Roundtable: Distributors Dig Deep
Fred Towns, senior vice president, New Age Electronics (recently bought by SYNNEX)
Challenge: There will be a little bit tougher, slower business climate, and there is margin compression. As business gets tighter, dealers are struggling with how to maintain margin levels with all the market competition. We’re offering dealers accessories packages that we’re bundling with products to bring them better margins and inventory turns. For a lot of our customers, we are now delivering weekly shipments, where manufacturers tend to deliver monthly. They get a better turn on their dollars and an ability to keep a fresher, cleaner open-to-buy. We’re also doing a lot more drop shipments on the dot-com side. We can do blind-ship fulfillment for them where it will appear to have come directly from that retail marketer, all the way down to their name and logo on the invoice.
Trends: A major trend for us last year was improving speed to market. We added another warehouse in the New Jersey market to get product to the market faster. It gave us better speed and will give us better ability in the future to scale up better service on the dot-com side. We added a telesales department as well. There’s a new team in place just to service the small independents with a live body they can talk to.