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,
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|