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The Ultimate Distributor: Right from the Estimate

By Jim Williams

The last time we visited the Contractor’s Corner we looked through the eyes of a contractor and how he pictures the ideal distributor.

We thought we would offer the same opportunity to a recent Contractor’s Corner contributor, Dave Gilson from Tera-Byte Technologies, Inc. Here is his idea of the Ultimate Distributor.

What would my ideal distributor look like?

They would work closely with our company right from the estimate. Once handed the list of materials for pricing, they would be working with the estimator to determine if any products could be substituted for another product of less cost to the customer and assist in modifying the material list if necessary to reflect any changes.

Once awarded the project, they would then work with the project manager to establish the schedule of delivery of the materials and identify any long lead items so any issues can be addressed as soon as possible to avoid any construction delays.

The ideal distributor would know who the job foreman is and would stay in contact a day or two prior to any scheduled material delivery to insure no other materials are needed and the delivery schedule is still accurate. As materials are delivered and checked against the order, the information would be electronically sent from the distributor to our company to update project information, purchase orders, and ultimately lead to electronic payment transfer back to the distributor. 

When finished delivering the materials they would see if there were any returns or material defects and return the material while again electronically transferring the information to the distributor as well as our company (taking care of the RMA return material authorization, credits, etc.) updating the project information, purchase orders, and electronic transfer of funds.

Other features the ideal distributor would also provide would be to identify materials that my company does not currently purchase from them and see what could be done to obtain that business as well. They would host manufacture training on a regular basis to keep field employees updated and knowledgeable of new and existing products. They would learn what unique items my company might use and try to keep an inventory on hand.

Finally, the distributor would sit down after project completion and see what areas (if any) could have been done better so the next project goes even smoother and further strengthen the relationship between contractor and distributor making them an essential partner in success.

Tera-Byte Technologies, Inc. is located just west of Portland in Aloha, Oregon. Gilson started the company in October 2003. Tera-Byte Technologies, Inc. offers limited energy (low voltage) services to customers which includes: voice & data wiring, networking, wireless access point installations, fiber optics, telephone entry, access entry (card reader/keypad), fire alarm design/install/service, CCTV camera systems, burglar alarm, audio/video, and nurse call service.

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