Editor's note: The following consists of a conversation between RCS Multimedia Manager Megan Ellsworth, and President of Go Roof Tune Up Martin "Marty" Stout. You can listen to the interview or read the transcript below.
Megan Ellsworth: Hello. Welcome back. This is the February influencer topic and I'm here with Marty Stout from Go Roof Tune-Up. And this month's topic is, how should contractors be working with distribution for success? So Marty, what's your deal with distribution? How do you do it for success?
Marty Stout: Well, we've always had a long tradition of supporting distribution. Over the years, there's been a lot of people who have pushed to figure out ways to buy direct and they think that they need to cut out the middleman somehow. We've had customers that have tried to cut out what they think as the middleman, but we've always believed and do believe that distribution plays an important role in the system of contracting. We can't and don't really want to deal with manufacturers direct. We're happy with having a distributor that can protect us when we need to be protected, fight for us when we need someone on our side of the equation, and we've never felt like distribution was taking advantage of us, at least not to the point where we couldn't adjust if we felt like we weren't getting a good deal.
We've always been able to adjust. So distribution has always been very, very good to us. We've also worked hard to have a relationship with distribution where we mean something to them so that if we mean something to them, they're going to give us better service.
Megan Ellsworth: So true.
Marty Stout: We're taking care of them, they're taking care of us. It's really a two-way street. And so if you're doing two jobs a week and you're buying from four distributors in the same regional area, same local area, probably not meaningful to any one of them. So we try hard to pick a distributor that takes good care of us and that will be there for us and that we can leverage a relationship with. We're not always looking for the best price. We're looking for the best service and a long-term relationship. And if you're always driving for price, there's always a cheaper guy, but as soon as there's an uptick, you're going to be the first one that's going to get prices raised on.
So we're conscious of price. We pay attention to price, but we're looking for service and relationship. And we have a unique program in our company where we lean on our distribution relationships to help us expand into new markets. And those relationships have helped us tremendously as we're expanding into new markets. So without good distribution and a good distribution relationship, it would be very, very hard to be successful, especially in times like we're in now.
Megan Ellsworth: Absolutely. It's a mutual benefit.
Marty Stout: Yes.
Megan Ellsworth: For a contractor and the distributor. Absolutely. Well said. Well, thank you Marty. This has been a great conversation and I will see you next month.
Marty Stout: Thank you very much.
Megan Ellsworth: Awesome.
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