Distributors Make Great Partners!

By Vanessa Zitzmann
Published on: September 22, 2017

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There are obviously many avenues for integration firms to acquire products from the many vendors in the consumer technology channel.  Some dealers purchase factory direct; establishing a long-term bond with a manufacturer, and in return, receive favorable factory-direct pricing.  Many integrators across the country have joined a buying group, like HTSA or ProSource.  These dealers have pooled their resources to not only have the opportunity to deal directly with manufacturers, but they also receive even better pricing because of their combined buying power.

Distributors are another great source for integrators, regardless of whether you are factory-direct and/or in a buying group.  Let me share some of our attributes and why distributors play such a major role in product sales and service in the custom integration market.

  1. Distributors are local and are your best resource for on-time or timely product delivery. We warehouse a great many products from a great many vendors.  When you simply need it now, we are your best resource.
  2. Distributors offer local customized tradeshows. We organize and put on tradeshow events where our vendors are asked to participate.  This is perfect for dealers who either don’t go to more than one trade show a year, or want to bring a couple of team members to check out the latest products, or have the opportunity to talk face-to-face with factory representatives.
  3. Distributors offer extensive product trainings. We partner with our vendors to offer trainings that are based on the needs of our integrators, often category-based as opposed to manufacturer-specific based.  This allows an integrator to have any one of their key team members maximize out-of-office time by focusing on their specific training needs.  This saves you time and money.
  4. Distributors are a great resource for your marketing needs. We create content for our dealers to use for printed campaigns as well as for social media.  We have a large database of product specs, brochures and other materials that our dealers can easily access.  We’re here to offer advice and counsel regarding marketing materials, as we talk regularly with our dealers and hear about what works and what doesn’t.
  5. Distributors earn your business by being responsive to your daily needs. It’s often the little things that matter, and we have to earn your trust by getting the little things done.  Return authorizations, answers to technical questions, integration issues that arise when your team is on the job site, etc.  We build partnerships every day, and partnerships that last.
  6. Distributors will save you money. We offer net terms, rewards programs, low shipping costs, same day delivery, courier services to drop products off at job sites, and a well-spring of knowledge from our years of representing hundreds of lines and thousands of products.

Make sure you have your local distributor on speed dial.  You never know when you’ll need a trusted partner to help you out in a pinch.



Vanessa Zitzmann

Vanessa Zitzmann

Vanessa is the Marketing & Sales Director at 21st Century Distributing in Raleigh, NC. She is a member of Women in Consumer Technology and was their 2016 Woman to Watch award recipient. Vanessa is a CEDIA volunteer, most recently at the 2017 CEDIA Business Xchange in San Antonio, TX.

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