Distributors offer strong product lines, have efficient ordering processes and generally provide on-time delivery, according to powersports dealers across the United States. But dealers are less enthusiastic about merchandising and point of purchase (POP) materials, and the lack of sales and technical training offered.
Dealers, for example, seem to be happy with the products available from their distributors, giving Product Availability, Variety of Products and Product Line Strength average scores of 8.1, 8.3 and 8.3, respectively, out of a possible 10 points.
Distributors also do an excellent job of producing product catalogs and CDs, dealers say, giving them an average score of 8.5. They also said distributors are credible and consistent, giving them an average score of 8.4 in each category.
Unfortunately, distributors don't do a very good job of training dealers and helping them merchandise products, according to survey participants. The industry average score for Sales and Technical Training was only 6.8 and the average score for Merchandising and Point of Purchase materials was 6.9.
Dealers seem to feel quite comfortable with placing orders using a a distributor's website. The average score given by dealers for ease of Web site Ordering was 7.9 points, and many dealers gave distributor online ordering processes a score of 9 or 10.
Individual distributor report cards are published on these and the following pages.
Watch for the OEM Report Card in November 2008, and the next Distributor Report Card to be published in November 2009.