Posts Tagged "Press Article"

Direct from Plumbing Wholesaler

Posted by on Jun 16, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A business by the name of Ferguson is a 60-year-old plumbing wholesaler in the U.S.  They are a large company, having approximately 18,000 employees.  President and CEO Frank Roach describes in the Newport News, VA Daily Press:

Ferguson had already put in motion its key plan for future growth by venturing into e-commerce with the buyout of Improvement Direct and its online home improvement and decor stores in 2007. As Ferguson is primarily a wholesaler, its online platform was envisioned to serve business customers, although the division is capable of moving Ferguson toward more direct-to-customer sales with Build.com, Roach said. In the past, contractors and interior designers would visit Ferguson’s showrooms to pick out cabinets, faucets, bathtubs, appliances, lighting and other building products.

E-commerce won’t replace Ferguson’s showrooms, but it lowers operating costs as it allows for self-service, he said. Commercial customers can order and track statuses online 24/7 without having to make phone calls.

“We’re not going to wait for the world to get better,” Roach said. “We’re going to get better ourselves.”

from the Newport News, VA Daily Press article by Tara Bozick June 13, 2013. Click here to read more.

Ferguson, as a wholesaler, is working to move towards a direct-to-consumer model.  Eliminating the brick-and-mortar retailer step and allowing end consumers to purchase directly from their online platform should benefit the company.

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Direct Auto Sales Fight in North Carolina

Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A fight in North Carolina between the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association  and automaker Tesla may soon be settled by the state legislature.

 

tesla

 

Per the Chris Kardish Associated Press article,

It’s the latest such battle for California-based Tesla, which like other car manufacturers must navigate a patchwork of state laws dictating how its vehicles can be sold. Nearly all states – 48 – require manufacturers to sell their vehicles through dealerships to ensure the companies don’t undercut their own network of franchised dealers, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association.

Tesla says it is cutting out the middleman by allowing people to view different options in a showroom, but then ordering the car direct from the company online rather than buying from a salesman. That approach also allows it to bypass state laws regarding franchised dealers, which have been in place for decades. However, lobbying groups say franchise dealers invest more locally and provide customer service that Tesla cannot.

The bill in North Carolina was mostly routine, simply updating the law governing the relationship between automakers and dealers. But it also changes the law to subject electronic sales to the same scrutiny. It has been unanimously approved by the Senate; the company is set to sit down with the state lobbying group for dealers, the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association, to discuss a compromise that both sides say is unlikely to be reached. .

Tesla doesn’t yet have a showroom in North Carolina, where it has sold about 80 cars to date. The company recently announced the first quarterly profit in its 10-year history, around the same time Consumer Reports gave its Model S electric sedan a near-perfect rating.

Tesla currently operates 29 stores and galleries across 14 states and Washington, D.C. Customers can order a car online at a sales location or at home but not at galleries, which exist purely to showcase cars in states where auto dealers have launched suits or state law restricts the company from discussing sales in person.

Colorado was the first state to take action against the manufacturer’s stores, passing legislation in 2010 that halts their expansion. Since then, Minnesota lawmakers unsuccessfully pushed for a similar measure. In New York and Massachusetts, dealers have unsuccessfully sued to shut down the dealer’s stores. In Virginia, a judge recently rejected Tesla’s request for an exception to laws that prevent manufacturers from operating dealerships in most cases.

But the automaker can sell in every state because transactions legally take place in California. The North Carolina law, however, prevents customers in the state from making electronic purchases directly through manufacturers, said Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s vice president of business development.

“This would be the first place to my knowledge that Internet-based communications with our company would be circumscribed,” he said.

Tesla, as a upstart automaker, has worked to build a successful business by selling direct to their customer.  This benefits Tesla by removing the requirement of building a large distribution and sales network.  It has largely proved successful, and is a model for other upstart manufacturing companies to follow.

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