Tips and Best practices when working with distributors for my products
As a manufacturer, your growth has largely depended on creating great products that your customers want and need. This is what most consider the fun part. The other side of this equation involves finding the best avenues available to get your great products in front of and, ultimately, to your target customers. To prevent your life from becoming solely devoted to this latter portion of the process, you luckily have a number of choices when it comes to helping you get your products from A to B. One of these choices that is nearly essential for growing manufacturers in the grocery, convenience, and specialty product sectors is distributors.
Where do distributors fit in your manufacturing and sales growth plan?
Your wholesalers and distributors exist between the manufacturer and end buyer. They exist mostly to help manufacturers reach markets and customers they more than likely wouldn’t be able to meet without a distributor’s help. A distributor is able to warehouse products, and they have pre-existing relationships with a wide array of brokers and retailers. Both of these come in handy when your growing business has neither the time nor the bandwidth to develop these from scratch.
Whether you go about it internally or work with a broker or agency, it often works in your favor to have your product lines filtered directly through a distributor when compared to individually trying to fire out your product lines to different retailers from your headquarters. Simply attempting to get your products into different retailers is a process that can take weeks. If your product lines are going through a distributor, retailers will mostly be able to simply add your products to an order along with other products available from that distributor.
How do I get these accounts up and running?
Bringing new product lines to a distributor typically comes with some push-back, though. When wholesale distributors bring in a new item, they want to essentially have it pre-sold so they can start moving it out. This entire structure is built on a mutually beneficial relationship, so if your products aren’t moving and are simply taking up space within a warehouse, it does the distributor no good. Most distributors will need assurance and/or proof that this product will move.
One method to help with this potential roadblock is partnering with an experienced sales agency who comes with pre-existing relationships with different distributors in different markets. If your agency partner’s broker is already selling a product that’s moving through a distributor, your broker will typically be able to get your products with the distributor, as well, through this existing relationship.
Finding long-term growth through distributors
Distributors serve a pivotal role in many manufacturers’ growth, especially in the grocery, convenience, and specialty store verticals. They serve manufacturers by warehousing, marketing, and selling your products to a host of different end buyers originally outside of your business’s reach. By leveraging this distributor relationship, many manufacturers find themselves able to free up the needed bandwidth to optimize production, pricing structures, or any number of internal processes.
At the same time, the most direct path to utilizing the power of distributors comes through a trusted agency partnership. The professionals that make up the Kelly Brand Management team have experience at virtually every stage of the supply chain, which have helped them develop long-lasting relationships with a number of manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers. Is it time to set up a consultation for your team to see new possible paths for growth? Reach out to us today to start the conversation.