To Sell or Not To Sell

In our industry, it seems to be one of the biggest questions we've pondered for years. And, individuals have their own philosophies on the best way to market industrial high performance doors to every market that needs them. In fact, Hormann Flexon (also known as Flexion, Inc. and Flexon in recent history) vacillated between selling direct to end users, strictly through dealers, or a combination of both.

There was a time when the company primarily sold direct to end users, with additional sales to those dealers who expressed an interest and perhaps controlled a large piece of service / installation work in their area.  This approach proved to be somewhat successful, however, it required a concentrated approach to telemarketing, mailings and print advertising in order to achieve a sustained level of direct sales of high speed doors.  Where direct sales fell short, we looked to dealer sales to fill in the gaps; and they did for years. 

After many years of using this 'formula,' and with company sales of high performance doors slowly increasing mostly due to the increase in sales through dealers, a decision was made to sell through our developing dealer network exclusively.  This approach was proving to be the most effective way to increase high speed door sales, and at the same time, support installation sales and service on local levels.  We made a full-court press to develop and maintain a strong delaer network, which in many cases, meant ensuring our dealers that we wouldn't sell direct and behind their backs, as this was a common practice (we were told) of some high performance door competitors.

Now, as Hormann High Performance Doors develops sales in vertical markets, such as retail automotive and fire stations, on occasion, there are times when because of the extremely competitive nature of the project, it is necessary to sell the project direct to either the end user or the contractor.  In these types of scenarios, we bring in our local dealer, through a completely transparent discussion, and together we agree on this approach for this specific project.  It's a win / win experience for us, our dealer and the customer.  We win the project, the dealer makes money on the installation (and any subsequent service) and the end user gets the product they want, for the price they can afford.

Our dealer sales program, together with occasional direct sales, has become a highly successful marketing plan which has contributed to a steady growth in sales over the past 10 years.

As Hormann High Performance Doors continues to develop and strengthen our dealer network nationwide and around the world, we are anticipating continued, steady growth in sales numbers and plant operations over the next five years and beyond.  With this growth, we have been conducting technical training seminars as well as facility tours and sales meetings for our dealers and their customers, along with 365/24/7 technical support, which is really helping to provide our dealers with the support they need to be a continual resource for their customers. These kinds of activities have been very exciting to be a part of, and I'm looking forward to continuing our relationship with current dealers, as well as meeting new dealers and bringing them on-board.