Empower manufacturer field sales to buy into new ideas and products
December 25, 2004
Who Justin Aschenbrenner, Vice President Industrial Business Development, Power Transmission Division, Gates Corporation (Denver, CO)
Number of production facilities: 68 plants in 21 countries
Number of employees: 23,600
Key products: Belts, hose and hydraulics, pulleys and tensioners
The foundation for empowering field sales people is built around trust. If we do our job as management to communicate the intent, the direction and the thinking about our business, then our people are going to do the right thing in the field.
Instead of trying to control everything the salespeople do, we now enable them to have more authority. We've made their lives a little bit ...
Key customer base: Oil & gas, forest products, metal and non-metal mining, general manufacturing
When you know who to go to, you can resolve problems more effectively and efficiently. As a distributor, we have the dual responsibility of communicating proficiently with both our suppliers and customers.
It's amazing to me that some of our suppliers' representatives have never taken the time to get to know us. That scares me. Knowing the key people to deal with is ...
On the strength of its catalog, J& L Industrial Supply Co. built a powerful national presence as a distributor in metalworking supplies. But in its pursuit of further growth, the company found that it was getting very little of its customers' day-to-day MRO business. Those purchases went to companies with a local presence.
This led the Livonia, MI-based unit of Kennametal Inc. to rethink its business and adopt a different model. Chuck Moyer, vice president of marketing and supply chain management, calls it a hybrid of a catalog distributor and a more traditional multi-channel distribution operation.
In the new model, which J& L has implemented as an evolutionary change over the past three years, the catalog would still be a high-profile marketing tool, but would be ...
W.W. Grainger, Chicago, IL, reported sales for 2003 of $4,667.0 million were essentially flat versus 2002 sales of $4,643.9 million. Net earnings for the year were $227 million, up 7 percent versus $212 million in 2002. Sales in the 2003 fourth quarter were $1,154.4 million, up 3 percent versus the prior year fourth quarter. Net earnings of $62 million were down 1 percent versus $63 million in the 2002 fourth quarter.
U.S. sales for the branch-based distribution business declined 1% in 2003 as compared with 2002. Government account sales were up nearly 11% in 2003, while all other customer segments, including light and heavy manufacturing, were down when compared with 2002. Within these customer segments, sales to national accounts increased approximately 2% over 2002.
To compete effectively in a high-volume, low-margin market, this wholesaler of music and video products needed to increase order-processing efficiency, reduce its five to seven percent error rate, and stock a larger number of titles. So it automated and integrated order, inventory and shipping systems. Result: Revenues went from $11 million in 2000 to $47 million today.
Founded in 1990, Super D, a worldwide wholesaler of pre-recorded audio and video entertainment products, has enjoyed year-to-year growth and success. With headquarters and a 50,000 square foot distribution facility in Irvine, CA and offices around the world, thousands of successful retailers rely on the company to fulfill their orders, including Tower Records.
Take care of the customer and the rest will come. That's one of the keys that Sonny's Enterprises found to differentiate in a competitive industry. The company's execution of that principle is a rare lesson in creating a bulletproof vertical market position. Sonny's is a manufacturer of car wash systems and equipment, as well as a distributor of parts, supplies, accessories, and detailing products for the carwash industry.
'We are positioned and ready before the customer knows what he wants,' says Paul Fazio, president of Sonny's Enterprises Inc., Tamarac, FL. That's a tall statement for any company to make, but this one has the industry roots, wings and results to make it stick.
The founder of Sonny's was a car wash operator for 29 years before entering the distribution and '
This article is an excerpt from the book, Stand Out from the Competition! Four Pathways to Differentiate Your Wholesale Distribution Company.
How would you like to source product in 12 different countries, bring it to one location and sell it within seven days at a profit? That's a snapshot of how product moves through the wholesale flower channel.
"We're a logistics company that happens to be in the flower business," says Bob Wilkins, CEO of Delaware Valley Wholesale Florists. That description fits a company with the tagline, "We deliver freshness." Consider that this $75-million company with 400 employees moves well over $1 million of perishable products each week into a market area that serves Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York City and the surrounding ...
Beerman Precision, New Orleans, La., is a $10 million power tool distributor with a distinct twist. Less than half of its annual revenues comes from product and accessory sales. A complete array of services around all its products'repair, parts, service and rental'positions the company as a power tool specialist with deep expertise in its chosen field of competition.
This article is an excerpt from our book, Stand Out from the Competition! Four Pathways to Differentiate Your Wholesale Distribution Company.
A better description might be to call Beerman a power-tool support specialist that sells what it services. Its parts business accounts for about a third of sales; the rental business is about 20%. Repairs are less than 10% of sales but a key piece of the ...
In his upcoming book, Reinventing Distributor Profitability, Bruce discusses six strategy maps for distribution companies to use. In this excerpt of a composite case study, he analyzes how a company revises its fill-rate strategies and customer segmentation to gain better results. A draft of the first chapter, including this case study is at www.merrifield.com.
ABC Distribution has for years pushed an expanding array of supplier lines and SKUs to diminishing return limits of its geography and active account base. A few years ago, ABC's management found that they were working harder to have less fun and no profits. Their statistical profile at that point was: $10MM in sales, 1000 active accounts, 250 suppliers, 10,000+ stock keeping ...
Editor's note: This article is the final piece in an MDM series that provides select excerpts from a new book, Stand Out from the Competition! Four Pathways to Differentiate Your Wholesale Distribution Company.
If you had one primary supplier, what would your business model look like? For Turf Equipment and Supply, Jessup, Md., the answer is a strong go-to-market strategy that includes a focus on customer care and metrics to continually monitor performance. Customer service is the company's top differentiator and it has built processes to keep improving its ability to make customers happy.
Started in the early 1980s, Turf Equipment and Supply has grown into a $35-million, 60-employee distributor of commercial lawn mowers, irrigation systems and supporting products. '