NORTHFIELD, IL — According to a new survey by the Industrial Performance Group (IPG), 82% of manufacturers and 92% of distributors say that deteriorating working relationships are eroding both sales performance and profitability.

The four-year study, called “Report Card Update,” was a follow-up to the organization’s “Report Card on Manufacturer-Distributor Relationships Study,” released in 1998. The latest study polled more than 750 manufacturers and 500 distributors.

According to IPG, the biggest problem manufacturers have with distributors is the lack of commitment to their product and promotional programs. Participating manufacturers also said that distributors lack sales and marketing skills as well as the ability to effectively manage inventory.

For distributors, the foremost problem is the ineffective or inconsistent management of territories by manu-facturers, according to the survey. The research also shows that distributors believe manufacturers continue to do a poor job of providing direction for their distributors.

For further information on the survey, call 800-867-2778.

Publication date: 08/20/2001