Seven deadly sins of manufacturers and distributors


March 7, 2019

Learn how to avoid the seven deadly sins that impede success in digital transformation.

The title of the seven deadly sins of manufacturers and distributors is sure to raise a few eyebrows. What is so deadly about the sins these segments face? The sins relate to the challenge teams encounter as they embark on digital transformation in their organizations. Change is hard. Today’s buyers have changed dramatically in the last five to ten years. The ways in which  manufacturing  and distribution organizations have operated in the past, won’t engage buyers today in our omnichannel world.

In this episode of PIMtalk, inriver podcast host, Thomas Sjöberg sat down with Andy Didyk, vice president of sales and marketing for Ntara. As a leading full-service digital agency that is heavily focused on manufacturers and distributors, Didyk discusses the importance of change in the digital age. The conversation highlighted seven mistakes manufacturing and distribution organizations tend to make time and again. These common mistakes are preventing them from obtaining maximum potential and may impact customer experience, time-to-market, and revenue generation.

The Seven Deadly Sins

So why the “seven deadly sins” reference? Taking a theological approach to his explanation, Didyk said these missteps are best described as sins. According to Didyk, “By definition, sin separates you from the divine being you’re interacting with. In this case, it’s the customers and opportunities that these companies are missing out on.”

“These sins separate  the organizations from being able to take the next steps in the digital transformation,” Didyk said. “Separating them from their clients, customers, and even broader industry organizations, preventing them from becoming what they can be in today.”


Fear of change is not uncommon. In fact, it’s often named as the biggest reason for failed digital transformation projects. Fear of the unknown in integrating legacy processes, systems, and digital tools is often what holds organizations back from embracing change via  Forbes. This sin, fear of change, is prevalent across industries and verticals, not just manufacturing and distribution. Whatever the industry, when leaders resist change, they also  miss opportunities to leverage legacy systems  and turn them  into new business values. Adoption of new ideas brings new opportunities.


Perhaps this sin is easiest to overcome?  Didyk cites laziness as one sin where companies are failing to learn from competitors. The good news is that should be an easy fix. Top-performing manufacturing and distribution organizations anticipate customer needs, market changes, and stay ahead of demand. Teams must be proactive and not reactive.

The complete list of seven sins?  Overconfidence, Vanity, Fear, Apathy, Indifference, Laziness, and Negligence. These  are the basis for most of the problems Didyk has seen in his twelve years at Ntara. Despite the challenges associated with each sin, Didyk explains that for every struggling manufacturer or distributor, there is a solution.

Redemption, perhaps?

Listen to the full podcast here.


Erika Goldwater, CIPP

Director of Global Communications

Erika Goldwater is the director of global communications for inriver. An industry veteran, Erika lives and breathes B2B marketing, content, public relations, and data privacy. She’s a Boston marketer who hails from Baltimore.