Getting the Goods on Buying Groups
Bill Trawick: There are a lot of other groups out there whose customers are a lot similar—not the large independents like we have. Moving from one group to the other, maybe new things are being provided other than pricing, such as operational or other benefits. I can’t speak for them, because their groups are so different. We don’t take any billing here. We don’t write POs here. Our membership place their own orders, takes their own shipments.
Dave Workman: I’ve been involved in at least two changes, in different ways and shapes. Sometimes, it’s easy to read more than necessary into it. All businesses need to change. Sometimes change is healthy in that fresh perspectives are brought in. I believe MARTA made a very positive decision to increase its services and the value to their membership, and they did it through the alliance with AVB. That was a decision that the board made that was a very positive one for that membership. Like anything, fresh perspective is sometimes sought out, and that’s when change occurs.
On the CE side, the best example is manufacturers setting extremely high minimum purchase thresholds for the dealer to buy direct. One very big CE manufacturer has raised this to the millions of dollars.