The purpose of this paper is to identify critical success factors (CSF) and to examine their influence on the performance of Polish agricultural distributors operating within local agro-food systems.
A mixed methods research approach comprising eight in-depth expert interviews and regression analysis of unbalanced panel data based upon a sample of 22 of the most significant Polish agricultural distributors over the period 2006−2016 is applied.
The following CSF have been identified and confirmed empirically: market share, gross margins (GM), high accounts payable levels, low assets maintenance, sound historical results and the use of external financing. Additionally, the regression model, based on stated variables, has been estimated. The highest regression coefficient values of GM, market share and accounts payable appear to play key roles in enhancing these companies’ performance.
First, only Polish agricultural distribution companies with the market share exceeding 80 percent are considered. Second, not all of the identified CSF have been empirically tested, but only CSF filtered out by industry experts as the most important.
The proposed set of CSF can be directly implemented by agricultural distributors in order to focus on critical areas and therefore improve their performance.
The first set of CSF for agricultural distributors is identified, empirically tested and presented. Furthermore, the significance of the proposed CSF has been econometrically measured.
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