Advisory Board Services

Owners of distribution companies face a daily barrage of challenges. All of these require solutions and those generally come only from the principals of the company.  We know this, because we have sat in your seat.  We understand the need that you have for people who are knowledgeable about distribution and can provide effective and creative solutions.  We understand the value of an Advisory Board. 

An Advisory Board has always been thought of as an important resource for any distribution company.  The questions always are:

  • How do I find people for an Advisory Board who have had experience in running, and who understand, a distribution company? 
  • If I can find qualified advisors, how can I make sure they will not also advise my competitors? 
  • How should distributors successfully use an Advisory Board? 
  • What value can an Advisory Board add to my business? 
  • How often should an Advisory Board meet? 
  • What should be on the agenda?  What does a Board of Advisors do? 
  • How is a Board of Advisors different from a Board of Directors?
  • How do committees function on an Advisory Board? 

The Distributor Board can answer these questions.  Most importantly we can serve as your Board of Advisors.  Learn about our qualifications? We have owned, run, managed, and advised successful distribution companies for many years. 

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Strategic Planning

The Distributor Board's approach is to work closely with the Board of Directors, owners and/or managers of distribution companies in a facilitative role designed to develop consensus and agreement on strategies for future direction.  Evaluation and analysis time is spent within the organization and market research is conducted outside the organization.  In combination, these are powerful tools for designing effective, creative strategies, which have a high potential for successful implementation.

The Distributor Board is skilled in the gathering and analysis of information, and development of implications for management.  Due to our extensive experience in marketing, distribution and manufacturing, The Distributor Board is well qualified to undertake a broad range of business planning assignments

The Distributor Board delivers a variety of strategic client services:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Strategy Execution
  • Organizational Goal Development
  • Market Plan Development
  • Customer Service Analysis and Planning
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Primary and Secondary Market Research
  • Web Site Development and Optimization
  • Social Media Awareness and Adoption Strategies
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Operational Improvements

Do you have a strong, collaborative relationship with your major suppliers?  The Distributor Board has worked with many clients to improve supplier relationships, establish new and innovative purchase terms, and reduce total cost.  We have helped distributors become more attractive customers, which can lead to line expansion opportunities and increased sales.  Most distributors now source some or all of their products globally.  We understand the issues that can occur in transportation and inventory management as a result of global sourcing.

We have assisted several distributors in achieving the lowest total cost for products purchased off-shore.  Our principals have participated in negotiations with major suppliers and helped our clients lower their overall costs and improve inventory turnover.

We work with our clients on a Strategic Sourcing Process which includes, among other elements, a unique matrix approach to commodities and suppliers.  Maximizing the value of supplier relationships can lower costs and increase inventory turns.

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Growth through Acquisition

An important growth vehicle for distributors may be acquisition of another similar distribution company.  Consideration should also be given to acquisitions that create diversification and reduce risk.  Also, distributors may consider merger as an opportunity to cooperatively grow the business with reduced overheads.

At a certain point a distributor may consider sale of the company.  It may be a point in the history of the business where a change of ownership makes good sense.  There are times when this can be done in an orderly fashion and others where there is a stress on the business that may require more immediate action.

Another consideration is a partial sale of the company designed to add capital for expansion or to allow a shareholder to exit the business.  This also offers an opportunity for the owners of the company to monetize equity they hold in the business, while still retaining the operating responsibility and the opportunity to continue to benefit from the growth of the company.

The Distributor Board can help the owners of distribution companies in both a consultative / advisory role and, if required, function in a business broker capacity to assist with the finding of an acquisition candidate(s); finding potential buyers of the company; or, identifying potential partners, such as private equity companies.

The Distributor Board can undertake the following Merger & Acquisition Activities:

  • Acquisition Candidate Search
  • Marketing the Company for Sale
  • Negotiating Merger Relationships
  • Finding Potential Private Equity Partners
  • Assist in the Due Diligence Process
  • Leading the Integration Planning and Implementation Process
  • Identify Sources for Capital
  • Identify Merger & Acquisition Deal Professionals
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Technology Guidance

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Technology needs to be leveraged to increase the efficiencies and impact on all areas of a distributor’s business. We help distributors better utilize existing technology and in appropriate cases, we help them evaluate and implement new technology focused on their goals. Our guidance takes the very complex decisions regarding technology and reduces them to simple, but thoughtful processes.

The technology that we help distributors make excelent decisions on are the following:

• CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

• ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

• Forecasting

• WMS (Warehouse Management System)

We lead our distributor clients through a concise six-phase process culminating in the successful implementation of enabling technology. The phases are:

Cost Justification

The need to know whether a project is going to create the ROI that you desire is critical to your organization. No business should undertake a project or invest money in a direction that cannot be cost justified. In this phase, we help distributors make an intelligent “go / no go” decision.

Developing Key Needs & Requirements

Developing a clear understanding of the unique technology needs of the organization and prioritizing those needs to facilitate the effective evaluation of technology. This includes the review of current processes to determine opportunities for improvement through new technology. We have a great depth of knowledge related to distributors and their technology needs. This helps our clients create a requirements document that will lead them through the evaluation and selection process.

Evaluating Technology Options

The goal of evaluating technology is to make a sound business decision. We focus our attention on guiding our clients towards a business decision that aligns with their strategy, goals, and their unique “best practices”. It is important to take an objective viewpoint when evaluating technology. We help people stay objective through clear criteria that is in harmony with the organizations goals and culture. We also ensure that the software solution providers satisfy the needs of our client throughout the process.

Selecting the Best Fit Technology

This is the logical culmination of the evaluation phase. Our clients are able to confidently select technology that will meet their needs today and into the foreseeable future. Our goal is to guide our clients towards a decision that is based on both quantitative and qualitative of the efforts leading up to this phase.

Negotiating Contracts

This is a very important phase focused on creating contract documents that will lead the solution provider’s implementation team towards meeting our client’s goals and expectations. Often solution provider contracts heavily favor the solution provider and not the client. We ensure that the contracts are not only fair, but clearly define our client’s expectations and key business requirements.

Implementation Project Management

Once the decision has been made to implement new technology, the planning and execution of the implementation is critical to the successful utilization of new technology. We are committed to being with our client through the duration of the implementation and act as the project leader and liaison between the client and the solution provider. This ensures that our client receives the services that were agreed upon and most importantly, technology that fits their needs and requirements like a glove.

We also help distributors understand how to best utilize emerging technologies, such as social marketing, collaboration, and virtual solutions.