Independent Dealer Development Report Now Available

Outdoor power equipment leaders share their challenges and opportunities to grow via the independent dealer network.

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Black Ink Technologies, the software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based customer and sales intelligence analytics platform for the durable goods industry, recently released its Independent Dealer Development Report and Guidance, which features findings and insights from its recent study on the challenges and opportunities concerning the durable goods manufacturing industry that sell through independent authorized retailers.

In June of 2018, Black Ink Technologies worked in conjunction with EPG Media’s Power Group’s publications representing the outdoor power equipment (OPE), power sports and boating industries to conduct the online blind survey. The respondents were original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) distributors, and independent sales representatives.

The study shows that the majority of respondents are well behind the curve of adopting even the most basic sales enablement tools to help mitigate human capital waste, create greater customer-centric value and engage in more fact-based conversations with dealers about market growth opportunity. Some of the major obstacles include data fidelity and access, automated reporting, and a general mind-set of being product-centric vs. market-centric.

“I fully recognize that many OEMs and distributors don’t sell through traditional channels or even through Big Box, but there are lessons to be learned from them that can be applied to their business model,” said Jeff Winsper, president at Black Ink Technologies. “The irony lies within which type of retailer/dealer truly has the competitive advantage at the local level. Big Box or the independent dealer?

“The Big Box has very little understanding of their end-user customer who buys their product, but is armed with real-time retail analytics. The independent dealer is much more customer-centric, even on a personal level, yet is woefully lagging with analytics and digital presence to take smart actions to grow the business. And guess who is growing more these days? The Big Box stores. I believe it is time for the OEM, distributor and independent dealer supply chain to break away from the 1990s status quo of inertia to grow key consumer/pro segments at a pace it deserves.”

“Inventory planning, driving incremental profit and creating precise end-user demand are just the beginning steps for empowering field sales people to have more meaningful independent dealer discussions,” said Bill Brunelle, co-founder of Independent We Stand. “This report shows the opportunities and shortcomings of OEMs and distributors.”

For the findings from Black Ink Technologies’ Independent Dealer Development Report and Guidance, please visit