Why Wholesale Distributors Should Reevaluate the Current Economic Environment

A study has recently been released by the National Association of Wholesaler Distributors.  The results of the study were put down in writing by Guy Blisset, who discusses the new economic climate and makes several suggestions to wholesale distributors about what they can do to keep their business afloat in such an unpredictable economic environment.  One of Blisset’s suggestions is to get to know the current economic climate and understand what makes it different from previous economic trends.  This way, business owners can adapt and make appropriate changes to their current business models. 


Blisset describes the current economic climate as uncertain and unpredictable in a business world that is moving faster than ever, leaving wholesale distributors no choice but to be fully informed and have the ability to think on their toes.  These business owners need to be knowledgeable enough about the ever-changing economic environment to make brisk decisions that are concomitantly cautious and effective, especially if they want to ensure future growth and prosperity of their businesses.   


The common techniques and methods used by wholesale distributors need to change.  This is because past models used in these businesses rely on high operating efficiency and availability of a large number of products, which can be hard to come by in the uncertain economic climate that we operate in today.  Blisset explains that as customer demand and competition increases, the ability of past models to engender long-term growth via effectiveness and reliability is dwindling.  This has not gone unnoticed, and many distributors have tried to remedy the problem by offering a large variety of additional services to their clients.  Unfortunately, this has not proved to be a viable solution for most distributors.  The addition of new services do not guarentee higher profit margins and have added unnecessary complexity and expenses, which have to be absorbed by business owners and ultimately intensify the pressures already brought on by the economic crisis. 


The economic environment has been significantly impacted and altered by the recent economic crisis.  It is not surprising that distributors are unprepared for the effects circumvented by these new economic surroundings; it is hard to be prepared for unexpected and unfamiliar circumstances.  Wholesale distributors need to become familiar with these changing economic surroundings.  The more familiar one becomes, the better prepared they will be during the decision-making process, and the more evolved a business model can become.  Blisset suggests that wholesale distributors adapt to this new economic environment as they go in order to capitalize on new opportunities.  To understand and adapt is the most effective way for any business to survive in an unfamiliar economic climate, especially when transitioning from a climate that is predictable and stable to one that is volatile, uncertain and complex. 


Understand and adapt, this may appear easier said than done.  True, it is difficult to fully adapt when the economic climate is so uncertain.  How are we supposed to know what business models and strategies will work when we don’t know what tomorrow will bring?  Well, we do know what doesn’t work, which is an excellent start!  What wholesalers need to do now is figure out what does work for their businesses in their specific markets, then modify their business plans and strategies as each new, unfamiliar challenge and circumstance is faced until the modified plans and strategies prove successful in the new economic environment.  This can be a tedious task, but it is the key to being successful in such times of uncertainty. 


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25 Jan 2012

By Jennifer M. Cullin