It’s hard to underestimate how important a distributor is to the AV integration firms that lean on them to help them run an efficient and profitable business. If the distributor is inefficient, well, the company purchasing products from them to install for their customers, in turn, appears inefficient.
That’s why TecNec Distributing has taken steps recently — improving its website product purchasing and fine-tuning its custom solutions offerings — to make its integrator dealers’ lives easier, says Andrew Barth, VP and director of sales.
In his view, TecNec Distributing is in a constant state of improving, in part, thanks to its employee-owned nature. That, he says, has stimulated the sense of pride that TecNec team members have in their company.
Barth talked about employee ownership and more with CI editor-in-chief Tom LeBlanc.
You became employee owned in late 2016. How has this affected the relationship with your customers?
Right out of the gate we were noticing a positive culture shift internally. [It’s] giving people more confidence and more ownership in their processes because they’re now more impactful on the company itself. That’s translating into stronger relationships with our customers.
Upon speaking with many customers every day, we are very encouraged by their response. Not many people are overly familiar with employee ownership programs, but we’re happy to enlighten them with what we can. I think people enjoy seeing a company like this blessed with this opportunity and making the most of it.
It’s uncommon for a distributor to offer custom services. What services do you offer and what value do they bring to the table?
In-house we do a lot of stock cable assemblies [and] audio and video is somewhat at the roots of the services we do … Everybody wants something custom — shorter lengths, longer lengths, bundles with other cables or what have you.
Our motto on that is, “Don’t be afraid to ask.” We’ll gladly [take on] what other custom houses might not be doing.
In addition to custom cable, we do custom metal as well that involves wall plates, rack panels, custom cut metal, mobile metal for trucks. We also do some custom reels, which brings in some collaboration between your metal shop and your cable shop. We also do fiber. We do some custom packaging, custom fitting, you name it.
If it’s a value-added service that can help you with your business, never hesitate to ask us because we try our best not to say no.
TecNec Distributing launched a new website in January. What changes did you make that benefit dealers and integrators?
We set this up so no matter what device you might have available at that time — whether it’s a smart device, tablet or a computer — our website is going to align itself with your device for usability and readability.
We don’t want the customer sweating that because we know we have a lot of integrators onsite and all they may have is their cellphone.
In addition, we enhanced the ordering process to make it a little more streamlined for our dealers. We’ve cleaned up a lot of things that really impeded the purchasing experience.
We’ve added real-time inventory so the numbers are clear to the procurement officer or purchaser when they’re buying quantities that maybe we don’t have an entire stock for them.
A lot of this was built primarily from feedback supplied to us by our customers. They tell us what they don’t like,and we try to give them what we can to make them profitable and efficient.