The Sales Accelerator software also helps with accurate on-the-spot quotes using Therma-Tru Quote. Therma-Tru manufactures all aspects of the door (the slab, glass, hardware, etc.), so the software can generate electronic price pages and quotes based upon the customer’s specific selections. The software also lists what door components are available in each market.
Santa Ana, Calif.-based Behr has combined its product offerings with added services under a Direct to Pro program in conjunction with Home Depot. The program features guaranteed order fulfillment to professional contractors’ preferred location, factory-based tinting for color matching, color-creation services, free order delivery to the jobsite, and volume discounted pricing through the Home Depot. Joe Richardson, senior vice president of professional products and services for Behr Process Corp., says professional pricing allows contractors to offer competitive bids to homeowners, and Behr’s jobsite delivery eliminates travel time to collect product.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the program is jobsite deliveries are handled by certified coating specialists who are available to walk the jobsite and answer questions. “Especially in times of economic uncertainty, pros need to combine strategy with expertise to increase profitability and find unique ways to stretch their budgets,” Richardson says. “By delivering added value to pros, we are enabling them to pass that value on to their customers.”
Wellborn Cabinet, Ashland, Ala., has partnered with remodeling organizations under its Educational Grant Program to provide business education for remodelers. The company works with the Case Institute of Remodeling, Bethesda, Md.; PRIME (Professional Remodelers in Management Excellence), Newport News, Va.; and Remodelers Advantage Inc., Laurel, Md. (For more information about PRIME, see the June issue, page 62.) Wellborn Cabinet has invested $25,000 in tuition grants for its customers, who must have at least $1 million in annual retail sales to attend the workshops and courses the organizations offer. The courses feature nationally renowned industry experts and business topics, such as improving production efficiency, enhancing customer-service skills and expanding financial-management expertise.
“We’re investing in our clients to help them succeed,” says Angela O’Neill, Wellborn Cabinet’s director of marketing. “At the same time, they have to be serious about improving their business education. There are still time and travel costs involved, so they need to be willing and able to go.”
The owners at BCI Acrylic, Palatine, Ill., also wanted to help businesses grow despite the changing economy. In July they launched Bath Planet, offering contractors the opportunity to become authorized dealers of its products in exclusive territories without becoming a franchise. Dealers are selected based on a range of criteria, including a commitment to Bath Planet’s company values and the financial wherewithal to protect the integrity of the brand.
“We replicated the best things about the franchise model—the consistency of branding, level of service and product—but there are no monthly royalties or franchise fees,” says Rick Hirschhaut, senior vice president of Bath Planet. “We also help our dealers generate good quality leads with national-level marketing materials customized for the local authorized dealer that might be too expensive for single dealers to purchase on their own.”
Bath Planet provides marketing collateral, such as print ads, direct-mail pieces, websites and search-engine optimization in the local markets, as well as national television spots for brand recognition. Measuring customer satisfaction is critical to Bath Planet, so every customer receives surveys at the end of the job. Because dealers aren’t in competition with each other, they also share their findings for best practices and what’s working with the national group so everyone can benefit. |