The Elephant in the Room
Rogge confirmed that PRINTSouth is available for sales calls, test runs and plant visits as well. He also mentioned PRINTSouth's ability to store product. "Many distributors work out of their homes or out of a small shared office, so they don't have warehouses," Rogge noted. "The good manufacturers have the ability to store their product, and then release it. In other words, [distributors] tell me they want so many rolls to go to a certain location."
Just Do It
Finding the perfect partner is key, but all value is lost if distributors don't walk through the door with an aggressive (i.e., confident) attitude. And, the jumbo roll market can easily intimidate the weak at heart. First, the orders are large and the selling process differs from other areas of print.
"If you have a distributor whose total business might be $500,000 per year and all of a sudden they come across one of these things that could be $500,000 in one order, they might be frightened—because if there's a mistake made, they're probably out of business," Rogge said.
Then, there's the issue of major directs. However, Simon isn't so sure that "large" necessarily translates to "good and secure" anymore. Quite simply, the pool of available sources is shrinking. According to Simon, the timing for distributors to be taken seriously as an alternative supplier to the traditional supply chain has never been better. It all comes down to being reactive to unique needs.
"When you're quoting on these large opportunities and you're asked to put a price on a grid, good distributors will realize if they get the business, there are opportunities outside this pricing grid or RFQ. And distributors are much better than major directs at handling those exceptions," Simon affirmed.
He added, "A major direct business just has Plant A, Plant B or Plant C. A distributor has a whole independent channel of sales suppliers available to them. That's a huge advantage."