At present, businesses are currently enjoying more opportunities, different changes are taking place, and are shaping the business world in different ways. Alongside these opportunities are many challenges, which businesses are continually faced with, in a bid to expand and grow. Various business sectors are affected by many trends that guide the direction of development, and companies are forced to adjust to remain in business.
The distribution industry is no stranger to these business challenges as this sector is fast developing; over the years, many distribution companies have had to make several adjustments to accommodate these changes. Consumer needs are changing and distribution resolves mainly around catering for customers’ needs in the best possible way; it must evolve with it.
Owing to this, distributors have experienced some major trends over the past. Majority of these trends have affected distribution positively, providing opportunities for expansion and development, by creating tools, which can be utilized to ensure efficient customer services and timely delivery. But there have also been some challenging trends, which if not managed properly, may have some negative effects on these distribution companies.
Some notable trends that are currently leading the distribution industry are:
- Digitalization and automation of customer services
- Acquisition and mergers
1. E-commerce: Since the advent of the internet, various aspects of life have become easier and customers are more likely to turn away from whatever hinders the ease they are becoming used to. For this reason, many distribution companies are experiencing a shift from offline to online services by providing customers with easy access to required information on online platforms. Customers are now able to access, contact, and even carry out transactions online using social media, distributors’ websites, and other online tools.
2. Digitalization and automation of customer services: Various aspects of distribution have been digitalized, jobs that were handled by sales representatives and customer service personnel have been automated. This move has helped, in not only reducing cost, but increasing the number of customers, which are attended to with more speed, thereby ensuring greater customer satisfaction.
3. Acquisitions and Mergers: The need to ensure quality service by many distributors has led to distributors employing different strategies to foster growth. Distributors are seeking different opportunities to modify and evolve their business operations and processes to guarantee customer satisfaction. In some cases, these adjustments may be costly, and distributors may lack the required funds. This leads to coming together of smaller distributors to form a larger distributor company, this is what is called merger. Also, strategic acquisitions of related businesses in the distribution sector aid in reducing distribution costs.
All these are geared towards ensuring the positive transformation of the distribution companies if handled properly. There’s the need for distributors to ensure their relevance in the industry and this can only be achieved by maintaining fast and speedy deliveries, continuous expansion, employing new technology and greater product innovation to ensure customer satisfaction.