The Zoom Advantage...

WHO HAS THE ADVANTAGE???

Independent Regional Dealer vs. Large National Corporations/Direct Operations

Over the years it has become more apparent to the independent dealers throughout the country, that we carry a distinct advantage over our counterparts on the direct side of the business.

In just about every aspect the Independent Regional Dealer has the upper hand when it comes to penetrating the market place and supporting the end user. But the question is WHY?

The answer is pretty straightforward and logical. If you think about it the manufacturers are committed to one brand, and their main focus is to keep the factories running. The direct operations carry a production-centric focus, while the independent dealer carries a customer-centric focus. That focus may occasionally equate to a slight advantage in pricing for the direct operation, but the ultimate result is diminished customer service.

The local dealer has a choice as to which product to sell. If the support doesn't exist the independent dealer can look for alternative products. The direct operation doesn't have that choice; they must sell what the factories are building regardless of the product's viability, relevance or performance.

The independent dealer is closer to the customer! As an entrepreneur, customer service matters on a whole different level. It's a matter of survival; it's all we have to offer! The local dealers are not insulated from the needs of our customers and employees. We take a poor customer experience personally...

While independent dealers need to make a profit, they are not beholden to shareholders and directors that are uninvolved in the day to day needs of the customer. Direct operations make decisions at a very high level, usually in a vacuum, without consideration of the customer's best interest. Their local managers have little if any authority, and are basically babysitters for the branch. No matter how much they may want to do the right thing, more often than not they are prevented from doing so if it conflicts with corporate policy.

The independent can react quickly. Decisions are made on a local level. A decision that can take weeks or months to get approved in a large corporate environment can be made in days or perhaps hours. The local entrepreneur realizes that a short term loss to correct a customer experience will often be rewarded with long term customer loyalty.

Compare tenure of the employees. You will find without fail that the average independent dealer has a much more stable, long term workforce in place to support the customer base.

The ultimate example of the advantage an independent, locally owned dealership has over a direct operation comes when you see the results on an acquisition. In almost every case you see an exodus of both talented employees and customers. Seldom does an acquired dealership live up to the reputation it established as an independent.


For your consideration,

Gary Johnson
President
Zoom Imaging Solutions, Inc.



INDEPENDENT REGIONAL DEALER VS. MANUFACTURER/DIRECT OPERATIONS
Customer centric   Brand/Product centric
Keep the customers HAPPY   Keep the FACTORIES running
Choice of brand and partners   No choice in products/services
Closer to the Customer   Insulated from the Customer
Local decision making   Decisions driven by policy
Quicker decisions   Multiple layers of management
Local autonomy   Little, if any local authority
Employee tenure/loyalty   Higher turnover
Principle seeking more customers   Branch Managers seeking promotion
Customer dependent   Manufacturer dependent
Answers to customers/employees   Answers to Shareholders
Customer money stays in local economy   Customer dollars shipped to HQ
Local Facilities/Support/Logistics   Centralized Facilities/Support/Logistic

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