Who is Exactech?
Exactech, Inc. is an artificial joint replacement company. Since incorporating in 1985, Exactech has grown into one of the fastest-growing orthopedics companies in the world, serving patients in more than 35 countries. Exactech develops, manufactures and markets joint replacement products for patients suffering from joint diseases like arthritis. Kevin Godwin, director of customer operations at Exactech’s Gainesville, Florida, distribution center, depends on MHEDA distributors to provide him with the right products for his application. “Sell me what I need,” says Godwin, whose warehouse has a variety of forklifts, pallet jacks, mezzanines and conveyors, “not what I think I want.”
How distributors can have a positive impact on their customer’s businesses, and five expectations that the end-user has for the partnership.
Conserve Space — Our distribution center is only 25,000 sq. ft., and we utilize every inch of that space, horizontally and vertically. Our distributors make suggestions that help us conserve space. They install over-head mezzanines with conveyors, set up narrow aisles and sell us picking equipment with a smaller footprint. They are committed to helping us get the most out of our distribution center and finding solutions that fit both the application and the space.
Understand Our Culture — Everybody we do business with has to really understand what we do and why we do it. When our partners understand why we make decisions, they are better able to drive us toward the right solutions. Our material handling distributors are great about learning our company culture and understanding our market and products so that they can make informed suggestions.
Honesty — I depend on our distributors to do what is best for our company, not make the biggest commission. Trust is vital in our relationship. They understand that it has to be the right application for our environment. Our distributors understand that if they get us the right equipment, they won’t have to worry about the size of the commission because they will have earned our future business.
Automation — We are working on a project to automate our supplemental labeling. We’ve always had somebody manually applying stickers to hundreds of boxes. Our distributor helped develop a print and apply system that allows us to load boxes onto a conveyor and the system will apply the label, scan it and verify that the information is correct. That will be a big efficiency boost.
Ask Questions — I like when our distributors challenge me. Just because I think a forklift would solve an issue doesn’t mean that there isn’t another piece of equipment that might solve it better. I asked one of our distributors for a second lift truck. He asked how we intended to use it and where in the warehouse. It turns out our aisles were too narrow for a traditional forklift. Instead, he suggested using a Work Assist Vehicle that could not only fit in the aisles, but could also be used in our office to change light bulbs.