A few weeks ago, SMG (Safety Marketing Group) held our 26th Annual Partnership Conference at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our Conference theme this year was CSI-Creating Strategic Innovation. Thirty years ago I thought innovation was only for manufacturers, not distributors; was I ever wrong!

Independently owned distributors (especially in the safety channel) are faced with an unprecedented number of change drivers; as well as an accelerating pace of change. Some of the factors driving this change are globalization, consolidation, and competition from everyone and their brother! We have always had competition but today it is different.

Many of you need a “wake up call” because you think your value proposition is the same as it was five to ten years ago. End-user customers are in control and they are wagging your tail. It seems as though some of you are running a race to zero… that is zero profit!

You need to innovate your business model, differentiate, optimize, look at your business model from the outside in… You need marketing help, you need to educate and train your employees, you need to recruit better talent… You need to re-imagine your company!

If you haven’t already, you should go to NAW (National Association of Wholesalers) and purchase the 10th edition of “Facing the Forces of Change” — titled “Re-Imagine Distribution.” It is a great book that really explains what we will all be faced with in the next five years or less.

The good news is that many independent distributors in the safety channel will succeed and grow profitably because they are “not in it alone.” SMG Distributors share a common DNA thread… It is a SAFETY CULTURE which helps generate Effiencies-Profitability-Quality. This compliments our already successful 3E Program: Educate-Equip-Empower, which focuses on building on the strengths of our distributor membership.  

Don’t go it alone!