Distributors will not survive unless they reinvent themselves, because the Internet will render them superfluous, according to a damning Gartner Group report.
While Gartner Group?s research predicts doom for wholesalers, the company has helpfully written a blueprint for distributor survival, available from its worldwide offices.
Gartner said distributors should move their business models to sell more post-sale services including delivery, information, installation and training. The study acknowledges that, as the role of the Internet increases, the threat to distributors will become greater because manufacturers will gain direct, online access to customers.
But Art Mesher, research director at Gartner, said wholesalers must add value if they are to survive. "This will be a radical shift from today?s buy low, sell high business model," he said.
The company said US distributor Microage has applied the right steps to survive by winning assembly and fulfillment business, providing and supplying information, and adding services such as training. Bob O?Malley, president of Microage, said recently that his company has redefined itself as "a services provider coordinating procurement, logistics, integration and installation services".
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