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In the past, having the right products with the right pricing was usually enough to assure an acceptable level of sales performance and profitability. However, products and pricing no longer provide competitive advantage. As a result of excess capacity and globalization they have become the basic requirements for competing in any industry.

Today more than ever before competitive advantage and profitability stem from the efficient management of intangible assets such as relationships, information, knowledge and capabilities.

Realizing the true value of intangible assets requires that a manufacturer and distributor develop a plan/strategy that explains how the two parties are going to work together to accomplish their sales goals. Whether the plan/strategy is based on innovation, cost leadership, customization, or logistical excellence it must provide a rational, realistic and workable means to effectively focus and deploy the intangible assets in the working relationship.

How does you current plan/strategy stack up?

• Do you feel as though you are constantly shifting priorities in response to changing market conditions?

• Is there a significant gap between what both parties hope to achieve and what actually happens?

• Do you have a general sense that you are both not on the same page?

If you answered to YES any of these questions there is a good chance that your plan/strategy could use some work.

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