Manufacturing in animal health requires more than just moving a product from point to point. It requires a holistic view of your product’s journey, from distributors and vets to pet owners and their pets.
Having an omnichannel vision for your products, selling across your supply chain through e-commerce, ensuring product oversight, and using tracking and data to forecast your purchasing and production cycle and help demonstrate your products’ success are four ways you can rise above the pack with your distribution strategies.
Here’s how these four strategies can improve your distribution:
Visionary manufacturers are moving beyond marketing to just their distributors. They’re focusing on speaking directly to their customers at every point in their supply chain. That means targeting vets and pet owners, which can be difficult when what’s connecting you to them is a host of smaller to larger distributors who may or may not be experts on your product and invested in your vision.
This is why elite master distributors are moving their manufacturer partners toward an omnichannel sales approach. In addition to managing all your distributor relationships for you — which includes maintaining contracts, organizing sales collateral, and training them on your product — the right master distributor will also manage your credit risk and bring you access to a large database of vets, e-commerce sites, and brick-and-mortar stores to drive demand among end-users.
Compared with manufacturing at large, the animal health sector has tended to lag behind in terms of adopting new technologies that make sales easier, products further-reaching, and transactions smoother.
Not employing an e-commerce platform is a perfect example of this kind of missed opportunity. If you’re not speaking to pet owners as well as distributors and vets, you’re running the risk of losing out to more agile and tech-friendly companies.
Lead-generation and improving sales are only part of the battle. Getting the product to the right place requires a range of other logistical expertise and oversight.
Assurance that your product is reaching its destination (and not getting diverted) is paramount. Otherwise, you run the risk of leaving unanswered customer complaints with large online retailers where you never knew your product was being sold, or of your product becoming involved in an adverse event due to improper use.
One of the most important things a master distributor can do for you is to oversee your supply chain, ensure efficiency, and handle any customer complaints.
Marketing expertise is becoming more and more necessary, as distributors’ traditional push promotions and discounts fall out of favor among consumers, who then perceive the product as devalued. Raising demand for products among vets and pet owners and understanding their motivations and buying patterns are key.
Working with an expert in forecasting can not only help you understand how people are buying and interacting with your product but can also create huge efficiencies in your purchasing and production cycle.
When you partner with a master distributor who works closely with smaller distributors and is able to track sales, and charge them with reporting, tracking, and analyzing your results, you can create a seamless demand-planning strategy and spot-on forecasting for your product.