No Swiss neutrality here! Picture mountains in Europe or the green fields in horse country. These great visual representations are the economical tip of an iceberg that portends grave consequences that will ultimately sink local distribution. BUT! The internet distributors that are above the cost of overhead are the symptoms, not the cause!
The first betrayal is committed above the clouds, at the manufacturers’ roost, at the highest point of the control food chain. This is the only place where the distributor’s role in the business can be so taken for granted, because the distributors and their contractors are presumed to be locked in. So, the manufacturer’s create a one-plus feature for themselves by giving non-inventory, low-margin brokers the chance to poach easy commodity commercial components business at the expense of the territorial ground forces who specify, quote, stock, and support!
Good: Some of the most notorious corporate colors are listening, responding, and re-enforcing the two-step channel. Thank you Honeywell, Johnson and other controls companies that are thinking longer term and not taking the easy buck.
Bad: This is a growing threat They are in your neck of the woods, too!
Ugly: They are eroding the margins and to survive, they are probably are getting better pricing than the distributors!
The Really Ugly: Stocking no inventory, having manufacturers ship direct to customers,providing no technical support, and bragging about it. Really ? Give us a break, even Clint knows there is no free lunch. One way or another you get what you pay for. Not to name names, but if you are using these guys you have A lready L ost P erspective and S ensibility.
The Unforgiven: Those manufacturers who reward internet only distributors with better prices and abilities to bypass full service distributors, who invest in local inventory, training local support staff, local websites, and building market share by training and paying local sales people. Ironically, the number one enabler also makes one of the best products in the market place. I love your Orange actuators: Please stop the insanity !!
Consequence: Contractors: Wake up! The brick and mortar that you jump into your trucks and rely on to pick up immediate materials and accurate instructions on how to do things in a pinch, will become little ghosttowns because of your split loyalties and rush for a few dollars more!