The term “Master Distributor” is thrown around a lot these days in the electrical industry, yet it seems that many people are unsure of what it actually means. Over the next few minutes we will try to clarify the meaning of being a master distributor. We will go over the qualifications of being a master distributor and how they vary from a traditional distributor, as well as the biggest challenges they face. And finally we will discuss the future for master distributors.
The accepted definition of a “master” distributor is that of a distributor whose main business is selling a variety of manufactured products typically through other distributors. Most all distributors sell and stock many different types of products and services to their customers. With this overly large base of stocking items and products it’s assumed that warehouse space is a premium reserved for the most common and heavily used items.
The manufacturer channel is still the best way to get the bulk of their industry’s products to market, but this doesn’t always work. Manufactures are not set up to handle the business of dealing with oddball items, cut to order lengths, speedy turnarounds, specialty items, value added services and sometimes even stocking their own products. This is where the master distributor has evolved to earn its niche place in the industry. By focusing on a certain industry or product the master distributor is essentially that, a “master” of its particular business.
Some of the challenges facing many master distributors are having to overcome certain stereo types and bad habits set in place by their predecessors as well as having the flexibility to adapt and change with the times.
“Our goal is to be much more than just a vendor for our customers, we want to be more than just order takers. We strive to be a partner and a resource for our customers. We take great pride is developing a strong and lasting relationship with our customers,” commented Bryce Huett the President and Owner of Distributor Wire and Cable headquartered in Denver Colorado. “We do these things in a number of different ways. First, we have an aggressive purchasing department that insures that we are buying product at the very best prices. Second, we have an extremely knowledgeable and experienced sales staff. And finally, we have developed advanced technology pieces to help our company run lean allowing us to pass these savings to our customer.”
The marketplace is changing faster than ever before. This could spell disaster for some companies, and opportunities for others. The key seems to be having the ability to change with the times.
Complacency and traditional thinking are a thing of the past and anyone caught doing this will simply be swept aside in these new times. With warehouse space downsizing for many wholesalers, a quality master distributor partner allows many businesses to continue being profitable in today’s economic world.