How would you describe the relationships between manufacturers and dealers, recently?

John G. Swanson
May 14, 2008
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I visited with Four Seasons Sunrooms last week. The company reported recent success in picking up new dealers because of its “more complete” product line. Their new dealers like that they can buy from one source, and get more support as a result, yet satisfy more customers with different needs and different budgets. I can see why that would be appealing to many dealers.

But I also heard from a dealer not too long ago, complaining that he was being pressured to carry more lines from one of his window manufacturers. This dealer preferred to pick and choose from different vendors to put a line together that he felt best suited his customers’ needs. He clearly had an independent streak he wanted to keep, and who can’t help but admire that.

Both these tales suggest that dealers will be more closely tied to single manufacturers of windows and/or doors and/or sunrooms—and carrying their multiple product lines. Is this a trend? That’s my poll question of the week. And, of course, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the issue, whether you’re a dealer or manufacturer, and whether you think it’s good news or bad. Email me tell me more.