New research by one of Europe’s largest online electrical distributors, reichelt elektronik, has revealed that the most important factor when choosing a distributor to work with is stock availability, with speedy delivery a close second (38% and 37% respectively). According the research of 300 UK employees in the engineering sector, conducted by OnePoll, low pricing was ranked as the third most important factor, suggesting buyers are willing to pay extra for a quality, fast service.
That being said, 71% of buyers still expect distributors to have good prices for their products as standard. 68% also expect high quality and 65% expect fast delivery times.
The top improvement customers would like to see from distributors is more flexibility offered in delivery bottlenecks, either through alternative sources or manufacturers for the most sought-after products. Bottlenecks occur most often when ordering drive technology (23%), capacitors (20%) and sensors (22%). Purchasers have the least problems when buying trimmers or ICs.
This plus more innovative products and greater personalisation for sourcing special parts are all more important than being given a better shopping experience on ecommerce platforms or customer service across a range of platforms. This is perhaps surprising given the rise of online retailing.
With many Brits in the engineering sector purchasing from an average of seven suppliers, choosing the best companies to work with who can meet requirements is crucial. Good partnerships are valued amongst buyers, with 71% of participants citing a personal relationship with the distributor as being very important. Only 3% said other priority factors were more important.
Thomas Kruse, product manager at reichelt, said: “Establishing a good relationship with distributors is fundamental to the client/supplier partnership and something that we pride ourselves on at reichelt. Through understanding the specific requirements of the customer and how they operate, distributors can deliver quality products according to their timescales and offer the personalised, flexible service that is being asked for.”