RDI brings on a new distributor
RDI has teamed up with Amerhart to distribute its complete Titan Pro and Avalon Aluminum Railing lines through various Midwest locations.
The products will now be available at Amerhart's Green Bay, Wisconsin; Pekin, Illinois; West Salem, Wisconsin; Traverse City, Michigan; and Sun Prairie, Wiconsin, locations.
Under the terms of the agreement, RDI will initially service these locations, extending from Northern Minnesota to Southern Illinois to Central Michigan.
"RDI is extremely excited over the establishment of this partnership," said regional territory manager for Barrette Outdoor Living Kirk Evanov. "Our two organizations are very similar in their ideologies and commitment to the customer. With Amerhart's outstanding reputation and unmatched distribution network, this alliance is an excellent strategic fit for us and we're looking forward to expanding our presence within the central U.S. region with Amerhart."
"We are excited about combining RDI's expertise in the design and manufacturing of railing products with Amerhart's legacy of customer service and focus on adding value beyond the order," said Erik Gustafson, VP marketing, exterior products for Amerhart. "Our customers' challenges start far before an order is placed and continue well past product delivery, and we believe we've found a partner in RDI who understands that."
Kodiak forms a new distribution business
Kodiak Building Partners has formed a new drywall and related building materials distribution unit.
Based in Newark, Delaware, Freedom Materials will serve the Mid-Atlantic region with drywall and specialty gypsum products.
It will be headed up by Silvio Ferrari, who said in a statement that he's "excited to take this next step in partnering with the team at Kodiak to grow a drywall distribution business in the Mid-Atlantic region."
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Silvio Ferrari in the formation of this new company," said Kodiak CEO Steve Swinney. "Silvio brings nearly 25 years of excellence in serving customers in the building materials distribution industry. This opportunity is another example of our continued focus on partnering with strong management teams to grow Kodiak."
True Value dives deeper into Rewards
When Blake Fohl addressed the True Value Company’s retailers at the co-op’s most recent Reunion in Chicago, he let them in on a secret: The True Value Rewards program had gone “in-house.”
“We haven't mentioned this up until now because frankly we wanted to ensure that the program was up and running perfectly,” said Fohl, True Value's senior VP of marketing and chief customer officer. “And it was seamless to you, but you know what? You’ve actually been working on the new system for more than five months. Ladies and gentlemen, our rewards program simply works.”
After a period of “fixing and improving” the program, the Chicago-based co-op said the migration of the True Value Rewards in 2015 was part of a larger strategic initiative called “Customer Focused Vision.” Through CFV, customer insights are used to influence merchandising, marketing and site location, as well as growth decisions
The co-op says that by accessing data locally, members can tailor customer communications to their local store and community, driving higher engagement of their customers and being more efficient with their tight marketing budgets.
Out in the field, John Fix, owner of Cornell’s True Value, said loyalty is his core marketing strategy. And the new rollout has brought with it “a lot of cool Web tools.”
Cornell’s enjoys a high usage of the loyalty card — somewhere between 75% and 78% of customers. Some stores have higher penetration, but not many.
“The more people we can ring up on our card, the more I know that our marketing is going to the right people,” Fix told HBSDealer.
Another less-obvious value of the retail rewards program involves reverse logistics, he says. “Where it’s helped us a lot is being more customer-friendly with returns,” Fix said. “If somebody brings something back, we can easily track it. We can refund with confidence without giving up security.”
Meanwhile, the loyalty aspect of that vision has seen a new customer website — Truevaluerewards.com.
“In the past we struggled with the vendor and the quality of service,” Fohl told retailers back at the Reunion. “That's why I'm really proud to tell you that we're now partnering with the TV IT department, and 100% of the functionality is maintained in house. We control our own destiny, and we're better off for it.”