Distributors Provide Conduit to Profitability
Tim Coakley, senior vice president, merchandising, DBL Distributing: DBL Distributing went through significant changes in 2009 to position ourselves as the driving force in the distribution industry for 2010. Our most significant customer service improvement in 2009 was upgrading our order management platform to the Ingram Micro IT structure, thus allowing our customers access to Ingram Micro's complete assortment of over 50,000 IT products, enhanced services and freight incentives. Because of this conversion, DBL customers are able to consolidate shipments, reduce freight and leverage single-source distribution. Essentially, DBL has taken the burden away from customers calling multiple distributors.
David Kaplan, executive director, Digital Delivery Group: In a year that saw many casualties among distributors, retailers and independent custom integrators, the most important change for all of us was improving our ground game to assure survival in a turbulent time. As a result, Digital Delivery Group in 2009 made a commitment to being not just a resource for product and product training, but a resource for being better at business. We are there to assist with outreach, with marketing, with business education, and, of course, new products that reflect new trends and needs. Our dealers will see many manifestations of this effort in 2010. One example is our upcoming 2010 New Technology Tour coupled with our new partnership with Fast Forward Business coaching. We'll be bringing Steve Firszt, Fast Forward's principal, to every DDG city to help our dealers improve their business skills as a key element of our new technology events.
Doug Robison, president, DSI Systems: 2009 was the year of DirecTV for DSI. We signed up over 450 new DirecTV retailers. At the same time, our sales and marketing teams spent a great amount of effort helping dealers advertise. DSI instituted a program called "OneStop Shop for Co-op" in which we buy the media, bill the dealer his percentage and utilize the DirecTV co-op money directly out of the dealer's co-op account. Essentially, it is advertising made easy. All the dealer has to do is agree to run one of the DirecTV pre-approved ads, and we do the rest. Many more dealers are running consistent advertising than ever before, which will certainly impact their sales in 2010.