Facts and Figures

The industry in numbers

As a bridge between the market levels (e.g. between wholesale and retail) commercial agents play an important role for the German economy. Annually, about 32,000 agencies with approx. 83,000 employees negociate goods worth approx. € 167 billion per year, including annual sales of approx. € 1 billion per year.

Principals

In general, commercial agents perform for more than one business. According to “CDH statistics 2016” agencies represent 4,7 principals on average. In addition, the importance of foreign businesses has decreased a little bit in the recent years. Currently, nearly about half of the agencies act for at least one foreign business.

Customers

The different activities of commercial agents reflect the variety of their customers. CDH statistics show  that the main customers are both manufacturing (industry 47%, craft 19%) and retail sector. About 54% of the agents are active for the retail industry, 52% for the wholesale sector, 7% for the food service industry and almost 15% for public institutions.

Employees

Commercial agencies are mostly small and medium-sized businesses.In the examined trade representatives in the “CDH statistics 2016”, an average of 3.2 persons are employed full-time, Of this, active holders are 1.1 persons and 2.1 persons are employed. In addition, there are an average of 0.9 part-time employees, 0.2 of whom are marginal employees.

Distribution: Make or Buy – Own field service or external know-how?

Distribution is growing in importance
Good products alone no longer guarantee success.

Distribution is growing in difficulty
Largely saturated, fiercely competitive markets are restricting the margin of leeway.

Distribution must be optimized
Lean structures, market-oriented strategies and a favourable cost situation are vital.

High distribution quality and low costs
Isn`t that a contradiction? Not if distribution functions are outsourced to external experts.

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