In a market like ours, we have to purchase product at the best possible price or we won’t be competitive.
The oil industry affects everything in Alberta, and the downturn in oil prices in the last few years has had a huge impact on the housing market in Edmonton. Competition is fierce and margins are always under pressure, so it is essential for us to have good relationships with our suppliers. If our suppliers understand our business, and they understand we are the mechanism to get their product to market for them, we all win.
The Sexton office helps us make connections with suppliers and they help negotiate buying programs for us. I believe working through the buying group actually provides the product manufacturer with better access to the dealer and gives suppliers a better understanding of the dealer’s needs. Because of that we can negotiate programs that are beneficial to both the retailer and the manufacturer.
Working with Sexton definitely gives us a competitive advantage in our market. They have a small staff that is dedicated to helping the members, and they have helped us negotiate group buys, exceptional buys, quarterly and seasonal buys and bookings from individual vendors. We even have the option to go to the manufacturer directly to purchase product if we need to. In a market like Edmonton, especially in the current economy, we have to purchase product at the best possible price or we won’t be competitive.
It’s also essential for us to maintain inventory levels so that we always have what our customers need when they need it. When we encounter inventory problems, the Sexton team will get involved and help work things out for us. Often solving the issue is as simple as the supplier getting back to the Sexton office. And depending on what the issue is, the response time from Sexton is within the same day or the next business day.