Most Innovative Supplier support program

Most Innovative Supplier support program

First place: Elkay Sales, Inc.

Diamond Design Program Worth its Weight in Gold to Dealers

Revised and expanded to reach out to the entire design community while providing benefits to Elkay showrooms, the Elkay Diamond Design Program has earned top honors in K&BDN's 2003 Industry leadership Awards for the category Most Innovative Supplier Support Program.

According to Marianne Wnek of Chicago, IL-based Marketing Support, Inc., the program is not only a combination of specific showroom support elements but "an investment in the design community."

Designed as an expanded version of the existing Elkay Diamond showroom program, the Elkay Diamond Design program provides a unique combination of support in product, promotion and publicity targeted specifically to the entire design community, from wholesalers to reps, interior designers to architects and builders to retailers. This is accomplished through a variety of mediums, she points out, including industry education, targeted media, field training and showroom sales tools.

As she notes, the program which is designed to drive sales and provide participating showrooms with the tools and assistance needed to manage and increase its sales also offers benefits to the showroom based on the number and type of products on display, with possible benefits including market development funds, free products for display, display construction allowances and rebates.

The Field Display Allowances provides access to Elkay products used in displays featured in Parade of Homes, House Walks and Builders Showrooms. Available directly to the displaying builder, designer or contractor are sinks and faucets for display, at no charge, as well as a $200 stipend, per sink displayed.

Part of the company's "Diamond Showroom" Program, Diamond showrooms also earn e-commerce opportunities, quarterly promotion support or "Market Development Funds," based on the amount of product displayed by the company.

For instance, she explains, showrooms with a higher level of display product can qualify for the Marquis level, which provides the maximum "Market Development Funds" for additional advertising and promotional opportunities.
Displays of Elkay sinks qualifies dealers for "Market Development Funds."

In addition, Diamond showrooms operating at the Marquis level are also afforded special discounts of 10% on targeted products, which include Elite Gourmet, Gourmet/ Nouveau

Gourmet and undermounts, she continues.

Wnek also notes that each showroom is entitled to the rebate regardless of any other rebate programs it is participating in. The rebates are paid on the incremental portion over the prior year's purchases, she adds.

Additionally, showrooms receive the benefit of the attendance of qualified showroom sales and training managers which increase the efforts of the attending Elkay Field Sales Force.

The company also offers an expanded trade show, advertising and public relations presence to promote high-end products and reach substantially more high-end users, designers and others of influence to the market

She also points out that qualified showrooms are provided access to Elkay Express shipping and are listed on the Elkay Web site for customer searches and potential sales through Elkay's "Order On-Line" option.

As Wnek reaffirms, a main component of the program is its flexibility, which provides benefits dependent on a showroom's level of participation.

She explains: "[This type of reward system] allows all showrooms an opportunity to participate in and benefit from this program," adding that "the many facets of this program, which include Elkay's increased advertising and public relations activities as well as the hiring of trained field and showroom consultants, demonstrates Elkay's commitment to partnering with its customers."

Additionally, Elkay is including field consultants and a showroom advisor to provide additional field support for showroom personnel, she explains.

"The field consultant will call on independent kitchen and bath dealers, sponsors of Parade of Homes, sponsors of House Walks, wholesaler showrooms and builder showrooms in an effort to increase visibility and prosperity of the showrooms. They will also be available to conduct showroom training and supplement efforts to expand market share and sales," she explains.

The showroom advisor will be available to provide input and assistance with training, business practices, effective showroom displays and marketing programs, she continues.

In addition, the company works directly with various trade groups and industry organizations so that the most updated industry, market and trend information will be available.

Concluding, Wnek also points out that Elkay participates in a variety of NKBA sponsorships and industry seminars to assist in the continuing education and evolution of the design community at large.