Consultant Organizing 12-Volt Distributor Group

Industry vet Ray Windsor hopes to bring consistency to supplier-distributor supply chain
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Laguna Niguel, Calif. – A new car electronics industry group founded by industry veteran Ray Windsor aims to “defragment and perhaps improve the organization of the retailer-distributor-supplier supply chain,” Windsor announced.

The group, called the Mobile Electronics Distributor (MED) merchandising group, plans to bring more predictable business practices to the distributor channel to “build an environment where there are fewer surprises between distributor and supplier,” he told TWICE. That “should also create better conditions for the retailers who depend on distributors for some portion of their purchases,” he said.

More predictable distribution, price, territory, purchasing-commitment, return and other policies could be adopted by distributors and suppliers who participate, he said.

Suppliers’ differing distributor-channel business policies, he noted, create unintended consequences for retailers and suppliers. For instance, he said, retailers “keep several distributors on the speed dial for the same brand” because “many distributors are regularly out of stock on popular models.” That issue occurs because “supplier programs for distributors are so restrictive regarding purchase-volume discount that the distributor waits until his order is big enough to get the best deal,” Windsor explained. In the meantime, a supplier waiting for orders “feels compelled to dump inventory to the opportunity buyers who might not always follow the suppliers’ distribution policies.” In turn, Windsor said, “this might make their [the supplier’s] direct distributors reluctant to take larger inventory risks for fear of owning inventory at too high a price, and on and on and on.”

Windsor ascribed such a scenario to “the lack of trust and predictability between the two members of the supply chain.”

Many 12-volt retailers depend on the distributors for just-in-time inventory, information about products, and sales training, he noted.

The concept has been endorsed by P and E Distributors in the Southeast and Eagle Distributors in Texas, Windsor said. During International CES, Windsor will meet with distributors to round up more MED charter members. He can be reached at ray@leadershipsystemsconsulting.com or at 949-228-2153.

The consultant previously was president of German Maestro USA until mid-2014. Before that he worked at Eclipse and was an Alpine rep.

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