COLUMBUS, Ohio — Twenty-one Heating, Airconditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) members participated in the Texas A&M University Optimizing Channel Compensation Workshop held July 31 to August 1 in Chicago. This workshop was the culmination of an 18-month study designed to identify best practices in demonstrating value and creating fair compensation for all channel partners in wholesale distribution.

Dr. Barry Lawrence, program director, industrial distribution program at Texas A&M, said the inspiration for the consortium was a number of issues, including margin pressure and expansion of services on the part of the distributor being two of the most crucial.

“The dialogue between the manufacturer and distributor has been in decline for many years. Distributors must revise this process,” Lawrence said. “This issue will determine the survival of firms.”

Lawrence presented the results of the study through several half-hour modules. The first sessions focused on channel management, commitment, performance and contribution analysis, and communication. Additional segments concentrated on compensation, building a framework, implementing channel drivers, and adapting to channel forces.

The HARDI Foundation sponsored three distributors and three suppliers for participation in the study, which began in February 2012.

Publication date: 8/18/2014

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