Independent welding and gas distributors in the US have been discussing “disruption” in our industry for some time. In fact, under Bill Visintainer’s leadership in 2016, how to deal with disruption was a major focus for the Gases and Welding Distributor Association (GAWDA).
In our interview with Visintainer that year, he said, “Providing information to the end-user about products and services is a big part of what distributors do. Today we struggle to make sure that we remain relevant in the face of changing platforms and channels.”
Changing platforms and channels is what is at the heart of disruption. The complexity and speed at which technology is being introduced make decisions about investing in digital platforms and managing sales channels a challenge. As Ken Thompson, a seasoned industrial gas distribution professional said in his article on this topic (“Managing Disruption Successfully,” gasworld.com/2010794.article) good managers continually look at their ‘technology’ to see if they are keeping up with advancing platforms, not only for their own benefit, but in terms of providing the best in customer service. As Thompson notes, there are two sides to the technology equation – how is it serving your business needs and how it addressing your customers’ requirements?
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