It's Monday morning, and you have been working on bids all
weekend. It's now time to price a job. Your first instinct is to
call Fred and ask him about the order; he has been with Acme Roof
Mart for years. He knows your business; provides great service;
gets product to jobs on time; and supplies products when you need
them, where you need them and how you need them. But the market is
ultracompetitive. New distributors have come to town. There are
more options than ever. Buying roofing materials is becoming
increasingly similar to buying groceries—the price does not
change monthly or even weekly. It changes daily.
The new distributors are promising you great pricing and service
and begging for a try. Manufacturers are offering bigger discounts
on drop shipments, and though you know this cuts the distributor
margin in the short-term, it increases your margin.
In the current business environment, you need every edge you can
get as your margins come under greater pressure. Your customers are
having a "Pillsbury bake-off" on pricing, and you are bidding
against some flaky competitors. You fired a project manager for
incompetence, and now he owns a roofing business and bids against
you on almost every job. You aren't even sure he has proper
What do you do? Go with the best price, or stay loyal to Fred?
You wonder whether the industry has any...
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