There’s an emergency and you need parts yesterday. You contact your preferred supplier, but they don’t have the parts you need in stock and won’t for several weeks. What do you do? Where do you turn? This situation was realized by a large fastener distributor very recently.
Challenge: A prospective customer needs belleville washers immediately, but their supplier does not have the product available from stock.
Solution: American Belleville puts all else aside and helps them find the parts they need.
In this case, a company contacted us with an urgent need for a modest quantity of belleville washers. They needed the products immediately, via overnight delivery. Unfortunately, we did not have the washers available, either. It was an uncommon size, but a regularly moving item for the customer. One they had purchased several times from their preferred supplier. Rather than send them on their way, our sales team found a way to help. We knew there was another lesser-known supplier, a competitor to American Belleville, who was likely to have these washers in stock. We contacted our competitor to confirm that they did indeed have the parts available, could ship that same day, and then followed up with the prospect to help facilitate the purchase for them.
So, what was in it for us? Perhaps a little goodwill? Good karma, even?
Later the following day, a member of our team reached back out to the prospect, just to be sure that everything went smoothly. Fortunately, it did. They were so appreciative that they contacted us again, a week later. This time with an extensive list of items that they regularly purchase, and gave American Belleville the opportunity to submit a proposal. We did so, within an hour, and later that same week we had a brand-new distribution partner. The sales team member who facilitated the experience noted, “I’m basically the guy at McDonalds® who had a hungry customer come in, specifically craving a Whopper®. So, I took him by the hand and walked him across the street to Burger King®. Next time he’ll come back to me at McDonalds®, he’ll bring his whole family, and it’ll be Big Mac® extra value meals for the whole lot of ‘em… large size, with Diet Coke®, of course. They will then finish off their meal with hot fudge sundaes for dessert.”
Yes, we handed business directly to a competitor and tied it neatly with a bow. Guilty as charged. However, in doing so we helped someone solve a problem. And if we’ve learned anything in our decades of experience in this industry, it’s that belleville washers fast become a huge problem when you need them, but can’t get them. In this case, we were able to show someone a perfect example of our Total Customer Experience at work, and it paid off for everyone in the end. Well, everyone but the original preferred supplier.
Full disclosure: this story has repeated itself several times over the last few years. The names and the part numbers change, but each instance has ended with the same result.