Harrisburg, PA — D&H Distributing has announced that even in this trying economy, it is strengthening its commitment to customers with enhanced programs, resources and financing for dealers, installers, and retailers. Offerings such as the Business Assurance credit program, which will amount to $38 million in new credit for D&H customers; the “Better Business” seminars at the distributor’s 2009 trade show events; and always-accessible educational tools like the “D&H TV” online webisodes are helping customers gain the resources and savvy they need to navigate the down economy.
“Our customers are reaching out for support, from financing to sales strategies to guidance on how to run their businesses. Now more than ever, dealers and installers need to know what categories to specialize in to turn the most profit. They need to leverage their distribution partners’ strengths in order to thrive, so we’re gearing up with the kind of assistance they’re asking for,” said Mary Campbell, vice president of marketing at D&H. “Our focus is consistent. We’re committed to making sure that our customers remain successful.”
D&H is also looking toward the future for hidden growth opportunities that might be a consequence of the current economic conditions. With large chains like Circuit City exiting the industry, it creates avenues for smaller dealers and retailers to fill that market void. Smaller dealers may have the opportunity to capture service contracts, creating ongoing incremental consultative revenue streams and building long-term relationships with new customers. In addition, the lay-offs we see today may result in the formation of smaller technology start-ups with innovative new products to help reinvigorate the industry, as happened after the 2001 recession, leading to a surge in the SMB market.
During their first year as vice presidents at D&H, vice president of purchasing Rob Eby and vice president of marketing Mary Campbell developed several programs that will provide significant assistance, including:
• The Business Assurance Credit Program: D&H will disseminate a total of $38 million in credit through a two-tier program that will benefit hundreds of D&H customers in the CE, home entertainment and gaming arenas. This influx could generate a 10- to 20-percent sales increase among these customers, at a time when other credit avenues are diminishing, and could help them take advantage of new opportunities that might have otherwise been unattainable.
• Better Business Seminars: D&H will continue to conduct its full roster of live trade show events this year. Seminars will include new sessions devoted to helping dealers do more efficient business. The first such seminar, “Outstanding Customer Service: Your Secret Weapon During an Economic Downturn,” took place at D&H’s West Coast Technology Show in City of Industry, CA on March 5. The presentation armed dealers with tactics to keep existing customers satisfied and loyal, even with minimal budgets.
• D&H TV: In addition to trade show sessions, D&H offers educational streaming media “webisodes,” accessible through dandh.com at any time. These value-added presentations deliver solutions-based tutorials on new technologies and verticals, introducing customers to the latest sales strategies and opportunities. Current D&H webisodes spotlight TomTom GPS solutions; new electronics from Logitech, Nokia and Samsung; and the “HP Total Solution” for home or business. Forthcoming sessions include a presentation on netbooks and ASUS’ Eee PCs.
As a broadline distributor, D&H can help dealers extend their core competencies beyond a basic consumer electronics platform, finding new revenue streams, add-on opportunities and niche markets that fit each dealer’s business model. This could provide the competitive edge necessary to differentiate dealers from less versatile competitors, helping them through the recession. It’s been D&H’s goal throughout its 90-year history to maintain its consultative, “intimacy” sales model, a crucial value-add that can help customers identify new business at a time when CE sales are at their most challenging.
“There is room for growth in the consumer electronics channel. We’re still imagining the opportunities that will generate from the shake-ups we’re seeing now,” said Rob Eby, vice president of purchasing at D&H. “If we can keep our dealers and installers educated and provide resources like credit to give them purchasing power even in the hardest times, we’ll all thrive together. D&H has had the experience to see trends of this kind evolve over time, which is why we are still optimistic and keeping our eye on where the trends are heading. Eventually, they will lead somewhere profitable for our dealers, and D&H will be there to meet their needs.”