Refinish Distribution Dog Fight
My Refinish Opinion
Refinish Distributors in my own opinion, are the driving force within the sales aspect of the supply chain. (I’m not saying that manufacturers don’t work hard by the way! They absolutely do, it is just different).
What is the Refinish distribution dog fight?
Let’s take a bodyshop needing a variety of consumables for example. So you will have the National distributor such as LKQ, Morelli’s, Movac, Brown Brothers knocking on the door, firstly they tend to be the cheapest price wise, but cover many accounts, Does that mean the service level is lower, that is purely down to your local rep. Secondly you have the regional distributor, normally slightly higher on the price front but often makes it up by having a close relationship with his customer in his local area due to less accounts. Which do you go for cost or service? You can lose a sale over a matter of 50p or by not making that extra 1 visit per month. It can be that fickle.
Recently I spoke with a Bodyshop manager of a local bodyshop in Leicester who on average is visited by at least 10 different reps per week. His spend in his opinion is quite small at £1,000 per month. He commented on the cut throat nation of some business as some reps will simply undercut their competitor to gain the business. Others, he will buy from not because of price but the fact that they will assist with technical issues on colours and are able to visit at short notice and make sure his products arrive on time.
So what is the best way to win business, is it price, service, or simply having the stock in the first place? Either way everyone will have different answers on the most important aspect of a distributor…. This will ensure the Distribution Dog Fight continues.
It is also perhaps one of the reasons why when recruiting for manufacturer roles, clients will in most cases want to see someone from distribution as they are constantly chasing new business in addition to managing their accounts and have the answer to the questions I have just asked.
Jack Hodges – “The Refinish Recruiter”
Recruiting for the Refinish Industry
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