Stop Setting IT Up to Fail II: The tough spot distributors are in with technology and innovation.

Large companies and distributors should be constantly evaluating and measuring opportunities to differentiate themselves from their competitors. With the immense growth of eCommerce sales, more and more manufacturers are testing out selling direct to consumers to improve their margins and drive more revenue. This means distributors need to find differentiating service offerings more than ever before.

Given a distributor’s role in the supply chain, innovative and game changing activities are unfortunately few and far between. Restricted by both manufacturers and customer sites, distribution companies are constantly blocking and tackling to meet a vast variety of stakeholder needs.

Many of the traditional business roles such as product management, sales and marketing, finance, inventory, etc. have received a large amount of attention and accompanying suggestions, ideas, and models. Much too little has been said of the opportunity within the technology landscape of companies both large and small.

Large companies tend towards being reactive, and investing in whatever large initiative is immediately prioritized, putting data augmentation, infrastructure, system innovations and especially innovation on the back burner. If it isn’t broken, why fix it?

But when faced with a game changing competitor or business landscape, without key infrastructure improvements, businesses can’t pivot or adapt. Whatever systems you use today to manage your business, taking a fresh look at how technology can differentiate your business should be at the top of every C-level executive’s checklist.