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Where's the added value?

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RogerS

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:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: Just where is the added-value in the antiquated distributor/retailer relationship?

RoperRhodes make some smart bath panels..PlumbWorld who claim to be a stockist don't stock the panels that I'm after which is a pity since I can do it all on the Internet, PW deliver etc and so effectively provide added value and I see nothing wrong with that at all.

However, because PW don't stock this, I called RoperRhodes. They in turn refer me to some two-bit tiddly little dealer who doesn't carry any stock, doesn't have any brochures (not that I need them as I've done all the leg work and selected the panels from off of RoperRhodes website) and don't know the prices. Plus they then want to charge me £15 delivery to drive about 1/2 mile....so where is the added value provided by the retailer?

I don't mind paying retail price from RoperRhodes ...I just want to cut out the middle man and also a potential source of goods damage.

Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

:evil: :evil: :evil:
 

RogerS

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So I called Mr Two-bit dealer for a price and he promised to call me back. He's just done that..only to start the conversation with

'oh there's just one more thing that I need to find out. Can I call you back in a minute?'

I rest my case.
 

CHJ

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Had the same sort of problem getting a part from "Trend".

Info. was top line and specifics on stock no. etc. via e-mail first class.
(something not in brochure)

However they insisted that I order it via a distributor. (they do not do mail order)
Picked my local one in Stroud who would not take my word that the part existed and delayed 24 hrs whilst he confirmed and called me back.

My wife called in to collect the item for me. Remarking when she got home that price was higher than I had mentioned.

Local distributor had added a second lot of VAT to the Trend with vat price.

As this was less than the cost of petrol etc. to collect a refund I let it go, but guess which route I am not using next time to get a spare.
 

Terry Smart

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As a manufacturer, I sympathise with all of the comments above.

We have a strong policy of not supplying our products direct to the user, preferring instead that customers go to one of our stockists. We do this as we don't want to be in competition with our stockists and see this support as an important part of good business.

Most of our stockists are great to deal with - in fact I'd say all of them are. It's the lapsed ones who have caused us problems. We get phone calls from people wanting our products and have gone into their stockist only to be told that they can't supply our products for some reason or other; we can't supply, our minimum order is too high, the case quantities are more than they want etc.
This is frustrating as none of it is true! It's very rare for us to be out of stock of a product and if we are it's only for a day or two; our minimum order quantity is probably one of the lowest, if not the lowest, in the industry and we don't even use case quantities. We supply exactly what the stockist wants - two of these, five of them, twelve of the other etc.

It is annoying as we try very hard to support our stockists and sometimes this is a one-way street.
Eventually, the suppliers who won't give good service will close as they won't have any customers left and will then blame everything else except themselves for the failure of their business.

I don't know the answer and this probably hasn't moved things forward... but at least I've got it off my chest!
 

Freetochat

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This retailer/manufacturer debate is one I have been involved with before, and experienced problems only this week. I needed a spare part for my photocopier. The agent firstly told me that my machine didn't have a fuser. I asked whether that was my problem and that I should take the one out that went with the machine and my problem would be solved. Obviously not a listed or stocked item. Went direct to manufacturer who would only supply direct within 24 hrs if I had a maintainence contract with them, as I didn't, I would have to use the agent. Went back to agent, who I supplied all part numbers for there guidence. Apparently I will get delivery within 28 days and the part has increased in price by 45%. Not bad, take my money first, order the part and just act as the middleman for postage.

Unfortunately, this restricted trade practice just means that I will never buy a product by that manufacturer again.
 

Chris Knight

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It's the age-old problem of sorting the wheat from the chaff.

I am more than happy to pay a premium - even a substantial premium to a retailer who does add value, the trouble is that some as Roger suggests, seem merely to subtract it! I think the best chance to see value from your retailer is when he is a one man band rather than a chain or a franchise operation. Too often the latter employ people being cared for in the community or some such and who really couldn't give a monkey's about your business.
 
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