National Accounts Nuances
- Look for the leaders. Investigate builders and manufacturers with a dedicated strategy for national accounts that focus on solutions and services to builders. A pricing deal isn't enough; seek out companies that want to solidify the local dealer's link in the supply chain as a service provider, not just as a product provider, and that favor local price negotiations instead of a blanket pricing structure.
- Be the local rep. If you want to secure your place in the chain, assure both ends of it that you're equipped and staffed to support the program with local services and by serving as a liaison that's willing and able to solve issues between them.
- Check your inventory. What's your stock of brand-name products? Are you plugged in with the most popular brands and suppliers? Builders know that brand names help sell homes.
- Streamline your systems. Invest in the technology—and the effort—to centralize and straighten your purchasing practices and data exchanges upstream and down to help drive costs out of the channel.
- Provide feedback. Even if no one asks from either end of the channel, offer your opinions and experiences, especially to manufacturers, about the quality and service of the products and programs you represent.