DKSH is a market expansion services group that focuses on Asia. In this article, the company answers questions
about the role international distributors play in the chemicals industry.
is a market expansion services group that focuses on Asia.
The company integrates international sourcing, marketing, sales, warehousing,
logistics and distribution, and support of highly specialized products and
services in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Here the company answers
questions about the role international distributors play in the chemicals
DKSH PM is present in 26 countries.
What are the Advantages of Using a Distributor?
Distributors allow customers to focus on their core business
- manufacturing chemicals. Most international distributors can offer a range of
services (such as logistics, customs clearance, warehousing, technical and
customer support, quality assurance, and regulatory compliance) that many
foreign suppliers cannot provide to potential customers. Distributors can have
a broader palette to work from relative to supply. In addition, distributors
can source and bundle a number of materials from several suppliers into one
shipment to the customer, saving on the number of orders, total freight,
International distributors can provide local market information with import
knowledge. They allow the opportunity to test new products and harvest old
products. International distributors allow the exporter to both take advantage
of a developed market and avoid commitments to an unexplored market.
International distributors such as DKSH offer a full range of market expansion
services. DKSH stands apart from the rest because it has been entrenched in Asia for more than 140 years and has over 20,000
What Benefits Can Distributors Provide?
Distributors are often perceived as an additional layer (and
cost) for a product, one that brings no benefit to the customer. In short,
distribution is sometimes seen as third-party technical sales for the
raw-material supplier. Many of the suppliers are not large enough to market and
sell their products directly, so distributors bridge the gap. The major benefit
of distribution is the ability to offer customers a variety of products from various
raw material suppliers.
From an international perspective, distributors offer the same time zone
(mostly), local language, and market-specific trends and information as is
found in their home country. International distributors can oftentimes bundle
together raw materials sourced from around the globe and ship them more
efficiently than their domestic counterparts.
What are the Differences Between Domestic and International Distributors?
- Represent primarily domestic suppliers.
- Tend to promote products by geography.
- May have more limited sourcing options.
- Usually offer one-way service (product to customer).
- May have a limited view of the markets they serve, as they may only
represent a handful of states.
- May have difficulty working through international logistics,
sourcing, duties, language barriers, etc.
- Primarily represent foreign suppliers.
- Tend to promote products nationally/internationally by
- Have greater latitude and selection of principals to
- Can balance regional supply by exchange rate, logistics,
- Have dominant cultural influence to leverage international channel
- Can coordinate globally to offer the same customer the same product
(from the same source) around the globe.
- Have global networking teams, which help customers to spot global
trends and stay current on global technology development.
- Can expand a formulator's raw materials “toolbox.”
- Offer outstanding global chemical search capabilities.
- Can offer two-way and a range of market expansion services.
How is the Current Economy Affecting Distributors?
economy affects everyone from the top of the pyramid (consumer) to the bottom
(base raw-material supplier); distributors are not immune. Distributors sell
across a variety of industries, so the more diversified the business is, the
easier it is to withstand the economic downturns and industry cycles.
Distributors are currently suffering from higher fuel costs for marine, air,
train and truck transportation due to the rise in oil prices. Raw materials are
directly impacted by the cost of oil, but transportation is a secondary cost
that many customers tend to forget about when purchasing goods. International
distributors like DKSH offer a range of market-expansion services that provide
more value to their customers. In many cases, depending on the economy, they
have the ability to focus more on sourcing for overseas offices, which is
something a domestic distributor can't do.
For more information, phone (973) 810-5511 or e-mail
This article originally appeared in
Paint & Coatings Industry magazine,