Dealers--Changing Distribution Models
"The channel is recognizing something that has not previously been done: We don't just deliver the products; we are supporting processes," NAGASA's Brehm points out. "If I am selling and delivering a product, then I sell something and deliver it—and that's that. But the healthy companies in the channel are recognizing that we are in the 'process support' business."
"To compete, a graphic arts dealer will have to do systems integration work and be able to service products," FitzPatrick agrees.
Digital business, therefore, is bringing dealers closer to distributors while bringing buyers closer to sellers. Whether the dealer or distributor builds that functionality into its business model or the printer helps him do it, the end result will be faster order submission, and possibly a whole new way of viewing business. But the underlying message is that business on the Internet is still so new that anything can happen; the only revolutionary idea so far is the Internet itself.