Office Supplies Industry Dealer Group Report
Over the past few months we have interviewed over 100 local office supplies dealers in the UK to explore through quantitative and qualitative analysis the views of a traditional dealer on the dealer group model.
Primarily researching dealers that are currently in or using dealer group services it highlights the range of services, the perception of those services and what attitudes exist to the future of this model.
The results of the survey are broken down into different areas and show some interesting dynamics that may impact the future of dealer group organisations.
The data demonstrates an overwhelming focus by dealers on the cost of goods benefits of being in a group but did also highlight some complexity on measuring how competitive these costs are. The report also reveals the importance of marketing and catalogue services provided by the groups and that dealers think the groups demonstrate strong competencies in delivering in this area. Traditionally a strong perceived benefit of being in a group, the dealers surveyed in this report placed less importance on community services and interestingly had significantly differing views on the importance of ecommerce, now and in the future.
Dealer group tenancy is explored through the research and the results exposed a reactive approach to change. Dealers were also unsure on whether they would be in a group in 5 years’ time and highlighted the increasing availability of competitive services through other means.
The report also demonstrated dealers’ confusion on measuring and assessing the true ROI of the dealer groups with a majority of dealers being unconvinced of the long term value.
The section on the future of the dealer groups raises more questions than answers but does depict the wholesalers as the main competitor in the provision of comparable services. It also shows the perceived importance of ecommerce and digital channels as future services and interestingly shows the decreasing importance attributed to catalogues.
The report concludes by exploring the need for dealer groups to change but also questions whether the changes in the macro economy and industry will lead to a strengthening of the need for the independent dealer channel to continue to group together, to share scale and resource to create competitive advantage.