Distributor Pricing and Analytics

How Smarter Pricing and Analytics Will Shape 2022 for Distributors

In a recent MDM interview, John Gunderson discussed how 2022 is shaping up for the distribution industry. If there’s anything he wants to emphasize, it’s inventory. What inventory challenges might distributors face in 2022? How will smarter pricing and analytics for inventory ultimately determine which companies (both large and small) will come out on top by year’s end?

Gunderson is VP of EpaCUBE and has built a 20-year career that’s seen him on sales and marketing leadership teams for companies such as Crescent Electric, Anixter, HD Supply, and EIS. In that time, he’s developed quite a passion for smarter pricing and operational analytics. So, fittingly, he has found his way to EpaCUBE, a pricing optimization provider.

Inventory Challenges

Supply chain disruption seems like the only thing we’ve heard about for months now. The subsequent inventory challenges that distributors have been facing have been felt by all shoppers across the country. So, it’s uplifting to hear from Gunderson that those issues are “going to straighten out a little bit this year.” Meaning that success won’t be reserved for the big players lucky enough to hold inventory and take advantage of competitor shortages. Instead, as we return to what Gunderson calls “normal distribution dynamics,” what will have a greater impact on who wins or loses will be having the right pricing.

Pricing Adjustments

To price right, you need to balance your customer relationships with analytics. Understanding where to sell, where they’re underpricing, and your value prop will go hand in hand with relationship selling. Finding opportunities for pricing adjustments with analytics is where any distributor, large or small, can grow share this year.

And yes, distributors of all sizes are included in this race. While experience says that the larger distributors with deeper pockets grow their share in a downturn through market capitalization and acquisitions, that’s not the full story. Those large companies also have top-tier analytics guiding every step along the way. Luckily, those analytics aren’t reserved for large distributors.

With pricing optimization tools like White Cup Pricing, small distributors can unlock the same analytics driving growth for the bigger players. According to Gunderson, “small distributors who embrace pricing optimization, sales analytics, a decent e-commerce platform, and go out and arm their sales team with strong analytics are the ones that are going to take share.”

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