How Distributors Contribute Targeted Solutions
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Typically, full service, industrial distributors make their name by providing excellent, personal service to their customers. In most cases, they work a territory and are “local” to the companies they serve. They usually offer 24/7 service and have emergency spare parts and consumables on hand. Full service industrial distributors are in the business of developing relationships with their customers.
Relationships are Critical to Customer Satisfaction
It is relatively easy for companies to find packaging products and equipment that meet their needs. Let’s face it, there are very few significant differentiating features between the products we buy to satisfy a need. In most cases there is more than one manufacturer who offers a system capable of satisfying your application for a fair price. In the end, you’ll probably purchase your equipment from someone you have developed a relationship with or from someone you can see yourself developing a relationship with. In most cases, an industrial distributor fits the bill due to their locale and ability, and willingness to service you.
A industrial distributor in most cases has access to multiple manufacturers’ products – they have a choice of equipment to propose. The benefit for the customer is that they are more likely to get a solution that fits their needs, not a solution that is fitted to a piece of equipment. This “choice” paves the way for interaction between the sales rep and customer in order to really target the right solution. This interaction builds the relationship.
Work Direct with a Manufacturer Option
Most manufacturers are engineering and manufacturing focused. Typically they do not specialize in sales and service. This is not a bad thing. Manufacturers are expected to spend their efforts on developing great products. They are the pioneers of innovation, and all of us depend on them. This is not to say that they have no place selling or servicing their products. It is important for them to be involved to understand the marketplace and issues with their products. But from the end-user point of view, manufacturers’ efforts are not always apparent. Although very critical, their efforts are typically behind the scenes in R&D. It can be difficult for an end-user to develop a sales/service relationship with an organization that operates with an engineering and manufacturing focus.