Creating connections

Strategies for today's electrical and industrial distributors

Making connections: Creating an electrical and industrial distribution culture that welcomes change

Historically, electrical and industrial distributors have provided value primarily through the efficient storage and movement of goods. The sustainability of this classic value proposition, however, is in jeopardy, as an evolving customer profile, more complex products and operations, increasing competition and shifting economics are necessitating changes in the way distributors approach the market. Industry and economic events have certainly highlighted the profound challenges of being an inventory manager during periods of volatile demand, especially when supply chain visibility is less than perfect and significant lags exist in sensing those demand changes.

Electrical and industrial wholesale distributors must contend with increasingly complex and custom products moving upstream and downstream in a supply chain that is ever-more global, intricate and broadly scrutinized – yet one that has little cushion due to widespread adoption of just-in-time inventory and increased risk of obsolescence.

These realities demand a dramatically different type of distribution business. To remain competitive, electrical and industrial distributors must:

The potential for robust future revenue opportunities in the electrical and industrial distribution segment exists, but to grow and gain share in this consolidating industry, electrical and industrial wholesale distributors must develop differentiating capabilities that offer real value to their customers.

Download the complete IBM Institute for Business Value study

Meet the author

  • Guy Blissett

    Guy Blissett

    IBM Sales & Distribution, Human Resources, Wholesale Distribution Lead

Related links

  • IBM

    Download the IBV App

    Access our latest thought leadership, including C-suite studies and industry insights. Maintain a library, receive regular updates. Explore enhanced content.

  • IdeaWatch Newsletter

    IdeaWatch Newsletter

    Sign up to receive monthly e-mail updates on recent papers from the IBM Institute for Business Value.

  • Consumer products consulting

    Consumer products consulting

    Our consumer products solutions, technology and consulting can help you build life-long relationships with consumers, and much more.