Case Study 2.5.2019

Transforming the Product Distribution Business

Trexin led an innovative distributor through a business + digital transformation assessment, strategy, and roadmap.

Transforming the Product Distribution Business

Business Driver

Our Client, a mid-sized, regional product distributor, grew rapidly from a joint venture by focusing on providing high-quality, high-touch services in a relatively commoditized product distribution market characterized by intense price pressure and on-hand inventory. Despite the business’ recent success, the CEO recognized that the company would become increasingly vulnerable to disruptive innovations and technology-driven competitors, so he selected Trexin to lead a business and digital transformation assessment, strategy, and roadmap to define the business strategy and execution plan to grow the business a further 20% within 3 years, expand its profit margin, and digitally disrupt itself before a competitor did.


Applying our strategy execution methodology that links a business goal and strategy to specific tactics and constituent future-state capabilities that explicitly represent how a strategy is implemented, Trexin led a 10-week effort that started by interviewing over 24 internal leaders across 8 functional areas that included executive leadership, marketing, 3 sales regions, 3 product groups, finance, HR, operations, and IT. We also incorporated a voice-of-the-customer (VoC) component and met with 14 different customers across 5 different industry segments to ask them what they valued most in their relationship with our Client and what areas of future value would be most important to them as they strive to better serve their own customers. With the collective insights of the internal interviews and VoC meetings, along with an inventory of current-state capabilities, we then conducted a series of workshops with our Client’s leadership teams to define a strategy, decompose that into specific tactics, and define a future-state vision for how those tactics would be materialized through specific people, process, and technology capabilities. The project then culminated by organizing the future-state capability enhancement needs into a set of 16 discrete projects that were prioritized, sequenced, and distributed across a 3-year project roadmap.


Recognizing that our Client’s high-touch approach was a critical success factor that must be preserved, Trexin quickly advanced a consensus view that any type of digital transformation should focus on increasing customer touchpoints rather than decreasing them by simply automating activities that were currently being done manually. The result was a set of 6 specific tactics and accompanying future-state capabilities designed to optimize internal operations, especially within sales and order management, while simultaneously introducing a series of new digital capabilities to enhance the overall customer experience through extended access to data, analytics, systems integration, and personalized, mobile access. Our Client is now in the process of executing their strategy and is excited about continuing their rapid growth enabled by better serving their customers, both now and in a more digitalized future.

Tagged in: Growth & Acceleration, Products & Distribution, Strategy & Innovation