The New Kid in Town
SEN members get to enjoy Nationwide’s two annual PrimeTime! gatherings. “I go to CEDIA, CES and PARA every year, but none of them are as good as the Nationwide PrimeTime! show was last month in Orlando,” says John Price, owner of Sound Systems in Charlotte, N.C. “It was definitely the most successful show I’ve ever been to. I got a lot of business done, made some good contacts and got great ideas about moving my store forward.” Price, who was one of SEN’s first members, was particularly impressed with the PrimeTime! University classes on e-commerce and store display. The next Nationwide PrimeTime! event is at The Venetian in Las Vegas from August 19 to 22.
Buying group, distributor or both?
SEN has negotiated programs with manufacturers like LG Electronics, Control4, Integra, Klipsch, Tributaries Cable, D-Tools, Chief Manufacturing and Sanus Systems that enable its members to buy products at better than factory-direct pricing, says Howe. These programs can include additional DFIs (discounts from invoice), rebates, SPAs, display programs, extended terms and other benefits. When using these programs, members buy directly from the manufacturer but earn deeper discounts than they could otherwise.
Like HES with its Expert Warehouse, SEN has a program that allows it to serve as much like a distributor as a buying group to its members. SEN’s Warehouse Direct program, the organization says, provides a solution for dealers who no longer meet their vendors’ ever-rising minimum purchase requirements. SEN has partnered with several distribution companies so members can purchase specialty and custom products like Pioneer Elite or Hitachi Director’s Series through Warehouse Direct at competitive prices. SEN has 48 Warehouse Direct warehouses across the country, and claims most members will receive inventory within 48 hours of placing an order. An online ordering system is available as well.
“We support our dealers in all of their endeavors, from purchasing to hiring to training to improving the way they go to market,” says Howe. “We provide services to our members that few could individually afford. Together, though, we can pool our purchasing power to reduce their costs and improve their profits.