The indirect industrial supply distributor aims to be a one-stop shop with fully integrated procurement and material management programs.
Generating savings for customers is the cornerstone of Vallen Distribution’s success. “We measure ourselves on delivering real, documented cost savings to show the real value” of working with Vallen, says Paul Tecci, director of digital and brand marketing for the Belmont, N.C.-based distributor of indirect industrial supplies. The savings can be significant, given that much of Vallen’s customers’ costs are in indirect consumable materials across a broad range of MROP (maintenance, repair, operating and production) product categories.
“We look at a total cost of ownership model . We look at everything. We deliver year-over-year savings for our customer,” Tecci says. “We have a long customer lifetime. They stick around for a very long time because we deliver value to them every day.”
Through Vallen’s integrated solutions, Tecci says, “We look at [all phases of] the acquisition, consumption and productivity cycle. … We can leverage buying power across facilities and reduce the amount of inventory they need to hold and keep productivity moving faster.”
Further strengthening its value proposition, Vallen, number 16 on MDM's Top Industrial Distributors list, offers technical services, including safety equipment inspection, maintenance, certification and solution design for customers. It provides environmental, health and safety training and consulting, and turnaround services to assist industrial plants with maintenance or upgrades.
Expanding Brand Recognition
In its present form, Vallen Distribution has 3,400 employees in 120 operating locations in the United States. It generated about $2 billion in revenue in 2018. Hagemeyer North America and IDG merged in 2014 and ultimately formed Vallen Distribution in 2016. It’s a subsidiary of Sonepar, a large, family-owned business based in Paris, France.
Vallen is working to increase the recognition and awareness of the Vallen name and brand, especially with its target customers and some under-served markets. The next step is to expand the integrated solutions and safety services that Vallen offers, says Tecci. For example, a Vallen customer may need to do maintenance and repair work in a confined space, such as inside a petrochemical company tank. Vallen installs a set of wires for audio and visual devices that monitor and record the action. The small size of the wires makes it easier for workers to get in and out of the space.
Tecci explains, “You don’t want a big wire in your way when you need to get out of that hole. Having a single, smaller wire is an advantage. You want to be able to see, hear and communicate. It keeps people safer. There’s communication redundancy. If one wire gets cut out, you never lose communication to the inside. There are power backups. It creates multiple points of communication transfer.”
He adds, “The health and safety of those workers is paramount. You can have one person monitoring several hole watches via video and audio.”
A key strategy for Vallen is to be a one-stop shop for its customers, offering a fully integrated program for procurement and management of materials. For customers with multiple facilities, it can tailor the solutions differently to meet the specific needs of each site. “We take over the indirect material spend; it delivers the most impact to the bottom line for our customer,” Tecci says.
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