Average Rating: 5.0
Your rating: none
Posted November 10, 2021

Adapt or die

Rich Vurva

ver the past year and a half, distributors have demonstrated more than ever before their ability to adapt in order to survive. Here are just a few examples.

When businesses were ordered to shut down and workers were told to stay at home, distributors improvised by setting up systems that enabled their employees to work remotely.

As temporary shutdowns curtailed production at manufacturing plants, decreasing the need for traditional MRO supplies such as cutting tools and abrasives, distributors pivoted to begin selling hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and other PPE to non-traditional customer types.

Sales teams that were finding it difficult to get in to see customers and prospects learned how to use tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other videoconferencing platforms to maintain face-to-face contact remotely.

Increased demand for online sales options and other digital methods for communicating data accelerated existing distributor plans to offer e-commerce solutions.

Each of these examples, and others, demonstrate the adaptability of the distribution industry in response to “black swan” events, an unpredictable occurence beyond what is normally expected in a given situation.

In the article “Never let a good crisis go to waste" Nelson Valderrama offers suggestions on how distributors should prepare for black swan events. He advises distributors to look at a black swan event as an opportunity for business leaders to rediscover their reason for being.

Howard Coleman’s article “Reinventing yourself likewise encourages readers to continually cultivate a culture of reinvention. Doing so might not prevent companies from experiencing a black swan event, but it can help them adapt when such events suddenly transform their normal playing field.

Rich Vurva
Twitter: @IndSupplyMag

This article originally appeared in the Nov./Dec 2021 issue of Industrial Supply magazine. Copyright 2021, Direct Business Media.


Post comment / Discuss story * Required Fields
Your name:
E-mail *:
Comment *: