Believe It or Not, Your Supply Vendor CAN Be Your Friend.......
We interact on a number of industry-related forums and group pages. Recently we've seen an uptick in the number of folks expressing a feeling that their equipment vendor was "trying to make a profit" and "were only there when they could take the money". Not all equipment and supply vendors are equal and it sounds like these folks found some of the not-so-great vendors out on the old interwebs.
When you start your business, it's important to have your experts in your pocket. Just like you might employ a helper, an accountant, a tax attorney, or a mechanic....choosing your equipment vendor is important too.
Why? Because running your business effectively is more than saving a buck by buying an inferior product from some fly-by-night equipment supplier who may or may not be in existence next year. So let's explore this subject a bit....
Newbies to the industries, will many times, start buying Chinese-made products. The parts are cheaper in price and also in quality. Sorry China....but most of what we get imported here is crap. We all know it and sometimes we still buy the junk knowing that it's going to break. I'm not sure why we do that but we do. And each time the Chinese-made crap breaks, we SWEAR that we won't EVER buy that CRAP again but we do. Sound familiar? I know....it's ok....first step is to admit it!
Second step is to stop repeating those same mistakes. What is the definition of insanity? Repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Find an industry-recognized vendor that supports YOUR business and YOUR needs by providing excellent products, customer service, assistance with product warranties, and technical assistance. While you might pay a buck or two more....what you get back in personal assistance is well worth it.
We have taken phone calls from customers while on vacation. We answer the phone in the office, in the shop, the airport, on top of the ski lift or on a mountain in North Carolina watching the eclipse. Customer service is part of our Mission Statement and it's VERY important to us. We hope all our customers can attest to this. If your current supplier isn't accessible to you for customer service issues, consider how important that is to you. Many folks know and understand their equipment and don't need that personal assistance. But many others don't know their GPM and PSI. Consider how important down-time is to your business from equipment failures. How much is a knowledgeable resource worth to you and your business?
Your vendor should be an extension of your business. Your vendor should be and can be like a trusted friend and advisor who has you and your company's best interests at heart.
Third....take the time to work with your vendor so that he/she can understand your business plan. Your equipment vendor is a great place to bounce ideas and get options that match your business plan. Have you ever over-purchased and then immediately regretted it? I think most of us have done that over our lifetimes. But our goal is to you avoid those extra expenses.
Fourth....your vendor has a unique amount of product knowledge. With over 5,000 products and 30+ different manufacturers, we have access to those manufacturers, chemists and product engineers. There is no need to guess or search for information. Part of our ongoing staff education is onsite visits with the manufacturers. When we have a question about a pump and how to care for the pump, we work with the pump engineers...not the internet.
Lastly.....we love to see your success, growth and how this industry allows you to provide for you and your families. And that's what ultimately drives us to be the best we can. And yes....vendors have employees and families too. So yes....we do have to make a buck or two.
So consider what is important to your business. Is customer service and knowledge of the industry worth the extra buck? Only time will tell and if it does....give us a call at 678.207.3487.
- Kimberlee Handl