NAED: Going Global in a Regionalized World

The future of the electrical distribution industry was the focus of this year’s NAED US Economic Forecast Panel, and we talked about some of the challenges distributors face as they look to grow globally.
When I turn on the news here in the US, it’s economic “doom and gloom.” The economic recovery that most economists believe began in 2009 still hasn’t taken hold in some industries, including residential construction (mainly in the US). But other regions of the world, such as China, are experiencing growth at a rapid pace of 9%, while the US and Europe are plodding along at 3%
What can distributors do to take advantage of these faster growing environments? You’re under pressure to expand and invest in the emerging economies. But how do you know which markets are going to be hot, and how can you capitalize on that?
If you’re looking for a starting point, invest in your sales team; arm them with newer, better technology to deliver the same experience in face-to-face meetings as their customers are familiar with in online transactions. By providing access to historical buying patterns, margins, and the hot products, you make them smarter and give them more ammo to up-sell.
When you go global, it also makes sense to leverage your existing country-level resources and partners. You need to understand the dynamics of operating in different regions (operational requirements, customs, holidays, work schedules, etc.) to enter into new markets successfully. What better way than to partner with someone who already has a foothold?
I was honored to join fellow panelists who brought their expertise in economics, sales, and marketing to the discussion. Click here to see my entire video discussion, as well as the videos from the other panelists and a recap of the conference.
Posted by Andy Berry, Vice President and General Manager, Global Distribution Business Unit, Infor