Author Archives: Bart Schwartz

Critical success factor: A culture of continuous improvement

“I don’t care that we scored well… we can get better” These were the surprising words from one of ICR’s participating suppliers as we were going through their survey results from our Channel Partner Leadership survey (which gets industrial suppliers … Continue reading

Channel Partner Feedback, Distributor Feedback, Distributor Management Best Practices, Distributor Performance Improvement, Indirect Channel Best Practices, Indirect Channel Performance, Indirect Channel Performance Benchmarking

Have you convinced your customers that you’re offering differentiated value or have you only convinced yourself?

In September, I spent a couple days at the International Manufacturing and Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago. As I was making my rounds seeing the products of exhibiting manufacturers, I was reminded of what always strikes me at these shows: … Continue reading

Channel Partner Feedback, Customer feedback, Industrial Manufacturers

Are you a products company or a services company that sells products?

One of the most significant concerns we hear in our research about industrial suppliers is that the quality of service they provide is good, but the quantity of service they provide is less than optimal and getting worse. In the … Continue reading

Channel Partner Feedback, Indirect Channel Best Practices, Services, SG&A savings, Supplier improvement ,

A quick overview of my presentation at the Industrial Supply Association conference in April

Several people who missed my presentation at the Industrial Supply Association in April asked me to provide a quick overview.  It’s impossible to capture the entire 75 minutes into a one-pager, but here’s the general idea…. The  industrial distribution landscape … Continue reading

Distributor Feedback, Distributor Management Best Practices, Distributor Performance Improvement

Should manufacturers push inventory carrying responsibility out to their channel partners?

Recently, a few of my manufacturing clients have brought up the question of whether they should require or reward their channel partners for carrying inventory. Channel partners carrying inventory has obvious advantages to the manufacturer: less strain on the supply … Continue reading

Distributor Management Best Practices, Distributor Performance Improvement, Indirect Channel Best Practices, Indirect Channel Performance, Indirect Channel Performance Benchmarking, Industrial Manufacturers ,

Using the distributor planning and management process to drive performance

One of the key dimensions of Industrial Channel Research’s best practice framework is “Tactical planning, communication and execution”. This is the process of suppliers working with their distributors to set goals, create a plan to achieve those goals, measure performance … Continue reading

Channel Partner Feedback, Distributor Feedback, Distributor Management Best Practices, Distributor Performance Improvement, Indirect Channel Best Practices, Indirect Channel Performance, Indirect Channel Performance Benchmarking, Industrial Manufacturers, Uncategorized ,

Getting your channel partners involved in managing your product portfolio

Recently, I was on the phone with the president of an industrial company frustrated that his company’s product innovations weren’t as well received as he would like.   When I asked him to describe his product development process, he said he … Continue reading

Channel Partner Feedback, Distributor Feedback, Distributor Management Best Practices, Distributor Performance Improvement, Indirect Channel Best Practices, Indirect Channel Performance, Indirect Channel Performance Benchmarking, Industrial Manufacturers , , ,

Why your brand matters to your channel partners

Henry Ford once said “A man who stops advertising to save money, is like a man who stops the clock to save time.”  What Mr. Ford knew is that it’s rarely enough to have a great offering; long-term success requires … Continue reading

Channel Partner Feedback, Distributor Feedback, Distributor Management Best Practices, Distributor Performance Improvement, Indirect Channel Best Practices, Indirect Channel Performance, Indirect Channel Performance Benchmarking, Industrial Manufacturers, Uncategorized ,

Preparing for why distributors really go to trade shows

One of the few rewards for suffering through a long Chicago winter is that there are a dozen industrial trade shows right in my backyard. If I choose, I can spend my entire summer collecting totebags embroidered with my favorite … Continue reading

Uncategorized ,

Strategic direction: More important to your channel partners than you think

Recently, an industrial manufacturing client of mine was kind enough to let me sit in on its Distributor Advisory Council (DAC) meetings and then go on a few distributor meetings.  They did a very nice job of facilitating the discussions … Continue reading

Channel Partner Feedback, Distributor Feedback, Distributor Management Best Practices, Distributor Performance Improvement, Indirect Channel Best Practices, Industrial Manufacturers ,