Since December 2020 ConEquip has been a partner of Resolve, recently crossing 20M+ in GMV.
For those less familiar with ConEquip, they are a rapidly growing B2B construction parts and supplier marketplace. But there’s a catch, they don’t take orders online. With $52B in inventory and 500K parts supplied, how and why do they do it?
This recent Wholesale Change podcast with CFO, Ryan Loos and the Distribution Strategy Group will answer that why!
- Prioritizing fast and reliable shipping within 24 hours to delight customers is crucial
- Building supplier relationships is a top priority to better service customers
- Offering net terms with Resolve will significantly grow your customer base and sales
- Hiring for sales experience, not industry knowledge will help you win more business
In any industry, time is money, but this is especially true for the construction industry. When your bulldozer breaks and dirt is not being moved, construction is paused. This unplanned downtime eats into your budget - you need a new part, a fix, fast. Ryan Loos, CFO at ConEquip mentions that “we probably have 150 freight shipments moving and around 200-300 UPS parcels moving per day.” This means, their customers get the parts they need quickly.
Because they don’t warehouse or store anything on site, their strategy was to understand how freight and parcel delivery works! Building an in-house system to better manage the tracking of shipments has enabled them to stand out. They can tell their customers where the package is at all times and how long it will take until it arrives. On top of that, customers have the opportunity to select shipping methods, they can even get the parts they need the next day and construction can continue.
When you need something badly, it tends to be out of stock, your worst nightmare. Ryan shares that “one of our goals was to become our supplier's number one customer.” In doing so, they have built strong relationships with their shipping, sales and product teams and are given preferential treatment, one of the secrets to their success.
Construction supplies are available on ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay, etc, however they may take longer to ship or as mentioned, be out of stock. By investing in relationships with suppliers, ConEquip has full oversight into inventory levels with their top 25 suppliers and additionally can reserve inventory directly. This gives them a leg-up with their customers as they can proactively tell them what is available or when it will be available again, helping them plan accordingly.
A theme you have seen developing is thinking about how to improve the customer experience - shipping faster and understanding inventory levels are two ways. Another approach ConEquip takes is fostering long term relationships with existing and new customers through offering net terms online.
Ryan mentions that “Resolve has been a really big help getting us into larger companies that are used to dealing with net terms.” By comfortably offering 30-60-90 day net terms with advances of up to 90% per invoice they are able to take on larger orders without hesitation. They have anticipated 18% growth in sales which equates to about $14M dollars in revenue and a larger customer base that will repurchase. Resolve truly takes the stress away for manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers like ConEquip looking to accept higher purchases without worrying about the risk of repayment.
Perhaps one of the most surprising things Ryan communicated was “we do not hire anyone who understands parts or construction equipment, we hire people who are trained in sales.”
Selling construction parts via the phone is a quick transaction so Ryan wants to make sure his employees are able to build quick rapport. You can train someone to learn about construction equipment (which they do) but you cannot train someone as easily on customer service and relationship building. This is one of the fundamental parts of their business, doing everything humanly possible to help the customer in their purchases. Building a good relationship is fundamental to any business and it starts with the first point of contact, in their case, a sales associate.
Think about what was discussed and how it resonated with you and your business. ConEquip isn’t the first company Resolve has driven growth for and it certainly won’t be the last. If you are ready to learn more about how net terms can improve your customer relationships and increase your purchase orders, book a discovery call with our product experts.