Tip: Think Long-Term with Vending Customers

Programs are expensive, so distributors need to build a solution that will pay off over the long-haul.

To compete in an increasingly busy market dominated by multibillion-dollar distributors such as Grainger and MSC, distributors offering vending services must think long-term. “These programs are very expensive to implement and to execute in the beginning, so if you’re not committed to providing your customer a solution that’s going to ensure you’re there for the long-haul, you’re going to be making these investments over and over and not realize the opportunity to be profitable,” says George Ponce, president of Machine Tools Supply, Costa Mesa, CA, in the MDM case study, Understanding Customer Needs is Critical.

The key to maintaining a successful vending and inventory management program is for distributors to have a deep understanding of how customer requirements affect their own internal operations.

“If I’m doing my job correctly as an inventory manager, I’m able to correctly determine what inventories I need for a customer and manage the supply chains for those inventories in a profitable manner so I’m not investing in excessive costs to compete,” Ponce says. “I’m focusing my investments specifically to the customer and providing them with a solution that is designed specifically for them.”

Read more about Machine Tools Supply’s approach to vending in this case study.

This case study was a part of the MDM Special Report: The Industrial Vending Boom.

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