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Your Pet Peeves

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HeatingHelp
HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 650
edited October 2019 in THE MAIN WALL

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Your Pet Peeves

What gets under your skin these days when it comes to your local wholesalers?

Read the full story here


Comments

  • BUSTERBATBOY
    BUSTERBATBOY Member Posts: 6
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    1. That is true. We get "some" training on products. But there are lots of model numbers and even more ancillary items, and we have to remember all of that "between" phone calls. I takes a while to learn that stuff, then they change the line.Technology has been running past me for the last 15 years or so.
    Also, many of us have never installed the stuff we sell. We feel fortunate just to have jobs. I came from plumbing pipes to inside sales for HVAC, even though i had little experience, I persevered in spite of my ignorance.
    I did learn some things and actually made a list of things our customers might need and read the list to them while they were in front of me, more often than not, they were reminded of something they forgot, the rest were irritated.Do you have a list?
    Paying on line is a hassle especially for guys like me who don't really like computers.My wife does that, that's why i married her she is smarter than me.
    Heavy phones were the dearth of my working life. We did our best to call back, but sometimes we did drop the ball. My apologies.
    2.I have gotten orders wrong, that is why i repeat the order back, sometimes though, under heavy fire, i would miss something,or the contractor did not have time to listen to me repeat the order. I had nightmares over that stuff. I would recommend emailing or faxing the list, then calling behind it. Then ask the counter man to repeat it back for clarification and ask for any zero items. Also, ask for the order number, that means they have to generate the order in the computer. You may even want to have your account number memorized, if you have one. There are scores of "Smith Heatings" out there,which one are you? We appreciate your business, but have so many accounts, we do not always remember your name. My apologies.
    Unfortunately there are some individuals in the chain that do not care.
    More often than not, some are simply overwhelmed with work. I know that is not an excuse. Walk a mile in their shoes.
    It really is not a bad idea to go over the order with they guy pulling the stuff,that would save time. At least you will know what you have when you pull away from the supply house.
    We really do hate making mistakes and messing things up.
    Everybody, even Walmart carries less inventory after the downturn. I like your idea of calling other supply houses when one doesn't have what you need. Think "Corporate" survival. They do. I think there is a new reality in the supply industry, and like you said the inventory is light, so they stock what they can readily sell, Get to know the guys at the other branches that may help.
    It is true that there is a shortage of experienced workers, but God help the guy who makes a customer wait at our branch, the mgr. is all over us about that.
    All of these pet peeves are true to some extent or another, sometimes it is corporate policy, and sometimes human error. I enjoy serving others, and will continue to do so. I am paying attention and hope to get better at what I do, thank you for reading this rather long email. :)
  • mikeg2015
    mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,194
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    Delivery times. Some deliver only once a week to our area. I bet 75% of the time it’s a box truck with almost nothing in it. Maybe if they had a little Transit connect they could economically do 2 runs a week.

    The result is more and more we use supply house.com. Get most parts in 2 days and they are cheaper.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,579
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    Having to special order standard parts has to be the worst. If the supply house carries a boiler in their warehouse, the should also carry all the common parts.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    rick in AlaskaSTEVEusaPA
  • Ron Jr._3
    Ron Jr._3 Member Posts: 603
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    Not stocking the common big ticket items they used to have plenty of. Had an issue getting a boiler just today.
  • Bill_Kitsch69
    Bill_Kitsch69 Member Posts: 48
    edited October 2019
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    The distributors work in favor of OEMs on warranty on their problem products. The contractor takes the hit for wasted time chasing after their inadequately tested designs, or bad coil runs, eg.. There is a reason why once per week distributor sales staff attends role-playing meetings: To manipulate the contractor.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,579
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    The distributors work in favor of OEMs on warranty on their problem products. The contractor takes the hit for wasted time chasing after their inadequately tested designs, or bad coil runs, eg.. There is a reason why once per week distributor sales staff attends role-playing meetings: To manipulate the contractor.

