This is the first in a series of stories both at www.tedmag.com and in tED magazine that will feature relationships along the entire supply chain: manufacturers, distributors, and contractors. tED magazine will continue to create these stories. if you have input, suggestions or comments, please contact publisher Scott Costa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While at the NECA Show in Washington, D.C., I spent some time at the Arlington Industries booth. Arlington specializes in non-conductive wiring devices that can be used in any part of the country. The booth had plenty of traffic, and contractors stopped to talk with Arlington, and many even took pictures of the booth and products.
I talked with Joe Sullivan from Arlington about the company’s relationship with contractors and distributors in two areas: customer service and new products.
Sullivan pointed out that he maintains a relationship with as many contractors as possible, but it is impossible to keep in touch with all of them. He does get feedback through distributors, but he does wonder if it all comes back to him.
Sullivan is also using the customer feedback to create new products. He had a number of products on his display table that came from feedback he received from contractors.
“A lot of times a contractor will come to us and say they need a piece of equipment that is just slightly different from what we already offer,” Sullivan said. “We will make those modifications and bring that to the customers, and usually it’s met with a lot of success.”
Sullivan also added that getting to talk with contractors face to face is a huge benefit for Arlington, but it goes way beyond the shows that the company attends every year.
“We have to foster those relationships over time, and make sure those end users are getting the products they need,” Sullivan said.
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