Hardware Retailing

Orgill 2019

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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EXECUTIVE Q&A DISTRIBUTOR PROFILE SERIES HARDWARE RETAILING 43 Hardware Retailing (HR): What's the importance of having effective emergency preparation plans in place? Rebecca Rainer Partee (RRP): Retailers need to have the right mix of supplies to meet the needs of their customers before, during and after a storm hits. They need to be able to depend on their suppliers to not only have that mix, but also have the ability to get that product to them in a timely manner. In order for retailers to be a source of help in their community after a storm, they must have a supplier that has processes in place so both the retailer's needs and the community's needs can be met. HR: How does Orgill handle its internal logistics when a natural disaster occurs? RRP: No one can control the weather, but Orgill can help our customers be prepared to handle disasters when they hit. Communication is always important. This is especially true during a disaster. When we're dealing with natural disasters, each department sets up daily conference calls. Sometimes the calls are needed more than once a day. The focus of the call is always how Orgill can best help our customers in their time of need. HR: How does each department play a role during a disaster? RRP: The sales support team works as the coordinator between the departments when disasters hit. Our merchandising services team works on making sure items that have been defined as "emergency goods" are in stock in the necessary warehouse, depending on the location of the natural disaster. This sometimes means transferring goods from one of our distribution centers to another. We're lucky to have a great group of employees who are willing to expanded hours to get those emergency orders out the door. Our sales team acts as Orgill's eyes in the field. They let the home office and distribution centers know what is happening in their area after a disaster. Weather can change rapidly, and we depend on them to let us know what's going on and what our customers' different needs may be. Our customer service team is always a vital part of Orgill's disaster response. They take calls and coordinate with the distribution centers what they are hearing from customers. HR: Can you give some examples of how Orgill has successfully served its customers during one of these times? RRP: The damage that storms cause communities is devastating. However, it's so rewarding to know Orgill is able to directly help those affected through our work. It's during emergencies like these that items found at hardware stores become a necessity. We recently received some letters from our customers who were pleased with Orgill's responses after Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Florence last year. Specifically, those customers mentioned that they appreciated Orgill's assistance in getting product to their stores as quickly as possible, and said the extra deliveries really helped them keep up with consumer demands. We're here to provide our customers with the items they need in a timely, efficient manner, and getting feedback like those letters lets us know the processes that we have in place for a disaster are working well. How Orgill Supports Its Customers During Difficult Times Prepared for Anything Rebecca Rainer Partee Director of North American Sales Support Partee joined Orgill in 2005 and worked as a marketing analyst and marketing operations manager before taking on her current role as the head of sales support, where she works closely with the sales and IT teams. " We're here to provide our customers with the items they need in a timely, efficient manner, and getting feedback like those letters lets us know the processes that we have in place for a disaster are working well. "

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