Dealers: 5 Things You Should Look For In a Manufacturer


This one isn’t for you johnny-come-latelies just looking to do a little home improvement, unfortunately. This is for the dealers out there who are going to try to sell you something in the near future, so look away! Trade secrets are enclosed within.

Or keep reading, by all means. A bit of extraneous knowledge never hurt anyone, right?

Anyway, our focus this week is going to be on you middle parties: the good women and men making the sales and getting those shiny new door frames out of production and into the world. We’re here to advise you on what to look for when deciding what manufacturer to sell from: after all, you’re the one who’s going to have to deal with the buyers directly, and it’s vital that you have confidence in both the product that you’re advertising and the people behind it. Otherwise, everyone involved — buyer, seller, maker — will be getting the short end of the proverbial stick, and nobody wants that. The product in question looks good? Great! But before you sign anything, make sure these other things come with it:

1. Training

Any kind of new venture is going to require some coaching before it can be integrated into your business smoothly, and this especially applies to products designed for home improvement. Security doors don’t automatically fit in all frames, and they’re not exactly designed to be simply wedged in. You’re going to need to know how to handle the installation and maintenance processes, and your manufacturer should be able to provide that. Not just as a one-time service, either: be sure that your team is given not only initial training but also the option for additional, ongoing coaching in the future. Things change over time, after all!

2. Accessibility

Piggybacking off of that above point: While training is probably going to be necessary, it shouldn’t be a particularly exhausting thing to complete. Overly complicated product design and prep don’t benefit anyone; beyond quality materials, make sure that your new acquisition isn’t a complete hassle for you to handle with customers.

3. Customer Interaction

But don’t let a manufacturer leave you floundering solo after the initial delivery! While you’ll be doing most of the work with clients, having the makers on-hand to assist with inherently custom products like security frames will minimize hassle for all. A representative from the maker should be easily reachable to schedule measuring and make any adjustments to the order as necessary.

4. Information

The devil’s in the details, as they say, and so you’ll need to have convenient access to the documentation and related products necessary for making a new product work for you: sales manuals, high-quality photos for advertisement on your website, order forms, samples, and all the rest of the nitty-gritty. Be sure that your manufacturer isn’t tight-fisted about the hand-outs and administration!

5. Flexibility

Variation and exception will always be the norm, as every dealer is going to be unique in some way. So find a producer that isn’t draconian about every little aspect of your deal. Is your business out of town? Out of state? Perhaps even out of the country? A good manufacturer will be willing and able to accommodate your particular situation so long as the specifics aren’t too outrageous.

So there you have it: a few things to keep in mind before stocking the shop with a beautiful new product that you’re going to advertise like no tomorrow. Remember to put quality first: not just when it comes to the material goods, but also when it comes to the people involved with them every step of the way. After all, you may be a dealer, but you yourself are also a customer in this transaction, and it’s important that you’re happy with your end of the arrangement as well. Everyone wins!