A full-line distributor of industrial supplies, fasteners, specialty cutting tools and personal protective equipment, EBN Industrial Supply sought to enhance their existing supplier relationship with ORS Nasco. ORS is North America’s largest single-source wholesale supply company, selling exclusively to distributors with products for use in industrial, welding, safety, construction, MRO, HVAC, janitorial markets and more. EBN already had a longstanding relationship with ORS, one that spanned over 20 years, but the two were looking to enhance their channel partnership for increased growth opportunities.
Channel Relationships Benefit From Increased Engagement
While ORS and EBN didn’t embark on a traditional Growth Plus plan, they did follow a natural progression of the steps involved in the sales planning program designed to enhance channel relationships between NetPlus distributors and suppliers. The partners focused on regular interaction and increased face time, paving the way for higher levels of engagement. Together, they have provided product trainings, diversified product offerings, and negotiated bulk purchase and freight savings.
EBN has explored additional opportunities offered through their NetPlus partnership, including:
- Special promotions
- Customized marketing support
- Quarterly sales flyers
- Most popular item catalogs
- Safety catalogs
Diversifying Product Offerings From ORS Nasco Expands EBN Customer Base
EBN and ORS were able to strengthen their existing relationship, leading EBN to achieve quadrupled sales growth with ORS Nasco in the process. Because of the enhanced relationship, EBN was able to diversify product categories and sell new lines they previously didn’t have access to. Now, EBN sells 21 of the 22 product categories sold by ORS, proving to customers they offer more than just fasteners.
EBN and ORS both acknowledged the key to making it work was spending time getting to know each other and their respective needs. Karen Tartaglia, ORS Nasco senior account manager said, “By having multiple touch points and getting to know the owners, the outside sales reps and inside sales reps as well as their safety director, I’m able to identify opportunities and drive business in all directions.”
Reliability was another driving factor behind their success. Distributors rely on products to come in properly packed and labeled; they also depend on accurate shipping and lead times. ORS has provided EBN with those assurances. “ORS has been very responsive when you have questions or needs,” Jeff Harding, co-owner of EBN Industrial. “They have very good inventory. Prices are fair and delivery is very good. They do what they say they are going to do. It’s a pretty easy relationship, and as a distributor, that means a lot.”
EBN also noted that a Total Cost of Acquisition Tool was available through ORS at no cost to them. The tool provided EBN with a detailed report outlining profitability and inventory savings associated with going direct with a manufacturer versus working with ORS.
Distributors and suppliers looking to strengthen existing channel partnerships or develop new ones, should reach out to NetPlus Alliance and learn how they can help bring channel partners together for growth.