Posted May 4, 2020

COVID impact on AHTD members

A recent AHTD Business Conditions Report showed that companies that support automotive manufacturers have been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Association for High Technology Distribution (AHTD) has been conducting surveys of members since the start of the pandemic. 

Companies located in Michigan and Ohio, heavily reliant on the auto industry, report the largest decline in sales, with 50 percent reporting sales declines of greater than 30 percent. AHTD members based in the West Coast region have seen less of an impact, with 55 percent saying business has been about the same as before the pandemic.

The survey also reveled that the pandemic has forced companies to make major changes in how they do business, with sales and marketing efforts being conducted by phone, email or online.

"When sales calls are hampered and customers are hesitant to engage in traditional ways, marketing activities offer an opportunity for AHTD members to attract new business. As a group, AHTD has ramped up activities in this portion of our business. I see this as a great thing and certainly a piece of the business puzzle which I hope continues into the recovery," writes Frank Hurtte of River Heights Consulting, author of the AHTD Business Conditions Report.

Hurtte reports that AHTD members have largely been focusing marketing efforts on webinars and recordings of previously delivered training session. Many are utilizing LinkedIn to reach out to customers and prospects. Other efforts include podcasts, such as this one by Drew Allen of Grace Engineered Products, paid web-based advertising, employee spotlights to better connect on a human side with customers, and improving website search engine optimization (SEO).

Previous copies of the reports are available by emailing Frank Hurtte at