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Channel Conflict With National Foodservice Provider

The Challenge: A leading national foodservice supplier had lost market share due to consolidation and resulting conflicts with its channel partners.

Assessment: Blue Canyon helped the company to recognize that it needed to take the lead role in its relationship with critical national customers. To restore its success, the firm had to assume responsibility for a number of elements of the overall relationship – contracts and negotiations, pricing, development of private-label products, and meeting certain service obligations.

Strategic Solution: Blue Canyon defined an explicit framework for this firm’s channel management. This framework recognized that both the supplier and its distributors were essential to success, but that the mix of responsibilities varied from the past and from the approach the firm used with its other direct customers. These insights resulted in the development of specific channel policies with respect to authorizations, rewards, business systems, and training that were defined and implemented.

A distributor relationship management process was developed and implemented to ensure success with key distributor relationships. This process was particularly valuable in terms of ensuring that there was consistency between plans developed at the national level and their execution at the local level. Within a year, this firm had recovered its lost market share and restored its sales through distribution to the growth path which had existed previously.

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