    Really, once per week? I'd like to know where that supply house is. I don't think mine meet once per month about anything.
    I do agree that they are reluctant to file warranty info. I just figured they were lazy.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • spectrumenergy
    spectrumenergy Member Posts: 4
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    When a counter or salesperson says "we can have that for you by tomorrow, Thursday, or next week." (I am cod) so I can order it (probably at a better price) and have it by tomorrow and get what I want. So don't stock it!! (I may be droning on here..)
    mattmia2
  • alongley
    alongley Member Posts: 3
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    @Bill_Kitsch69 Not sure what you mean by this statement. Distributors lose just as much time and money chasing down contractors for correct information in order to file warranties. Then we have to wait to get paid by the manufacturer. We like nothing more than being able to give you your credit in a timely manner. Warranties are a necessary evil of any business. The last part of your statement made me laugh out loud! I don't know who you do business with or in what part of the country but I can assure you distributors are not out to manipulate contractors. Why would we manipulate the very people we count on for OUR success?
  • alongley
    alongley Member Posts: 3
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    I have been in the wholesale/distribution business for 29 years and have encountered most of situations mentioned above. I would like to address some of them to let you know where we are coming from. 'Counter people do not know their products.' - we do our best. Most distributors have too many lines and it is impossible for us to keep up with everything. In addition, most of the knowledge we developed over the years comes from learning from our customers! If you think we don't want to learn more about how we can help you, you are mistaken. In my experience, it's not about knowing everything; it's about knowing how to find the information you need. 'Orders written and pulled wrong by people who don’t care.' - while I am sure there are some in our industry that don't care, the vast majority of us do. It sucks getting a call from a customer who was counting on us and letting them down. We do our best but we are human, mistakes are going to happen. 'The problem that seems to be getting worse is the very lean inventory at their locations I visit.' - branch locations are just as frustrated as you are. We HATE telling you we don't have something in stock. That said, inventory levels will never be where they once were. We know you can't always plan things out but please try to plan better. It will make all of our jobs easier. 'A local wholesaler has its inside salespeople at desks behind the counter.' - I don't know in what part of the country this is in but I will say I hate to hear it and I'm truly sorry. As a branch manager for most of my career, no one in any branch of mine is above working the counter. I make it very clear to every one of my team members that if the phone rings answer it, if there is someone at the counter help them! Those sales people are getting direction from someone so rather than blame them, try talking to the branch manager about it. I have a feeling that may be the root of the problem. 'Some contractors abuse the wholesalers.' - YES!!!!! Most of our customers are great but some of them don't value our time at all. We are just as busy and have just as much stress. If you work with us, we will work for you.
    Sorry to go on for so long. All of these concerns are worthy of discussion and are not to be minimized. I just felt it would be beneficial to know where we are coming from. Thank you all for your business and good luck!
    Intplm.DZororick in AlaskaZman
  • alongley
    alongley Member Posts: 3
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    1. That is true. We get "some" training on products. But there are lots of model numbers and even more ancillary items, and we have to remember all of that "between" phone calls. I takes a while to learn that stuff, then they change the line.Technology has been running past me for the last 15 years or so.
    Also, many of us have never installed the stuff we sell. We feel fortunate just to have jobs. I came from plumbing pipes to inside sales for HVAC, even though i had little experience, I persevered in spite of my ignorance.
    I did learn some things and actually made a list of things our customers might need and read the list to them while they were in front of me, more often than not, they were reminded of something they forgot, the rest were irritated.Do you have a list?
    Paying on line is a hassle especially for guys like me who don't really like computers.My wife does that, that's why i married her she is smarter than me.
    Heavy phones were the dearth of my working life. We did our best to call back, but sometimes we did drop the ball. My apologies.
    2.I have gotten orders wrong, that is why i repeat the order back, sometimes though, under heavy fire, i would miss something,or the contractor did not have time to listen to me repeat the order. I had nightmares over that stuff. I would recommend emailing or faxing the list, then calling behind it. Then ask the counter man to repeat it back for clarification and ask for any zero items. Also, ask for the order number, that means they have to generate the order in the computer. You may even want to have your account number memorized, if you have one. There are scores of "Smith Heatings" out there,which one are you? We appreciate your business, but have so many accounts, we do not always remember your name. My apologies.
    Unfortunately there are some individuals in the chain that do not care.
    More often than not, some are simply overwhelmed with work. I know that is not an excuse. Walk a mile in their shoes.
    It really is not a bad idea to go over the order with they guy pulling the stuff,that would save time. At least you will know what you have when you pull away from the supply house.
    We really do hate making mistakes and messing things up.
    Everybody, even Walmart carries less inventory after the downturn. I like your idea of calling other supply houses when one doesn't have what you need. Think "Corporate" survival. They do. I think there is a new reality in the supply industry, and like you said the inventory is light, so they stock what they can readily sell, Get to know the guys at the other branches that may help.
    It is true that there is a shortage of experienced workers, but God help the guy who makes a customer wait at our branch, the mgr. is all over us about that.
    All of these pet peeves are true to some extent or another, sometimes it is corporate policy, and sometimes human error. I enjoy serving others, and will continue to do so. I am paying attention and hope to get better at what I do, thank you for reading this rather long email. :)

