The number one thing telling me that we're all expendable is how stores seem to be hiding behind "if it's not scripted, we can't run it." Long-time, pristinely-kept displays going down left and right every time a store has company because it's not listed in the corporate bible. Couple this with CAO and stores transitioning to the online pick-up model and the sales aspect of being a sales rep has basically evaporated.
Wal-Mart CAO gets a lot of the attention, but I've been deleting those and writing fresh since it started and no one's caught on. Accounts with store-side CAO have basically made reps into merchandisers. I drive 90 minutes out of my way (rural territory) to my Food Lion just to be handed a piece of paper with my order on it and be told that's what I get. Maybe can talk them into an extra case of Ritz if it's first of the month. If we're not selling and not ordering, what's the use?
It's an industry-wide shift. In a few years the online pick-up bays in a store will be getting just as much upkeep and attention as the sales floor (if not more), and DSD simply doesn't fit into that model.