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Leader's Perspective: The future of manufacturer — distributor relationships

Leader's Perspective: The future of manufacturer — distributor relationships

Editor’s note: The author is managing principal, Industrial Performance Group, in Northfiled, Ill. The guest column is part of The Schechter Report and NRN’s content partnership, and the views do not necessarily reflect those of Nation’s Restaurant News.

Today's business environment is a real pressure cooker. Prolonged economic uncertainty, intense competition, razor-thin margins and the ever-shifting sand of government regulation are just a few of the challenges faced by manufacturers and distributors in the foodservice equipment industry.

Both parties are doing everything humanly possible to keep their businesses afloat. The actions being taken by foodservice equipment manufacturers and distributors in response to these challenges are, in some instances, changing the very nature of their traditional working relationships.

The question this raises is, will productive and cooperative manufacturer/distributor working relationships become the next casualty of this extended economic downturn? Or are they adapting and evolving into something new, different and more contentious?

To answer this question, one thing is clear: We all need more information. Today’s economic and regulatory conditions are uncharted waters for all of us. It's impossible to predict what the future may hold, but that doesn't preclude us from thinking about and discussing how and why equipment manufacturer and distributor relationships are changing and evolving.

In an effort to gain a better understanding of how equipment manufacturers and distributors in the U.S. foodservice industry are responding to the economic downturn, our company, The Industrial Performance Group, is conducting a brief, five-question opinion survey.

I invite all readers of The Schechter Report to click here to participate. The more input industry members offer, the more significant our findings will become.

I'll be sharing our survey findings with you in a future issue of The Schechter Report. Thanks in advance for your participation.

TAGS: Operations
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