    It appears as if you are doing all the right things. Keep up the good work!
  • Jackmartin
    Jackmartin Member Posts: 196
    edited October 2019
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    I can see the wholesalers points but the one thing I cannot get over is pricing.I have sent invoices to customers and what comment do I get back, I saw the exact part that you put on my Boiler and Amazon was cheaper. I do not mark up prices for residential parts more than 15 percent. Now the customer goes online sees the part you installed at a lower price and you are just a money hungry ahole. How are we supposed to compete when the general public can get parts for the same wholesale price we pay for them? I was installing some new fluorescent lights in my son's house I bought the fixtures from the wholesale, the next day I was in Home Depot they had far better fixtures for at least a third less. I called my salesmen and told him and he said they could not possibly compete with Home Depot. So why don't I just get an account at Home Depot and cheery pick what I need for a job. I realize everyone needs to make a profit to survive but the pricing has to be brought into line. I resell the parts I get for a job it is part of the contract price, if the customer gets his own material how do I make up that loss? There is another thing that just Frost's my pumpkin, rude counter people. I have gone into a new wholesaler and I am ignored because old Bert just walked in. Old Bert buys a part for thirty dollars tells the guy all about his urinary tract problems for a half hour, I am in a hurry and I am in your wholesale because you stock a boiler the construction company I am subbing to specified. The boiler is worth 15k and I get fed up listening to old Bert tell you about his bathroom schedule. I phone the contractor , tell him I can put in a boiler at exactly the same price point ,plus it is just as good in every respect. He says go for it, old Bert and your counter jerk have just cost you a 15 K sale. I would imagine you can buy a lot of Depends for 15K . I am not going to ever stick my head in your wholesale again, not because old Bert is not a nice guy, but because you are trying to be a psychologist when you should be selling material goods. In the event old Bert's urinary tract interests you so much call him after work, stupid. I have been in this business for 46 years and I can say without a doubt, the oldtimers were so much better than today's counter people it is sad, they knew if they didn't sell there was no paycheck. Now everyone thinks time is not money, perhaps in an alternate universe ,but not in this one. You stop doing business and the soup kitchen is just down the street and I hear they give excellent service.
    Intplm.
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
    edited October 2019
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    I have solved the problem of sending out invoices with prices on them by having my invoices printed up so the price doesn't show, just the description and the quantity. In more than 20 years doing it, I have only had about four people complain about it. I explain that I do it so I don't have to worry about the people who price shop my prices, and that they are what I need them to be to stay in business, and if they are ok with the bottom line total, what difference does it make what the prices are. I rarely get any issues with it.
    P.s. My pet peeve is not enough help to answer the phones. One of my suppliers, who is very large, only has one main guy to run the phones, and the counter. A lot of times my call will go to voice mail.
    Rick
  • hvacr
    hvacr Member Posts: 5
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    Simply customer service.
    Supply House manager asked me what It would take to get my business. I replied that "when I went to xyz supply house they had prompt service, ask for a part and not in stock they immediately were looking for a source and availability. If I called in a parts request and could not get by before closing they would have someone meet me there after hours or I would find the part on my front porch.
    Here I just get, we don't have it and stares."
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,754
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    hvacr said:

    Simply customer service.
    Supply House manager asked me what It would take to get my business. I replied that "when I went to xyz supply house they had prompt service, ask for a part and not in stock they immediately were looking for a source and availability. If I called in a parts request and could not get by before closing they would have someone meet me there after hours or I would find the part on my front porch.
    Here I just get, we don't have it and stares."

    I'm just a homeowner so you add on top of that having to find the supply house that will sell to me and having to get there when they are open along with usually not knowing what the price is until it is time to pay, i just order stuff online now.

    We have a hardware store that is pretty well stocked with the emergency items, I will buy hardware items from them and I will buy specialized things in an emergency to get something running although they wanted about $30 for a $5 capacitor so you pay for the convenience of them having that stuff locally.
  • Jackmartin
    Jackmartin Member Posts: 196
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    I have a different pet peeve and it centers around customers. I have only ever been stiffed for a bill by wealthy people, the kind that live in 8000 square foot houses, go to Palm springs all winter and have an inground pool too big to fit in my backyard. I have never been stiffed by a working person in all the years I have been doing this,46 years. The other pet peeve I have are property managers when God handed out the brains these people were obviously in the washroom, talk about
    a know nothing bunch. They call you names, tell you the other contractor said you did the job wrong and then when their new best friend contractor can't get his,/ her handiwork to do anything they figure they can phone you and you will get them out of their ignorant hole because --- well you should. I have given up on property managers and if you live in the rich part of Winnipeg phone someone else, chislers. Stay Well and Be Blessed Jack
    Joe_Dunham