6 things you need to be looking for from your distribution provider

Posted by John Perner on March 1, 2018
Perhaps you are unhappy with your Direct Store Delivery (DSD) provider. Perhaps you are curious about some of the options out there...Here are 6 things that you need to be asking yourself about the provider’s capacity and capability.

1. Is your DSD provider well-financed?

Are they able to meet minimums and buy truckload quantities? If not, you'll always struggle with out-of-stocks at retail and this, as you know, hurts not only sales but reputation with the retailers that carry your products. 

2. What type of warehouse space does your provider have?

Do they have the space to store your product? If the DSD provider doesn’t have enough space, and they rely more heavily on your facility, that could cause delays in getting the product to stores. Do they have multiple warehouses? Product stored closer to the marketplace allows you to be more nimble and replenish more readily.

3. What does their fleet look like?

Does your provider only have a fleet of vans or does it have a large fleet with current-model, heavy-duty trucks that can handle big loads? A small fleet sometimes means your product won’t make it on board this week. Oops! You won’t get your product replenished at store-level -- something we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t be happy about.  You want a company with capacity to move your product around with ease. Again… nimble movement = better. If this has happened to you, you might relate to this... click here. 

4. What are their Stocking & Merchandising capabilities?

Is it one person servicing a region with multiple stores? Or does the Merchandiser meet the delivery, and put the product out on shelves that day or the very next? Someone servicing a multitude of stores always has the potential to run into issues. This means they may not get there causing your product to go missing on store shelves. A field force of dedicated store Merchandisers means they are there, on-schedule, every week.

5. What is your provider's footprint?

How big is your provider's coverage area? How far is the provider able to go? Are they local, regional, state (or province)-wide, country-wide, or multi-country? How many providers do you need to engage to get everywhere you want to be? The more providers you need to engage with, the more hassles you will encounter. That’s not to say other companies aren’t great and don’t try their best, it’s just that the more variables that you enter into any mix, the higher the potential that something will go squirrelly. A company with a large footprint will be able to serve you better and able to facilitate your growth.

6. How many people do you deal with?

This is especially key if there is an issue or problem ~ unfortunately, this is just part of life. Do you have one point of contact for all of your service needs? The more people you need to deal with, the more your time will be taken up… in dealing with situations that need to be made better.  Imagine: what if... you had a single point of contact that you could call? How would that free up your time? People under-estimate the time that it takes to track down issues and solve problems, and your time is valuable.  
TNG excels in warehousing, transportation, stocking, merchandising and footprint.  Should any issue arise, a single point of contact sets us apart.  Let us do what we do best so that you can do what you do best.  
To learn more about our distribution capabilities and capacity, click here

Topics: Distribution, DSD, delivery

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