Adjustment of distribution channel strategy of the

2022-08-10
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The distribution channel strategy adjustment of instrument manufacturers is different from the distribution of standard electronic components, and the distribution of electronic test instruments is relatively complicated. On the one hand, the price of electronic test instruments is relatively high, on the other hand, it is because the sales of electronic test instruments is not only a step of paying the bill for delivery, but also must include links such as after-sales support, especially because the price of some high-end instruments is considerable, and the additional relevant technical after-sales service is particularly important in the sales decision-making process. Therefore, instrument manufacturers also have completely different starting points from component manufacturers in formulating distribution strategies

traditionally, there are three main sales channels for instruments: first, point-to-point direct selling, which is mainly applicable to high-end instrument products; The second is the instrument leasing channel, which is mainly applicable to relatively high-end instruments that are oriented to large-scale production lines; Third, distribution channels, mainly for products with relatively low-end and relatively scattered procurement areas. In foreign countries, this three channel integration structure has been quite mature, and in China, with the rapid growth of instrument leasing enterprises such as Oriental integration and yilaichu, it has basically formed a scale. Among them, distributors are an indispensable part of the instrument sales network. For basic measuring instruments, distributors can provide timely and convenient services for many customers by using their extensive customer coverage and effective product inventory, so that customers can easily buy the instruments they need and simplify the complex procurement process

Chen Li, channel manager of Agilent Asia Pacific region, summarized that Agilent's channel strategy is to provide customers with comprehensive and convenient services through the complete combination of direct and non direct channels. Specifically, it is to provide direct and in-depth services to target customers with direct sales; Provide a wide range of services to regional customers with authorized technical partners; Use distributors to provide flexible and convenient services for all customers on basic measuring instruments; Provide complete measurement solutions for customers with system integrators; Use leasing partners to provide customers with more options for using instruments. From the perspective of product positioning: basic measuring instruments and industrial testing instruments take distribution as the main sales channel, and use the extensive coverage of distribution and inventory capacity to provide customers with convenient services at the time of purchase. Direct selling focuses on medium and high-end products and provides customers with in-depth and meticulous consultation and services. Among them, the authorized technology partners focus on the increasing demand in the West and some cities with concentrated scientific research institutes. One of the new strategies adopted this year is to select local partners that meet the technical needs to provide sales services for Agilent's high-end instrument products, so as to achieve the widest possible coverage of the market

the same is true of the sales channel strategy of another instrument giant, Tektronix. Song Lei, general manager of distribution business in Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong, admitted that the most important feature of any excellent company, whether manufacturer or distributor, is customer orientation. The spirit of understanding customer needs and trying our best to meet customer needs is the fundamental for any company to gain a foothold in the market. What kind of products customers need, what kind of delivery timeliness, what kind of after-sales service, determine the basis for Tec to choose dealers. At present, Tektronix has various types of distribution partners, and different divisions of labor can meet the different requirements of different customers for purchase convenience, technical consultation and pre-sales and after-sales service. Technology sellers mainly focus on application and solution sales, and provide customers with solution based support and services; Store dealers showed their products well, and catalog sales dealers provided customers with a more convenient way to buy. In terms of quantity, Tektronix's sales network has basically achieved the coverage of provinces and cities across the country. In some remote regional regions, authorized sellers have also been set up to strengthen customer support. In particular, through the integration with fluke's sales channels, tech and fluke have given better play to the regional advantages of their respective sales channels and realized the sharing of channel resources

the biggest difference between domestic and foreign instrument channels is that they focus on the role of distribution channels. At present, domestic distribution channels rarely undertake some relatively expensive instrument products (more than US $50000 per product), not only because instrument manufacturers themselves prefer to sell in the form of direct sales for subsequent after-sales support, but also because the distribution channels lack sufficient economic support to support their sales of products of such a price level. However, this situation has begun to change recently

improve the dimensional stability of products

with the increase of national investment in expanding domestic demand, many domestic research institutions have received sufficient financial support to expand infrastructure. Therefore, many third tier cities or western cities with relatively concentrated scientific research institutions have increasingly obvious demand for high-end testers. This has prompted major test instrument manufacturers to effectively and deeply cover these emerging target markets with their products. It is often not economical to set up an office, and it is a more wise choice to choose the appropriate local agents. On the one hand, agents can more accurately evaluate the local market situation, understand the specific needs of potential customers and establish effective sales channels; On the other hand, through in-depth cooperation with instrument manufacturers, instrument manufacturers can use technical training and other means to train agents to meet simple technical support needs, while relatively complex technical support is still left to the regional center for processing, which not only reduces the cost of channel construction of instrument manufacturers, but also improves the timeliness of technical support to customers. For example, Agilent's newly released InfiniiVision 7000b Series Oscilloscopes are delivered to distributors for sale, in order to enable the sales network to better realize the coverage of the western region and scientific research institutions

different from the management of authorized distributors by component manufacturers, the content of distribution channel construction management of electronic testing instruments is richer and closer. Unlike authorized distributors of components and parts, which can provide additional technical solution support independently, the distribution of electronic test instruments not only undertakes sales, but also includes a series of services such as calibration of related products, pre-sales product application training, after-sales product repair and maintenance, and customer upgrading. These services need to be completed in cooperation with instrument manufacturers. If we take into account the importance of test instrument manufacturers for product quality and brand image, the construction and management of distribution channels by test instrument manufacturers is more important

song Lei introduced that Tektronix takes common development and customer needs as its distribution concept, and always adheres to the concept of common growth with distribution partners, putting customer needs in the first place. According to the dynamic development of the market, tech will cooperate with its distribution partners to develop new industries and applications, and constantly explore the growth potential. Continuous growth brings more opportunities for each partner, so that each partner has its own industry or regional positioning to reduce conflicts between them. Thailand should not use tools to pry and other dangerous methods to design the coverage, type and scale of channels based on the needs of customers, and design reasonable channels to balance coverage and conflicts, so as to maximize the interests of all parties, relying on years of technology accumulation and reduction of channel conflicts; Channel members play different roles in the whole value chain, meet the diverse needs of different customers, and bring maximum benefits to customers through the value-added services based on the products of Tektronix. Design channel sales process to ensure that partners who really serve customers can obtain corresponding returns and development. In addition, Tektronix also regularly provides a variety of on-site or online training for distribution partners to share their experience not only in product technology, but also in marketing and management experience. The distribution management personnel of Tektronix will frequently visit customers with the distribution team to understand the latest needs of customers. Every year, agents have to pass the strict qualification certification of Tektronix, and the full-time partner technical support team needs to pass the highest level certification to provide technical support to customers

Chen Li believes that channel partners are good internal help for instrument manufacturers to expand the market. Agilent's channel strategy is divided into three parts: channel expansion, market activities and channel management. Among them, the role of expanding channels is very important for Agilent. Using partners and system integrators to expand adjacent markets is an urgent need for instrument manufacturers. In particular, the newly added authorized technology partners this year can expand Agilent's product applications to new market areas through the secondary technology development and system integration of these technology partners, In this way, Agilent's sales coverage and application range are increased, and the sales volume of products is further improved. Agilent's channel construction and management also emphasizes technology first, especially the classification management and technical training of distribution channel customers. Almost every year Agilent will carry out product application and maintenance skills training for customers of distribution partners according to its product plan, so that distribution partners can solve most of the guidance and maintenance tasks as much as possible. On the one hand, it is convenient for customers to apply products for technical support, on the other hand, it improves the service level of distribution partners, which is conducive to enhancing customer relations

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