MANA welcomes this very insightful guest blog by Jim Perritt, North America Sales Manager, Product Assembly Adhesives, LORD Corporation.
Our business is industrial adhesives sold mostly through distributors who engineer applications. Some of them were selling into the sign market and we felt that there was more business in that market for us.
Lord Adhesives had a long history of using manufacturers’ representatives in the automotive aftermarket and has been using reps in the sign market for over 20 years, almost as long as we have been using reps in the automotive aftermarket.
The reasons we use manufacturers’ representative is that they have some unique characteristics:
- They have established relationships with local distributors.
- They know the local end users for our products that are our distributors’ customers.
- They are more local to the distributors and the distributors’ customers.
- They understand the applications for our adhesives.
- They help us achieve a lower cost of doing business than we could achieve with direct salespeople
- They create synergy with the lines on their line cards. Our adhesives bond to substrates, so if they have a customer for substrates that customer is a candidate to buy our adhesives, and if they have a customer for our adhesives that customer is a candidate to buy the representative’s substrates.
We still have regional managers who cover all of our businesses, but we use manufacturers’ representatives to more effectively cover particular market segments like the sign market and automotive aftermarket, because they have a better understanding of the special needs of the sign market. They are our experts in the field and experts in that market.
If we move into another market we will absolutely look for manufacturers’ representatives in that market. I really believe in taking our products to market with manufacturers’ representatives.