The New Norm in Distribution
If you have the Automotive Aftermarket, you are aware of how the economy has affected the Industry. On a smaller scale trickling down, how we’re and can remain affected has been around in product availability or lead times. More and more extended delivery dates and availability issues are affecting our main point here. To help in lowering the reaction phase with this ongoing scenario, putting things in proper perspective will help us to maneuver forward and ease the encompassing tension of individuals customers.
It is up to the retail end to maintain that customer confidence as all levels redeem their stance or conform to new methods for doing business.
Many Manufacturers are managing an influx of materials using their suppliers or “Just-in-Time” scheduling with limited manpower, leaving them at risk of shortages, running with skeleton crews just trying to get the position done. This scenario also will apply to the WD’s that have to get by with significantly less, compiled with errors that can come from spreading in-house functions too thin with untrained personnel. A more recent trend on Importation limits is appearing as imports increase to fulfill the demand.
It is “chaotic” to put it mildly. Most Manufacturers have resigned to this particular and offer no excuses; they just do their business best. Most W.D.’s are scrambling to keep their businesses going amidst the shortages and 1/3 (or less) of this required workforce. They see either side and therefore are stuck in the center.
How this might affect your business:
To protect yourselves as well as your businesses, I would recommend helping the time allowed for deliveries on each Brand you carry making the customer aware or note it in your terms. Being aware of the downsides that might be affecting you is half the battle. Remember that the Rep.’s you handle may not have some time to return messages or calls or respond immediately to emails or RFQ’s, they may not dot the I’s and cross the T’s, just do it on their behalf, protect yourself by protecting them and things works out.
It will assist to come with an alternate plan in place and keep on top of who stocks what, or replacement brands defined if required. Most in the popular brands are found at stocking warehouses, but they’re also trimming down, so never assume. Even if something is within the stock, lots of people are so short-handed it a few days only to understand it out.
Where do we go from here:
The worst is certainly not over, I have seen this before and will also remember to improve, in most cases underneath rung on the ladder that finds relief last, just about all starts there start by making changes in ease the blow and gaze after customer confidence.
This article was written to your band of automotive niche site owners but thought it may be beneficial to other Industries dealing with the results from the economy.