One Blog |November 11, 2010 | Point-of-Sale Marketing Management

Marketing at-Retail - Are You a Technology Innovator? Part 1

Mark Fullerton

Part 1                

The shifting US economy has caused a fundamental change in beverage distribution. This may in turn greatly effect beverage distributors and potentially produce the following outcomes:     

  • Excess or inefficient distribution capacity, increased competition, and supplier merger and acquisition, results in unprecedented distributor consolidation

  • The introduction of new sales channels based on the Internet and pervasive mobile technology creates even more competition for distributors and retailers

  • Small or negative revenue growth or shrinking margins and losses makes everything more challenging

  • Avoiding or ignoring an investment in innovative technology makes it certain that things could get worse.  Remember this: "Nothing changes if nothing changes, and if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got”

Long before you respond by giving up, it is important to look at the current situation as an opportunity for improvement. This requires that the distributor’s top executives and managers establish a set of values and a list of objectives that will allow them to:

  • Create a company vision of how innovative technology can be used to gain and retain a competitive advantage.

  • Investigate, analyze and define the technology that will change the way you operate in order to reduce inefficiencies and operating costs, and grow revenue

  • Identify the innovative technology which will provide the greatest benefits and determine how to evaluate the benefits of new technology and measure its return on investment (ROI)

  • Train all employees and help them adapt their industry knowledge and skills to new technologies

Today some beverage distributors are deploying innovative technologies with excellent results. However, many more are delaying these decisions with the comment, “Let’s wait until the economy recovers.” Although we are not prophets, we do believe the economy will recover sooner rather than later. But we also believe that it will be a long time before it returns to its former self. To survive may require that you take a more active role in leading your company toward the adoption of innovative approaches with technology.

So, are you a technology innovator? 

Take the test in Part 2.

 - Mark Fullerton

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