Category 7 Most Innovative Supplier Support Program

by WOHe

Category 7 Most Innovative Supplier Support

First place: Cardell Cabinets, San Antonio,

Rebate Offers Local Distributors a Lift 

Strengthening business relationships is a primary consideration for
any manufacturer looking to grow and prosper. But, while San
Antonio, TX-based Cardell Cabinets may not be an exception to that,
the company believes that it has found an exceptional way to
implement this goal. In fact, that’s why the firm started its
Cardell Plus supplier program, created to help solidify the
Cardell/distributor/builder relationship.

“We wanted to highlight the strength of our distribution network
and the relationship we have with its members,” says Russ Dennis,
director of builder development. 

And highlight the company’s strengths it did so much so that the
firm was awarded first-place honors in Category 7 
of K&BDN’s third annual Industry Leadership Awards.

While the company does not sell directly to builders, only to
distributors, it understands the importance of builders in the
whole equation. So, together with its distributors, Cardell
developed the program, which offers builders the advantage of
buying from a local distributor that understands the local market
and has products that meets those needs, yet gives them the
advantage of a national buying program, as well.

Cardell Plus is designed specifically for builders who build in
more than one market. While builders continue to negotiate with the
local Cardell distributor, they will receive a quarterly rebate
direct from Cardell based on their Cardell purchases nationwide.
The rebate also grows incrementally, and is retroactive on an
annual basis. 

This program has been a significant asset to the company because
it assists local distributors in their sales efforts by combining
the power of national purchasing volume with the advantages of
local market purchasing, which local purchasing managers prefer, he

Therefore, the Cardell Plus plan benefits everyone, according to
the company.

But Dennis is acutely aware of what the company needs for its
program to be successful. “There would not be a program without our
distributors,” he stresses.
Extending beyond just one area, if a Cardell distributor does well
in one city and the builder joins the Cardell Plus program, it
makes it possible for other Cardell distributors in other cities to
bid for that particular builder’s business. While it used to be
that there was no real incentive for the builder’s purchasing
department in various cities to recommend a specific brand, there
is now a payoff, due to the incremental growth of the rebate, the
company notes.

Creating incentives for the builder as well as forging
partnerships with distributors has made all the difference for
Cardell, Dennis states. Furthermore, he explains, “[Cardell Plus]
not only helps from the sales point of view, but it strengthens the
relationships between all of these parties and, ultimately, it is
that relationship [between distributors and builders] that
determines the future of [our] business.”

For the staff of Cardell Cabinets, that appears to be all the
incentive they need.

2nd place: Merillat Industries, Inc., Adrian,

Design Concept Helps Clients Get Organized

Understanding how a client functions in a space can benefit a
designer greatly when designing that space. So believes Adrian,
MI-based Merillat Industries, which introduced Organomics, a
concept so unique, it captured the company second-place honors in
Category 7 of K&BDN’s 2001 Industry Leadership Awards.

The goal of Organomics is to position Merillat dealers and
distributors as providers of storage solutions that are both
functional and beautiful. 

The company’s Web site offers tools, including printable
worksheets and a dealer locator, to benefit clients. Ideally, when
clients reach a dealer, they have already spent time thinking about
their needs, which helps the designer create a suitable space,
according to the company. 

The company notes that Organomics aids dealers and distributors
in the sale of popular upgrades and provides an ice breaker between
salespeople and potential clients.

A trade support packet, banners and counter cards are also part
of the support materials that dealers and distributors can use to
teach their staff about Organomics, and to help sell the concept to
their customers.

3rd place: Decore-ative Specialties, Elk Grove,

Cabinetmakers Receive Sales Boost from Program

Successful programs are usually comprised of several
complementary steps, which is what Decore-ative Specialties had in
mind when it created its supplier support program 18 months ago.
The program, which took third-place honors in Category 7 of
K&BDN’s 2001 Industry Leadership Awards, includes four
different types of sales support.

Customers can link their Web sites to the co-op Web site to show
high-resolution door photos and kitchen shots to customers. Through
the link, its customers’ customers will be able to view door styles
without leaving the site. 

A complete pricing guide is another tool provided by
Decore-ative Specialties. The cabinetmakers can fill in the lists
with their own information, allowing for faster quotes. 

The company also offers a compact disk containing photos that
can be used to enhance a Web site, as well as a flyer showcasing
door selections available. 

Furthermore, the sales assistance program aids cabinetmakers in
marketing, reducing service time and simplifying marketing
production, the company notes.

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