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Distributors Uncensored

The MHEDA Journal asked more than 50 material handling distributors the following question: “What is the most important thing that your material handling manufacturers and warehouse equipment suppliers need to understand about your business as a distributor?”

“The end-user is not their customer. We are their customer.”

“We can’t live on a 5% margin. I lose that just trying to sell the truck.”

“Our manufacturers aren’t always as sensitive as they need to be to the critical issues of schedule and timing for the completion of work.”

“We’re only going to be around so long under the current margin conditions. It’s just not enough fuel to keep the engine rolling.”

“They don’t understand the costs that distributorships accrue in order to support their products.”

“Warranty problems should be the manufacturer’s problem, not the distributor’s.”

“Proprietary software on new lift trucks really limits their value in the secondary market.”

“Manufacturers should help motivate our salespeople to keep them excited about selling their product.”

“Don’t just set rigid policies and procedures that can’t be flexible when we run into a situation where we need help.”

“It’s very important for the manufacturer to provide assistance in promoting their product and not leave it up to the distributor.”

“The primary thing that manufacturers need to know is that our whole business is a service industry.”

“Embrace the dealers as partners and not as necessary evils.”

“When our sales group has questions or needs help doing sales calls, that’s a huge opportunity for manufacturers to step in and help.”

“Keeping commonality in the parts and components as they bring out new technology is in everyone’s best interest.”

“We need continual training of our salespeople to make them knowledgeable enough to sell the product on features and benefits.”

“Profits must be made on new equipment and not stolen from another segment of the business.”

If the manufacturers of material handling equipment go to market around the distributors, they’ll be cut off quickly. Manufacturers can’t have it both ways.”

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association

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