OEMs need professional suppliers they can depend on, committed to providing excellent service, quality products and competitive prices. But OEMs also need a fastener distributor they can count on for expert advice, as well as access to a large selection of inventory at short notices. |
What do you look for in a fastener distributor? The qualities below set renowned distributors apart from the crowd and allow wise OEMs to move forward confidently and profitably.
Customer Service Is About More Than You Think
Customer service has evolved over the years, and fastener distributors in today's market are competing with overseas companies, large corporate conglomerates and online shops. This competition has sharpened the definition of customer service and given careful distributors an edge.
Good customer service means availability. Does your fastener distributor have a manned phone line, with reps available during standard business hours? Does the distributor have an informative website with relevant, up-to-date information for afterhours and rapid inquiries? Do they answer emails and phone calls promptly and with helpful responses? Look for a distributor that's available to support your business.
Good customer service also means selection. Can your supplier fulfill orders in a timely manner, offering appropriate substitutions when your product is on backorder? Do they have the capacity to inventory standard fasteners, as well as those that apply to your specific industry? OEMs working within a small industry should build relationships with distributors that service their industry specifically, allowing them quick access and a wide selection to relevant products.
An Established Company
Competitive industries often encourage new businesses to open up, creating even greater levels of competition. But established businesses provide OEMs the service they need.
Firms with multiple locations can offer more inventory and quicker delivery. Large firms with single locations that provide rapid delivery are also a good bet. Consider a distributor's lead-time and any freight surcharges.
Established firms also provide something that fly-by-night distributors cannot offer. Financial stability allows an established distributor to hold larger amounts of inventory, with access to a wide range of manufacturers. That stability may also provide your company with credit and improved cash flow for your own projects. Pricing Levels
Price does make a difference, no matter what the industry. Your preferred fastener distributor will offer fair prices for standard materials and reasonable rates on special orders and freight charges. Compare pricing on a value scale, considering both the product quality and cost.
Common discounts include bulk pricing for larger orders and buying programs, where OEMs commit to purchasing certain quantities at lower prices spread out over an extended period of time. This works well for those in seasonal businesses and OEMs looking to fill large orders.
OEMs need to look for certain characteristics in a fastener distributor, in order to build relationships with helpful distributors. Top-notch customer service with reliable availability and selection is essential. Established fastener distributors are more likely to offer those to OEMs, due to longstanding business networks and greater financial stability.
Pricing comes into play as well, although OEMs should compare value as opposed to straight costs, since ordering from a reputable fastener distributor with high levels of customer service, rapid delivery and expert advice often saves your company money in the end.
Mike Moore is published on more than 300 websites. He writes about industrial fasteners and building, commercial building, and home building projects . He is published on various website including http://www.melfast.com
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