5 Strategic Planning Mistakes Distributors Need to Avoid

As a distributor, you need to be consistently executing on an actionable plan for growth.  However, there are several common stumbling blocks in your way.

Distribution industry expert, Brent Grover, in his book, “The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors” identifies the top five mistakes that he sees organizations make in developing and executing their strategic plans.

Here’s what he suggests you avoid in order to create an effective distribution strategic plan:

  1. Failing to assess the true nature of your organization – Managers are often told what they want to hear, rather than the true views of employees and customers.  Therefore, it can often be helpful to engage a third-party to gather information about how employees and customers view your organization.
  2. Confusing the strategic goals with the company mission – While mission statements tend to be generic, strategic goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-sensitive (SMART).
  3. Misjudging what is driving your company’s profit – Contrary to what you may think, most distributors have similar sales methodologies, technology, and logistics to their competitors.  Therefore, it is critical to leverage those things that are truly unique to your organization – like your deep understanding of your customers’ needs or your extensive understanding of product applications.
  4. Failing to focus on the right customer segments – All companies have limited time and resources, therefore it is critical that you target your customer segments with the most potential for profitability or growth.
  5. Not aligning the plan with your business processes – Don’t let all of the hard work that you put into crafting your plan go to waste!  Leaders should openly communicate the details of the plan to subordinates and should adopt management processes and incentives that support it.

If you need assistance with this final step, consider a complimentary Distribution Strategy Assessment to see how you can better align your business processes with the strategies that you have in place!


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