Distributor Roundtable: Distributors Deliver Full Package
Brent McCarty, Vice President and General Manager, Ingram Micro CE: The first is bringing a broader portfolio of vendors so that our customers can identify areas where there is less competitive pressure. Second, Ingram Micro is putting tools in place that will significantly help our dealers build a competitive dot-com site. Our dealers' competitive advantage, in this case, is having a dot-com presence, as well as a brick-and-mortar presence. Finally, we are communicating the concerns of the dealers to our vendors and helping them understand ways in which they can tighten controls of Internet pricing, and why it is important. Dealers require a healthy margin in order to make a commitment to sell our vendors' products. If that margin erodes through dot-com transparency, the dealers will focus on other areas. Ingram has many solutions to help enable the vendors to improve controls, and we're trying to gain their support.
Steve Bodnarchuk, M. Rothman: We are continually striving to provide our dealer base with unique product offerings, limited-distribution lines and first-to-market/value-add bundle opportunities. Differentiating the products promoted at retail from the traditional e-commerce price model helps our dealer base be more competitive.
Bill Stewart, President/CEO, Petra: One of the major benefits of working with a distributor like Petra is that we offer tens of thousands of products and accessories from hundreds of manufacturers, and back them all with our lowest-price guarantee. In addition, we also see dealers who are trying to diversify their product selection, but struggle because they want to keep inventory levels tight to increase or maintain their cash flow. Our no-minimum-order policy is perfect for these dealers, as it provides just-in-time inventory while allowing them to explore new categories and product lines without investing hundreds or thousands of dollars. A dealer can truly test what works and what doesn't work with their customer needs and demographics. We also know that freight expenses can take a huge chunk out of a dealer's profit margins, so we pick up the freight costs if a dealer places an order of $800 or more. We really strive to be one-stop solution and a strategic partner with our dealers, providing the support they need to keep them competitive.