[WARNING: We’re telling tales out of school below]
Our market research has overwhelmingly delivered one repeating complaint, and it goes something like this, “Sourcing industrial supplies is a terrible experience, and it takes too long.”
Here’s a real-world example that you might identify with from a plumbing contractor in Calgary:
“We have 5 vans on the road, each with its own staff member tasked with sourcing and procurement. These are trained, professional plumbers, not purchasers or supply chain experts and each of them requires 2-3 hours per day to look after this job. They have to sort through a myriad of confusing, and often incomplete websites, or worse, deal with a distributor’s physical catalogue. Sometimes this task requires physically driving to a location to find out what a distributor carries or confirm that a substitute for our usual product is acceptable. Other times it’s hours on the phone trying to confirm availability, quantities, lead times, etc.”
If you were this contractor, how much more revenue could you bring in if these people were on the tools instead of searching for supplies?
At our Fabtech Canada booth, it was whispered that the staff at a well-known distributor were asking customers to visit a competitor’s website with a more complete catalogue to find the items they wanted! The customer was then expected to gather all appropriate part numbers, send them to their distributor for translation to their part numbers, and THEN they would provide pricing.
This is just one example of how bad the experience is online in the industrial supply space right now.
When pressed for what they wish the sourcing experience was like. Most contractors – and many distributors – tell us they want to be able to find products as easily as they do when they’re shopping for personal items online.
They quickly point out, however, that they only want quotes, and that purchasing decisions typically revolve around a combination of four important factors:
- Affinity for a particular distributor
- Product Availability
- Lead times
A quick and easy way to find, source, quote and order the items that industrial contractors need from local distributors. It’s free for contractors to use and makes the process more efficient for contractors AND distributor order desks!
Join the thousands of other contractors on our waiting list who have signed up to try ClearSource when it launches later this month.