You and your distributor(s) must be on the same page when it comes to your business relationship. The terms and conditions for you to be in business with your distributor must be in clear terms. You must be clearly understood by both parties to avoid misunderstanding.
Some of the questions you can ask your distributors are:
- Ask questions on the history of the distribution company: A supplier must ask distributors questions on when the company was established to know how versatile they are and how much experience they have with suppliers and customers alike.
- Questions on payment terms and how negotiable they are: One of the primary ways of sustaining a business is by negotiating terms with your distributor. You must know if your distributor agrees to negotiations or fixed agreements. Payments must also be discussed to ensure a hitch-free business.
- Is the distribution company technology current? Do they have a robust online presence? Any company that doesn’t make use of technology devices and equipment would find it hard to thrive in the contemporary business world.
The success of companies nowadays is dependent on how technology-oriented they are and how efficient their process automation services are. Technology improves business activities by reducing time consumption, improving the quality of services, and increasing efficiency. Any distributing company that doesn’t use updated technologies would make lesser sales than other distributing companies with updated technologies and process automation services.
- Ask for the total quantity of products distributed within a specific period, ask for sales reports and quantities vouchers. If the distributor can provide all these and more, it shows that the distributor keeps a record and also proves that the distributor would be reliable.
- Ask your distributors about your competitors: Do they have suppliers who supply them similar products like yours? This question should be asked because if they already sell products like yours, from your competitors, it might mean that the competitor would eventually sell more of the products on which more profit is made. It will be a loss for the manufacturer if the product is not yours but your competitors’.
- Ask if they have a mechanism for e-Commerce: Can they receive orders electronically? Do they use GPS tracking on delivery vehicles to ensure accurate deliveries? How updated is their process automation?
If the distributors can answer the questions excellently, it shows how updated they are and how well they maximize the Internet in providing excellent customer services.
- Know the customer network of the distribution firm: When looking for a distributor as a manufacturer, one must find a distributor who has access to the target audience a manufacturer wants.
If the distributor does not have customers that fit into the manufacturer’s target audience, it would be hard for the distributors to broker sales on the manufacturer’s products.