Portal has launched the “Portal Select” marketplace. Portal Select provides dealers instant access to industry products from participating suppliers. Dealers will be exposed to products that ship for free, arrive within three business days or less, and in most cases pay additional rewards (via Portal’s industry-wide rewards program).
“As former dealers, we found the process of getting setup with a new supplier extremely painful. We felt that doing business in the industry should be much easier,” said Kirk Chisholm , founder of Portal and former Chicago integrator. “Building an industry catalog and proposal tool for dealers was only the first step to improving the process. Proposals simply laid the foundation for solving the bigger problem—Improving the product procurement experience for the entire industry.”
The Portal team gathered feedback from 5000+ dealers and what they learned is that improved business operations is the number one goal of integrators. They want an industry that is easier to transact with. Specifically, they want:
- Single Place for Procurement
- Mobile Friendly Experience
- Product Stock Status
- Fast Shipping
- Free Shipping
- Easy Payment
“Portal Select” is a certification that Portal places on products that meet all the features from the list above. It’s a signifier that tells dealers the transaction is likely to be efficient and hassle-free. It also highlights the manufacturers in the industry that care about, and are committed to providing dealers a great experience.
David Arango of HT-Install in Delray Beach, Florida, was one of the first Integrators to place a Portal Select order after the dealer announcement.
“As an integrator, Portal has already streamlined my ordering process with my existing vendors and saved me time creating professional proposals,” said Arango. “As soon as I saw the announcement, I placed my first Portal Select order. It was easy and fast. I’ve been an integrator for 15 years—this is exactly what we’ve needed for our industry.”
Dealers must be authorized to gain access to the Portal Select product offering. Traditionally this has been a tedious process for manufacturers, distributors, and dealers. Because Portal already manages the product data and pricing for dealers, it is able to automate the approval process for the marketplace. Dealers who are already approved to purchase from three industry suppliers will be given instant access to “Portal Select” products.
For vendors, Portal Select provides exposure to the entire Portal dealerbase, as well as a solution for order processing and reward management. The following vendors have signed up for the launch of Portal Select:
- Key Digital
- Legrand (Nuvo & On-Q)
- Titan Networx
Michael Lakhter, COO for Key Digital, worked with the Portal team on the launch. “We are committed to making it easy for dealers to do business with Key Digital,” said Lakhter. “Portal allows us to streamline the ordering process, and provide rewards for Key Digital dealers. We’re excited to offer our products as Portal Select products with extra purchasing rewards for dealers.”
Products from these vendors are available right now to all qualifying dealers, with more vendors being added weekly.
“Industry data shows that over 20 percent of dealer purchasing has moved outside the channel, to retailers and e-tailers (such as Amazon) because it’s plain easier than doing business with the traditional industry players,” observed Lawrence Davis III, VP of supplier relations for Portal. “We saw an opportunity to bring that business back to the channel—to our industry partners—by reducing the friction between dealers and suppliers. The Portal team, our investors, our vendor partners, and most importantly our dealers, believe that Portal Select represents the future of business for our industry.”