It remains a challenge to create and manage a professional sales and marketing agency specializing in representing a synergistic group of suppliers to a demanding customer base.
* Initially, the independent manufacturers' representative agency must procure the services of other professionals (CPAs, lawyers, tax consultants, etc.) in order to achieve their business goals. As a result, the initial efforts are to find the appropriate advisory firms to work with.
* Then there is the difficulty of finding employees who add their expertise to the sales team.
* A third challenge is that of investigating the technology systems and data management programs that work in a specific industry.
* And finally, those items are relatively easy to surmount in comparison to finding the right vendors to represent and-at the other end of the equation-create and appropriately service a customer base.
During the life of the agency there may be opportunities to reconfigure the business via many avenues:
* seeking new markets
* expanding the customer base or the sales territory
* offering new services
* merging with a similar firm
* selling the business or, purchasing another agency.
All opportunities for change must be measured in light of the firm's business plan and strategies for growth.
This manual addresses many of the aspects of operating a multiple-line independent manufacturers' representative sales agency. It is truly an entrepreneurial business whose total efforts are focused on the movement of products produced at any point on the globe to the "local" customer. While challenges present themselves, the rewards can be personally satisfying.