EXIMO's perpetual restructure of the ducting supply market has not overlooked the SME sector, with a strong network of independent retailers bolstering its distribution chain across Australia and New Zealand.
Sales and marketing manager for Eximo in the Asia-Pacific region, Morris Short, says this retail network of independent operators services those markets that its other product distributor, Blackwood's, can't easily reach due to economies of scale.
"For Eximo, this arrangement is a perfect fit. As these independent retailers have very close links to their long-standing markets, our aim is to continually improve the way we supply them and also help expand their markets," Mr Short said.
"Our independent retailers are strong not only in metropolitan areas but also in regional centres where of a lot of industrial and engineering activity is carried out and ducting is always required.
"Whether it is flexible ducting, metal ducting, or any of the peripherals that go with these products, for the end user any delays can always cause problems, so we are looking for ways to continuously upgrade our arrangement with these independent retailers to make sure the market has what it needs straight away."
A cross-section of Eximo's independent retail partner network includes:
One of the larger reselling accounts in Victoria before Eximo's change in strategy, Transpower has found it is turning over a lot more in the modular type ducting rather than flexible ducting.
"Since the change, we have doubled our modular ducting sales which is beneficial for us and handy for Eximo," Transpower's Peter Westland said.
"Eximo only has to deal with one organisation (Transpower) and we handle the myriad of small accounts for them.
"We now can go out confidently as a distributor of Eximo product. From our point of view, the marriage has been a very happy one. We are getting more and more enquiries from sectors of the market with which we haven't dealt before, and it is opening up more markets in our core business.”
Austin Equipment (Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong)
To this metropolitan retailer, the flexible ducting range in particular has been well received in the marketplace.
Proprietor Craig Austin says Eximo's wide range of ducting suits almost any application and the new distribution system should have considerable positives for the company as Eximo is moving away from supplying directly to the open market because the retail network offers greater efficiencies.
"The metal ducting is an area we are confident we can grow as we have talked to a wide range of SME manufacturing companies that could easily use the product in installation but they don't normally have a large internal engineering backup - but we can offer them the technical assistance," Mr Austin said.
"This includes food processing businesses, small woodworking shops, metal finishing companies, and small joineries which may be connecting up a couple of machines to streamline their production.
"With Eximo now supplying product more quickly via us, the market knows it can receive the goods plus installation backup from Austin equipment."
Austin Equipment has sales representatives familiar with the metal and flexible ducting products so we can turn up to answer questions immediately anywhere in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.
HIS Hose (Melbourne)
Although predominantly an Eximo stockist and distributor in Melbourne, HIS Hose deals with Eximo technical partners and is making contact with these in Melbourne and in regional areas to optimise supply lines.
Primarily stocking the rigid products of Eximo, the company was also moving the product when it was under the Speedlock brand.
However, sales manager Mario Bugeja says the arrangement is working a lot better now since it became Eximo.
"This is probably working better because the Eximo Victoria branch and the head office are working a lot closer to us.
"Now there is a really close association and more advertising, so people are becoming a lot more aware of the product. There is definitely a marked improvement from the previous arrangement.
"We primarily run the rigid lines and specialised products in the flexible range because we manufacture our own flexible lines, but the distribution arrangement seems to be working quite well.”
Express Industrial (Sydney)
Express Industrial's Peter Brennan says the difference now is that the company gains referrals and that is allowing it to work a little more closely with Eximo.
"Things have improved and will have to wait and see how it goes into the next stage. In the past service was an issue but that has gained momentum.
"The new retail network is definitely heading in the right direction which is good for us as we have 12 representatives on the road."