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Success Stories

Manufacturing

Company Profile
This is a successful 126 year-old privately held manufacturer of plumbing fixtures and fittings with its home office located in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The company had longstanding wholesale distribution channels throughout the mid-Atlantic region and also sold products on the retail level throughout the United States and also outside the U.S.

The Situation
There was a dramatic change in the construction industry, which was best exemplified by the introduction of the big box home improvement companies such as Home Depot and Lowe’s. This resulted in new requirements affecting the economics, products, and systems for servicing of their client base. The wholesale division of this company was losing market share and profitability. The management determined that it was time for a strategic business exercise for the wholesale division and engaged Alpha Associates to perform this work.

The Alpha Program
Over this 18-month assignment, a complete review was made of products, distribution, sales systems and personnel, distribution locations and all administrative systems. The result of this exercise was to define a multi-dimensional growth program to be implemented at the company. This program had the following major components:

  • Primary customer research.
  • MIS – contact management, activity tracking, new reports.
  • Pricing – buying group participation.
  • Sales – training, target selling, compensation.
  • Logistics – new distribution models.
  • Promotion – advertising, literature, direct mail, events, internal communications.
  • Expansion – prototype program.

Results
The company, through this growth program, successfully transformed the wholesale division resulting in better systems, a more structured selling process, better sales activity tracking, better trained personnel and a unified strategic process supported and implemented by management. The company returned to growth and profitability, and this condition has continued to the present time.