In sales as a supplier, the industry for many years has taught you to just get the most products the fastest and cheapest to attract volume sales. Although in many cases that is still true, the industry is evolving for suppliers to give their distributors even MORE opt-in value and provide more resources to help increase sales.
With the increasing availability of e-commerce, distributors now have more sources oversees and nationally to choose from which makes your job to build relationships with your distributors even more important.
According to Handshake.com, "The manufacturer (supplier)-distributor relationship benefits both parties. At its best, this is a partnership that helps both partners meet their goals. But in order to get the most out of the relationship, manufacturers and distributors need to carefully manage the relationship to make sure both parties are in alignment.
At its core, every manufacturer-distributor relationship is, or should be, a partnership. It might be limited in nature, or it might be more encompassing. But in either case, the relationship is important to each partner; they should invest accordingly.
Why don’t more manufacturers and distributors approach their relationship in this way? Because managing a partnership is more challenging than a hierarchy or supplier/customer relationship. However, a partnership pays off big dividends for those that manage one."