How to Use Outsourcing to Focus on What Makes Your Distributorship Unique

February 2013, - WebXclusive

by Deborah Lockridge, Editor-in-Chief - Also by this author

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Michael Marks discusses how companies can differentiate themselves with the help of outsourcing.
Michael Marks discusses how companies can differentiate themselves with the help of outsourcing.
Do you think of outsourcing as something to be done because you simply can't get everything done you need to? If so, you may be missing an opportunity to think strategically and use outsourcing to help you focus on the "magic pixie dust," the "secret sauce" that makes your business unique.

"Here's another way to think about it," said Michael Marks, managing partner, Indian River Consulting Group, during a session at the recent Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week in Las Vegas. "How do you be remarkable? How do you make it compellingly easy for a customer to choose you instead of somebody else? The real answer for outsourcing is the strategic definition – do what you do best and buy the rest."

Distributors are turning to local and national companies to handle operations such as delivery, employee leasing, human resources, IT, accounting and training.

Marks stressed the importance of really figuring out what makes your company unique. Face it – how many of your competitors say they are successful because they offer great service and great people? "If everyone is good enough, the race to the bottom on price will start, changing the game," Marks said.

What to outsource?

"Think critically about what your sticky customers are actually buying from you without using the old tired words of service, relationship or trust."

Marks recommended companies sit down and consider what their three greatest strengths and their three greatest weaknesses.

"You never outsource your sweet spot – the reason customers buy from you. Those are your family jewels."

Candidates for outsourcing meet two criteria:

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