Want to shift stuff? Channel Biz will show you how
Ebay and Amazon must be causing everyone to freeze in their boots as the internet continues to chip away at almost every business model on the planet.
If you want groceries, if you want PCs, or even if you want books, then Amazon has the infrastructure and the logistics to deliver them to you. Etailers that don’t get the picture will disappear, and the last 15 years have shown the world that if you’re not flight of foot, your business will vanish down the tube.
The posh word for this is disintermediation – a long word better summed up in the shorter phrase, “cut out the middle man”.
Let’s give you an example – the model started very early with newspapers and journalism. Pixels are far cheaper than pots of ink and you don’t need lorries or trucks to be up at an unearthly time the night before to make sure your precious cargo tips up at a newsagent in time for no-one to buy a single copy. The traditional print publishers have really taken a very long time to get their head round this and in the meantime have bled money.
Research published yesterday by NetMedia Europe showed that the traditional UK channel believes the solution to shrinking margins and other woes is to throw more sales staff at the problem. The problem is that you have to be Fred Astaire in the 21st century – the “traditional” approaches to business don’t work any more. And not everyone is Fred Astaire and can lithely dance their way across the stage. No-one likes change, at first, and in fact change is forced on old business models in this internet age.
Meanwhile, the manufacturers are left with a simple problem that doesn’t necessarily have an easy answer – they have factories churning out materials and if they don’t find a way to sell these goods, quite simply they’re stuck with the equivalent of four day old rotting fish. In such circumstances, high tech companies like Intel will find new routes to market – they’re not driven by desperation but simply have to keep rolling on to keep their inventories as low as possible and to pay a 110,000 employee payroll.
Naturally, the IBMs and Intels of this world don’t want to upset their channel partners and strive to keep strong relationships with them in this shrinking world. But they have factories, they have got to sell their kit, and there is a new class of agent who can find routes to market and source equipment and goods. Did you know there are still warehouses choc-a-bloc with Pentium 4s, and Pentium Twos for that matter too?
The new kind of agent will find a route to market for you. In the next of these pieces we will show you how you can be a nimble Fred Astaire reseller in the 21st century without having to spend very much at all and compete with the “giants” of the trade.