Distributor Lightning Round

CustomRetailer gets quick takes from key distributors on the shape of things as we push headlong into 2010.

CustomRetailer: What was the biggest change you made in 2009, and how will that impact your dealer/retailer customers in 2010?

Tom Polson, President, ADI: Shifting to a multidimensional business model builds the capability to align our infrastructure to support specific customer segments appropriately. With multiple levels of service and support, customers can choose the value-added services they wish to utilize based on their needs.

Warren Chaiken, President and COO, Almo: The biggest change we made to our business in 2009 was the formation of the Almo Professional A/V division. With Sam Taylor at the helm, and some of the best distributor marketing and sales pros on board, the addition of this group benefits all Almo dealers who now have access to an even greater range of flat panels, projectors and accessory products. Our professional division is out there hosting regional training and networking events, Webinars and Tech Tips, so our partners also have the opportunity to continually learn and earn.

Brian Swanke, President, CWR Electronics: We worked harder to make our dealers less seasonal. We brought on over 40 new manufacturers in 2009, and this will help our dealers offer more products to their customers. The more leading-edge products we can offer will gain the attention of buyers in this tight economy.

Jeff Davis, Senior Vice President of Sales, D&H Distributing: At D&H, we continue to add products to our line list that will fulfill the needs of our customers, including emerging technologies like LED LCDs and ecologically conservative “green” solutions. Our sales staff can find the right solution for installers from among our 20,000-plus in-stock items, whether it’s for home theater-in-a-box, the latest and thinnest HDTV displays, home automation, media servers or home networking systems.

Tim Coakley, Senior Vice President, Merchandising, DBL Distributing: Our most significant customer service improvement in 2009 was upgrading our order management platform to the Ingram Micro IT structure, thus allowing our customers access to Ingram Micro’s complete assortment of over 50,000 IT products, enhanced services and freight incentives. Because of this conversion, DBL customers are able to consolidate shipments, reduce freight and leverage single-source distribution.

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