219. The Needs For Speed Vary By Customer Niche

In General: Sooner is Better

When buying a commodity – with all factors being equal – quicker delivery or answers win.

Entire business niches have been created/dominated by fastest response (e.g. Dominos Pizzas). The fastest delivery is: already there! Think of – just in case, curated SKUs – stored in special cabinets or vending machines. (Who pays or shares in the cost of both the upfront design solution and inventory investment is negotiable).

Amazon’s – Next-Day; half-day; etc. – Ambitions

Amazon is delivering evermore (B2B) goods ever faster. Delivery for US Prime members was 2 days transitioning to 1-day (with 12-hours in big cities for a 24-hour ordering cycle). Then, what next?

But! Not all B2B customers want super-fast, delivery all the time for all needs. And, your net-unprofitable customers are not deserving of the service expense they currently leach. Why not first identify and meet the speed-needs of key (most net-profitable) customers and customer niches?

Distributor, Niche, Speed-Need Examples

  1. A niche of will-call customers wants to: place an order 15-minutes in advance of picking up the few SKUs needed for specific repair jobs. Upon arrival, they want to get in and out within 5 minutes.

To own this niche the distributor must have:

  1. a convenient location;
  2. one-stop-shop, in-stock fill-rates for…
  3. the target-customer niche’s product array needs;
  4. cross-trained personnel and
  5. a fulfilment system

– all to meet the 15 and 5-minute targets at peak rush times.

  1. Another niche of customers has a sub-group of their customers who want job quotes ASAP. But, this type of job requires goods that must be made and shipped from a factory.

A distributor figured out how to guarantee half-day response time for “price and delivery date”. And, often replied within 30 minutes. They dominate this lucrative, customer niche.

Your Best, Speed-Need Opportunities?

  1. Rank all customers by net-profitability. Note especially the ones who have repeated, drop-ship-order, quote needs.
  2. Sort the best customers into different niches of similarity
  3. Visit some to identify peculiar service metric needs common to the niche including speed needs.
  4. Invent the service value/speed capability.

Results: grow sales, order-size and rebates as by-products of customer-centric, service value solutions.

For More on How To’s:

Skim through my 12 webinar series .

Then, zero in on  “plays” 7 and 8 in webinar #5!