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Management And Training

The Great Debate: Big Box Or Distributor?

September 20, 2012
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Some Suggestions For Selecting A Supplier

A professional opinion weighs heavily on a customer and can be the difference between a botched sale and an ongoing business relationship.

When searching for a distribution partner, a customer should consider a number of factors including but not limited to the following:

• Longevity

If a company's doors have been open for a long time, they must be doing something right.

The years of service a company has is generally an indicator of a balance between reasonable prices and good customer service.

Reputation in the industry is key, and poor-performing businesses do not remain viable for very long.

• Knowledge

Employees who are cognizant of product or equipment attributes and can readily explain the particularities of use, care, warranties, etc., can help you make informed purchasing decisions.

Selecting the ideal equipment from the start will minimize future headaches; educated employees can provide such pain relief.

• Follow-up care

Regarding product satisfaction and warranty work, a distributor offering personable service after the sale can ensure that your products, tools and equipment are functioning to your liking and that, in the instance something does malfunction, problems are promptly addressed.

• Hassle-free service

Few things are more frustrating than having to jump through hoops to arrange for equipment maintenance or to setup a new product demonstration.

A distributor with open availability and sufficient personnel to handle all requests greatly reduces the chances that telephone calls will be forwarded to voicemail and issues requiring immediate assistance will be pushed to the backburner.

• Consultation

Adding additional value to customers, some distributors have technicians that go onsite to determine the proper products, tools and equipment for a particular operation.

Because a good distributor wants their decision to be correct and the best value for their customers' dollar, providing consultation to clients prior to purchases is another way to show that they value business.

And, part of that consultation is ongoing training and instruction on each unique product or piece of equipment to ensure complete understanding and smooth operation throughout a product's lifecycle.

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