do; it follows that it is unlikely that what is optimal for large distributors is also optimal for small ones. Thus, it behooves small distributors to invest in affordable research that is customized to their circumstances.
Information and Fees
This consortium will be the most useful to small distributors and their suppliers.
Membership is limited to 10 companies, in order to be an effective research group. The membership fee is $10,000, which will cover attendance in all consortium meetings and workshops, but travel expenses will not be included.
Information shared with the Texas A&M team will be kept confidential. Only general findings and practices will be shared with other consortium members
Dates and Schedule
Membership Enrollment & Consortium Formation Jan – Apr 2019
Consortium Kickoff Meeting April 26, 2019
Conduct Research Workshops May – Aug 2019
Research and Develop Tools Sep – Nov 2019
Final Consortium Meeting December 2019
Develop Educational Program Jan – Feb 2020
Deliver Educational Programs March 2020 onwards
Identify a set of best practices for optimizing small distributors’ resource (human and asset) utilization and profitability
Determine key process metrics for sales and operations efficiency
Assess small distributors’ capabilities and gaps in regards to resource (human and asset) efficiency
Analyze risk mitigation strategies
Develop small distributor practices in managing profitable growth and developing competitive advantage
Develop roadmap to implement research findings
Develop methodologies and tools to optimize efficiencies and the bottom-line for small distributors
Benchmark solution processes
Benefits & Deliverables
A platform for networking with similar-minded, pioneering firms (kick-off and final meetings).
A company-specific research workshop.
Gain competitive advantage by being the first to implement innovative best practices and competitive strategies developed during this research:
-Assessment of the small distributors’ capabilities (confidential to each firm)
-Opportunities for optimizing asset efficiencies
-A framework of tools, processes, methodologies and metrics
-Best practices for optimizing small distributor profitability derived from GSCL research and consortium findings (shared best practices)
-Roadmap for implementation
Two complimentary seats for educational sessions delivered by Texas A&M on consortium findings (a $4000 value).