Distributors on the Dais
David Robison, DSI Systems: The main thing we’re doing—something that’s been in place around six or eight months now—is promoting Multiple Brands, One Shipment, to the small independent dealer. The reason that’s so important is that when a dealer has a manufacturer direct relationship, or they buy from a distributor with only one or two major product categories or brands, each manufacturer has its own freight requirement—and that, typically, is $7,500 or $10,000 worth of merchandise to get free freight. If I’m a dealer buying direct from Manufacturer X, and I buy $7,500 worth of merchandise—a good-size order for a lot of small retailers—and in comes the order, say, of a couple of LCDs, a couple of plasmas, a couple of DVD players, and I sell out of one of those categories, and can’t afford to place another $7,500 order to get more product to replenish that SKU—or don’t have the room to do that, I sit there out of that one product category for three and four weeks at a time, waiting to sell all the other items so I can place another order with that manufacturer. This has been a major, long-term issue for smaller retailers dealing direct with manufacturers. So what we’ve done is picked up what we think are the most popular product lines in the marketplace, and our dealers can combine all those brands for one easy freight policy. We go all the way down to $3,500, which gets a dealer free freight, with a $19 handling charge or $5,000 gets them free freight with no handling charge. They can mix and match all of those brands. So, the message to the dealer is, 'one to show and one to go' is all you ever need, and order from us once a week or twice a week by two o’clock, and in most cases, it ships today and you have it tomorrow.