Blog Accuride

Why manufacturers should love their distribution partners

One of the reasons why Accuride has been such a successful company is the continuing strong relationship with our distribution partners.

This sales strategy has allowed us to concentrate on our core business of the innovative design of ball bearing slides and sliding systems.

Our direct sales to OEMs mainly take the form of bespoke, long term projects and so we rely on our distributors to take on the responsibility to service our growing customer base with the off-the-shelf products.

Building a strong and long term relationship with each distributor has been our aim. Accuride sales managers operate in every region across Europe to support and train the distribution network. This front line support has strong and effective backup from Accuride’s customer service group, quality management systems and marketing services.

Why sell through a distribution channel?

Distributors can often offer a better service. The quick delivery of slides to a large number of companies is something that Accuride would find difficult to support. Add to that the sales, technical and logistic support that distributors can offer and it starts to become obvious why major manufacturers take this route to market.

Also, we can’t be everywhere, but the distributor can be. This is important for our customers who need our products fast and can talk to someone locally. Our slides are where they need to be – at a local distributor’s warehouse.

In 1998 I was tasked with developing a Europe-wide distribution network. We already had a successful network in North America and I wanted to make sure that Europe did not fall behind. I can honestly say that this has been one of the most successful sales strategies that we have ever implemented.

Today, the distribution network has grown rapidly to cover both cabinet hardware and industrial/electronics industries with coverage across all of Europe and into South Africa and the Middle East.

Getting the right manufacturer/distributor mix

Choosing the correct distributor has been the main formula for success. Close relationships have been nurtured by the regional sales managers to maintain long term and profitable business.

Häfele is one of the leading international companies for furniture fittings, architectural hardware, electronic locking systems and technical hardware advice. They have been on board as Accuride’s UK cabinet hardware distributor since the beginning.

Their UK sales director, Ray Fisher, says, ‘We all want to be at the top of our game and Häfele’s close relationship with Accuride has been built on shared aims; to be the best in the business. Not just the best for us, but also for our customers. It’s been a winning recipe for everyone.’

Accuride’s future is now closely bound to the distribution channel. Specialist distributors in new regions and markets are constantly sought to ensure that we have the best coverage and local support possible.