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Direct-to-customer sales continue to pressure supply chain

With demand for more direct to customer sales creating more pressure than ever before, the need for self-service capability can place a great strain on the current supply chain operations and infrastructure.

B2B customers expect the same kind of self-service capabilities they have grown used to in their personal buying experiences and they are demanding it from manufacturers. In return, manufacturers are realising strong benefits from the data gathered during these transactions. As these pressures continue to increase, manufacturers must consider removing distributors from buying cycles where they can no longer provide value.

To stay ahead of the first disruptor, every manufacturer should be evaluating their distribution channels for return on investment. Are they still adding value to the buying process? It is important to consider where and when specific channels are needed. When ROI is not evident, perhaps a manufacturer needs to choose a direct path to sales. For others, it may be time to put higher pressure on each channel to deliver stronger digital experiences and perform against carefully chosen metrics.

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