Hello all, wanted to get something started on distributors. I thought it would be interesting to compare notes on who people use and why. Does anyone have thoughts on why you would go to one distributor vs. any others? Is someone better on pricing? Service? Dependability?
Honesty distributors really depend on who runs the branch. Past several years wet have been doing 90% of our buisness with a beacon distributor. The guy who runs the branch answers his cell at 6 am and 6 pm, will hop in a truck and run out plywood himself if you tear a roof off and find out you need to do a redeck.
You just have to try different places out. A top not local distribution who used always used to n most expensive and never want to take returns 10 years ago…now is more competitive and take anything back. Seems like everywhere you go has its ups and down.
I agree with MPA. The manager and staff make the branch. The large corporate owners sometimes feel that they know more about the market than the local manager…things go to hell when that happens. Experience and knowledge are also a big part of a local distribution outlet.
I used to think price was the answer.
Now i believe service is best.
Time is more valuable to me than one or two dollars a square.
Do my deliveries get delivered at the time i request consistently?
Do i get quick service at the counter and truck loading?
Those mean the world to me.
I love pulling up to my supplier and driving out in 10 minutes…
Absolutely agree roof lover. I just went through this with the most well known lumber yard in Philly. They have good prices and stock alot. When we use them it is usually for a few pieces of crown molding or trim for old houses. The downside was when you go there for one piece of trim you are in the yard for a minimum of 45 minutes. Just found a old mom and pop, little more expensive but its less than 10 minutes from walking through the door and leaving with product nicely stretch wrapped and help putting it on the truck. Well worth the little extra material cost.
Our gutter supplier has been around forever. They arnt the cheapest and everything is still done by fax. However they stock everything in 032 in 24 colors. They rarely cannot do next day delivery. No need to even look anywhere else. They charge 50$ delivery if it is next door to them or 50 miles away, 5 feet or 500, but who cares it all evens out in the end and always gets the job done.
Part of a good relationship with your suppliers comes down to you. For out main roofing distributor I always try to make a trip worth there while. When we need 3 sq for a small job is that is half hour past our shop we usually just have them deliver to the shop. When having them come out I try to throw on the material for the next few small jobs and a pallet of felt, shield, modified, or what ever we will need coming up to make a trip profitable for them.