Original Equipment Manufacturers, also known as OEMs, can be heartless when dealing with smaller distributors and often offer the contracts to larger distributors believing they are somehow easier and more efficient to work with but I believe the pendulum will swing the other way.
Bigger is not always better. Big distributors can choke on their bureaucracies and management layers built into the fabric of the organization. Small business is efficient and flexible to change, every penny is accounted for wherein big distributors are prone to abuse and waste. Often times the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. A well run small distributor prides itself on communication, organization and accountability.
Small distributors have simplistic visions and values and are in the best position to know and satisfy their customer needs. Overhead structures make them extremely competitive. Most products sold are commodities which are price driven and the larger distributor with this higher overhead typically have higher prices.
According to Industrial Supply magazine, the Industrial Supply Ass (ISA) conducted a 2015 survey of 144 members to determine that for small distributors to gain an edge they typically focus on the following:
- Product application expertise
- Long standing customer relationships
- Excellent customer service
- Intimate market knowledge
Esco’s motto for over 50 years has been “Service and Solutions”. We pride ourselves on superior customer service, a commitment to assist in correct product selection for specific applications and the ability and willingness to ensure customer satisfaction with price, superior products and on-time delivery. In other words, all the points determined by the ISA study.
So the next time and OEM says they want to work with a larger distributor, explain the small distributor advantages!