While “buying direct” from the manufacturer or OEM may seem like a good way to cut out the middleman and reduce costs, it almost always proves to be far more expensive to do so. Distributors’ normal functions of time, place, utility and services are just the start when calculating this value equation. For distributors, product is normally in stock locally and able to be shipped quickly and efficiently. They are also able to break bulk packages and offer just-in-time delivery, often taking orders late in the night for next day delivery with their own vehicles. Additionally, distributors can provide you with the optimal solutions for your applications, rather than simply replacing “like for like”, as manufacturers tend to do. This allows for the evaluation of multiple options, often times resulting in a better-performing or lower-cost alternative.
Maintenance & Upkeep
After you purchase a product from a distributor, you are inevitably going to need to perform regular maintenance for the application and lifecycle. Items may need to be aligned, lubricated, and properly fitted to ensure long life — another service that your local distributor and representative can perform in order to ensure optimal plant performance.
Local Support & Services
Then, there’s the value of the local support that your representative provides by visiting your plant and reviewing your application. Your rep’s years of industrial experience and his or her knowledge of thousands of applications will provide you with valuable insight that can save you money down the road. Distributors also provide many value-added services including part configuration and modification, kitting and assembly, customization, painting or resizing services. Using its network of manufacturer lines, sources and partners, you have access to a wide variety of solutions in one single source.
Because you have chosen to do business with one vendor for all of your industrial part needs, you will begin to see transactional savings such as:
- One invoice
- One freight charge
- Better terms
- Leveraging your spend
- Online account management
- Support from a dedicated customer service representative, sales management and outside sales representation
There is a reason why distribution is a multi-billion dollar industry. It is because manufacturers need distributors to help bring and apply their products into the market. Without this business partnership, they are unable to support the needs of thousands of plant locations. Manufacturers are the best at producing their products and standing behind the quality of their work. While, on the surface, it may seem efficient to purchase directly from the factory, the savings often never materialize and the costs and risks rise significantly. Put your local distributor to the test to show how they can bring you the value you need to improve your plant operations.
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