It is everyone’s wish to be part of the newest thing out in the marketplace; to garner all the rewards and market domination in a rapidly expanding new market, and successfully retain those rewards and market dominance. There are hundreds of examples of start-up businesses that exhibited awesome potential in the beginning, but failed to reach their potential due to a number of reasons; many beyond the immediate control of the entrepreneur involved. It can be an equal challenge to maintain your position in a mature or declining market, or even increase market share in a mature market when you envision the opportunity to provide something new and fresh, and gain market share at the expense of an incumbent product supplier (competitor).
In the supply chain sector, there is nothing more satisfying than engaging a service provider that is already involved and adept in a rapidly expanding commodity sector. Economies-of-scale continue to grow as more entrants markets seek out the dominant providers, hoping to take advantage of existing infrastructure and skill sets.
For vendors in a more mature, or possibly a declining market, there can be huge challenges if it is becoming under-serviced, and economies-of-scale are being lost. The challenge is to be able to seek out the innovators who are bringing new ideas and applications into the market sector, building on the strengths that are integral to their own operation and service offerings. Those strengths cannot be something that have been created anew, but rather exist in a similar form already within the 3PL’s organization, and have been adapted or refined to apply to your market sector. The print sector is one that has been under huge pressure for a number of years, as new platforms of information dissemination have been developed.
- The quantity and variety of magazines are down.
- Books are under increasing pressure from the various e-reader formats.
- Newspapers struggle to provide relevance and timely news updates.
Familiar methods of providing information are threatened with being pushed aside as new and up-to-the-minute technology comes into being. Yet the industry is learning to co-exist and even become integrated with the new technology. Service providers within this sector have adapted and evolved to provide newer and more innovative ways of managing the physical distribution of hard copy information sources.
All mature markets can take advantage of sophistication and skill sets that have been honed in other markets. The challenge is determining who can best apply those skill sets to a totally different market, and be successful at it.
Suggested Decision Criteria:
- Seek out providers who have endured through the ups and downs of market dynamics.
- Seek out providers who provide ‘new age’ technology, combined with the maximum amount of market experiences.
- Seek out providers who are expanding their service offerings, not struggling to just hold on to what they have.
- Seek out providers who are committed to providing all the resources needed to ensure successful solutions and innovations.
Above all, seek out providers that you resonate with; that you feel comfortable with; that you believe you can do business with because they have your best interests at heart.