According to David Brink, of M.G. Newell Corporation and President of the FISA Board of Directors , “Our thrust is not just for value added distribution but for our members to be valuable distributors. End-users, should be able to count on FISA distributors for knowledge, service and absolute reliability. After all, the markets we serve: dairy, food, beverage, pharmaceuticals and biotech directly affect people’s health and their lives. We have an obligation to serve our customers well, and FISA focuses our attention on ways to improve our businesses.”
As markets mature, the value, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the distribution channel grows correspondingly. Lowered cost of procurement is always of critical importance to customers. As mergers, consolidation and down-sizing takes place, the FISA distribution channel is important because:
- Some of the outsourced services and roles are being assumed by distributors.
- The bundling of multiple vendors by full-line distributors is an important cost saving rather than customers purchasing from multiple direct-sales manufacturers.
- Distributor relationships extend far beyond getting the sale or completing a single installation. Service after the sale and providing replacement parts is a key component.
- Regionally focused distributors are positioned to provide technical support on a time sensitive and consistent basis that few manufacturing companies could achieve independently.
Within FISA the emphasis continues to be on improving communications between manufacturers and distributors so that the customer receives optimum service. FISA distributors concentrate on:
- purchasing, holding and managing inventory
- financing and assuming risk in customer purchases
- vigilant, continuous and localized customer service from technically competent staff
- installation, service and training related to technical products and replacement parts
By allocating roles and responsibilities in the FISA manufacturer/distributor relationship, the partnership functions as a highly effective system for the customer. FISA provides the focus but it is the commitment of FISA members to continuously improving customer service that drives the Association.