The study highlights the extent of the transformation challenge for National Sales Companies transitioning to an agency model.

Amsterdam, February 21, 2024 – Management and technology consultancy BearingPoint has taken a deep look into the challenges that many OEMs face with implementing the agency model, leading to several of them announcing program delays. The study, “Wholesale Change – The Agency Implementation Challenge,” sheds light on the extent of the transformation required by car manufacturers as they transition to the agency sales model, focusing on the National Sales Companies (NSCs) as the focal point of the complexity. The NSCs fundamentally need to become agile B2C retail organizations, which is a significant transition from their current wholesale role in many cases. The study identifies 10 critical impact areas and capabilities, ranging from sales culture to vehicle stock management, contributing to implementation delays.

Dr. Stefan Penthin, Global Leader of Automotive and Industrial Manufacturing at BearingPoint

The agency model allows manufacturers to establish a direct connection with their consumers, presenting significant opportunities but also a clear challenge in implementation – and a potentially high cost of failure. The NSCs are critical to the success of the model, and we believe there are 10 key impact areas they need to get right to ensure the success of the agency transition.

Dr. Stefan Penthin, Global Leader of Automotive and Industrial Manufacturing at BearingPoint

Driving direct-to-consumer success

The principal difference between a franchise and agency model is that the manufacturer contracts directly with customers, and the retailers act as “agents.” This brings a host of responsibility changes across the sales process and calls for new capabilities at the NSC to be developed to support the new model. Many of these changes result in the NSC absorbing activities from their retailers, which adds further complexity to the transition.

Manuel Schuler, Partner at BearingPoint

OEMs must recognize the symbiotic nature of their relationship with retailers. It’s not about working against them but joining forces with the retailer to build on their local knowledge and foster collaboration with their agents. The key is to orchestrate a win-win situation, ensuring that the OEMs and sellers harmonize efforts toward shared success in delivering unparalleled value to the end consumer.

Manuel Schuler, Partner at BearingPoint

Mind the gap: NSC impact areas

BearingPoint’s top ten critical impact areas show where NSCs must focus to successfully transform from B2B wholesale operations to agile B2C retail organizations. The study highlights the critical capabilities that warrant the most attention to avoid implementation delays and support the successful execution of the agency sales model.

BearingPoint emphasizes that successful agency implementation will likely be incremental and iterative. The NSCs need to bring in new B2C retail skills to bridge the gap in retail expertise and local market knowledge to support activities that they now own. The model itself will need to be adapted to each organization’s strategy, processes, and system architectures, and this, too, will require effort on a continuous improvement basis. Successful implementation will see the agency NSCs transform into data-driven retail-centric businesses that can sense and respond to changing customer and market dynamics and fine-tune their capabilities accordingly.

Read the study to find out more about the transformation required by the national sales companies and the top ten critical impact areas:

About BearingPoint

BearingPoint is an independent management and technology consultancy with European roots and a global reach. The company operates in three business units: Consulting, Products, and Capital. Consulting covers the advisory business with a clear focus on selected business areas. Products provides IP-driven digital assets and managed services for business-critical processes. Capital delivers M&A and transaction services.

BearingPoint’s clients include many of the world’s leading companies and organizations. The firm has a global consulting network with more than 10,000 people and supports clients in over 70 countries, engaging with them to achieve measurable and sustainable success.

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