What we did: Distributor Perception Study
A Master Distributor in the automotive aftermarket, PREMA distributed its products through a network of independent stocking distributors across the country. Strict licensing agreements in place with the distributor network, limited the company in appointing new distributors, broadening the overall reach of the products and services and growing the business.
In recent years the company had undergone notable change. It had moved away from a known and respected brand name in the marketplace to one that was new in the North American market. With the name change came a new expanded product line, as well as a range of technological products that the distributors had not carried in past. Finally, the company had also experienced a change in its senior management. The new team was younger, more aggressive and more oriented to the use of computers and electronic support – areas that were somewhat foreign to the distributor network.
Whiting & Holmes quickly assessed the current position of the company and acknowledged the necessity of attaining growth through increased sales and Distributor wealth - not initially an increase in the number of distributors. i.e. distributor retention. But to do so would require loyalty and buy-in to new management, the new direction and the inevitable changes that would occur.
A Distributor Perception Study was conceived, created and undertaken by W&H that would reveal Distributor perceptions and opinions on the industry, the company and the recent changes. By speaking directly to individual Distributors, W&H was able to elicit comments on how the company could help them maximize growth potential and the strengths and weaknesses they perceived with the Master Distributor. Last but not least, they were encouraged to offer ideas that they felt would improve the business as a whole and build value for their distributorship.
The results of the study helped to define both short and long-term activities that helped move the Distributors and the company forward. In turn, these strategies strengthened the long-term position for the company as an industry leader in its segment. It also enabled management to eventually increase the number of distributors as those within the existing territories experienced substantially more work and sales.