Recently, Thomas commissioned a research study to help validate and provide a more detailed understanding of the problems and their impact on the manufacturer/distributor relationship.
The study, conducted by a third-party research firm, confirmed that the product data disconnect runs deep and costs manufacturers and distributors tens of thousands of dollars every year in unnecessary labor expense. Sales are lost when distributors don’t have the information they need to effectively represent a product line. And underneath it all is smoldering frustration that negatively impacts the distributor and manufacturer relationship.
Manufacturers and distributors count on each other to support and grow their respective businesses. It is a relationship based on a single, mutual objective: Sales. As long as the monthly numbers are in line with expectations, no one questions how the relationship is going. But what the monthly figures don’t tell you are the sales that didn’t happen. Or worse, those that went to another manufacturer. Why? Because of a breakdown — a critical disconnect — in the product data flow between manufacturer and distributor.
However, while both manufacturers and distributors acknowledge there is a problem, they see no way out of it. This and a prevailing “it’s always been this way” attitude are all the excuses they need to continue to ignore the product data disconnect and resign themselves to the status quo. Specifically, the research revealed that manufacturers and distributors alike acknowledge that their product data systems/file formats are not synergistic and that the consequences of having no standardized format for storing, labeling and sharing product information are an unnecessary amount of costly manual work and follow-up communication.
Because of the level of manual effort typically required to populate distributors’ data templates, many manufacturers openly admit that they are not sharing all of the technical information captured in their systems for any given product. Thus, regardless of how important they may perceive it to be for selling a product, potentially vital pieces of product data ultimately “slip through the cracks” without ever making it accessible to the end customer.
To read the White Paper click on this link: Thomas mfr-dist-disconnect-white-paper
Source: Thomas Industrial Network