As a manufacturer, you likely already know that partnering with an industrial manufacturers’ representative can help you grow your sales, get your foot in the door at new accounts, and expand your market coverage.
But what does that look like in practice?
We sat down with Matthew Regan, the national sales manager of Monster Tool to find out exactly what has changed for them since they started working with IMRs.
Getting Closer to Customers
Headquartered in Vista, California, Monster Tool Company is a second-generation and family-owned manufacturer of solid carbide cutting tools.
With 105 employees and an operational footprint of 50,000 square feet, Monster Tool was positioned to expand, scale, and support the growing demands of manufacturing. But they needed help.
When Matthew Regan joined Monster Tool, he was tasked with growing their footprint and sales in the Midwest. He knew he couldn’t do that at a scale from California using his internal sales team alone, so he started examining his options.
“The manufacturers that win are the ones that, number one, are closest to their customer relationship-wise. But they also have their product closer to end users.”
– Matthew Regan, Monster Tool National Sales Manager
The Search Begins
The first thing Regan did was draw up a list of the non-negotiable requirements that any industrial manufacturers’ representative (IMR) had to meet if they wanted his business.
- At the top of the list was engagement. The firm had to be part of his process and sitting in the same boat.
- Next on the list? “They had to be creative in helping come up with solutions to challenges in the marketplace,” says “That’s all that sales is—finding solutions to problems. And they had to offer that creativity proactively, without us prompting them.”
- Third on the list was partnership. Monster Tool wasn’t looking for a firm that just took orders and followed direction. Instead, they wanted to partner with an IMR that would help them identify opportunities and collaborate with Monster Tool to solve end-user challenges.
- Fourth on the list was territory knowledge. “They needed to have a very good read on the marketplace and the customers there,” says “My responsibilities are on the West Coast and the East Coast, not in the middle of the country. So, I really needed a manufacturers’ representative with expertise and knowledge of that territory, and the customers in it.”
- Fifth on Regan’s list was value. He needed a firm that offered more than just boilerplate independent rep services. He needed a firm that would bring value to Monster Tool by moving the needle on sales, account acquisition, territory expansion, customer retention, logistics and a warehouse in the Midwest.
Success with Durrie Sales
Monster’s search led them to Durrie Sales, an IMR that serves industrial manufacturers across the Midwest, namely, in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.
One of the first successes that Durrie accomplished was helping Monster Tool resolve its inventory challenge in the Midwest. “Our number-one goal was increasing our inventory in Chicago,” says Regan. “Before working with Durrie, we’d had some customers that ordered a product that they assumed was coming from Chicago, but it ended up coming from California. That put them in a bad position with their customer.”
Another early success in the partnership was Durrie Sales helping Monster Tool improve communication with Grainger, Monster Tool’s largest customer in Chicago.
“Durrie Sales President Patrick McKeever has been instrumental in helping us navigate the points of contact in this very large customer, to make sure we’re both speaking to the right people to move the ball down the field. Patrick and I have had a number of conversations with key decision makers at Grainger that I don’t think would have been possible if we didn’t have that relationship with Durrie.”
Durrie Sales was also responsible for boosting sales by 34% at one of Monster’s large Midwest customers in the first quarter of 2021. Regan attributes that success to Durrie’s extraordinary level of engagement. “I was surprised to discover that Durrie Sales is actually a partner in our business, not just an independent contractor. They care as much about our brand as we do, which is important – and rare – for an independent rep group.”
Partnering with an industrial manufacturers’ representative will grow your sales, get your foot in the door at new distributor accounts, and expand your market coverage, but only if you choose that firm carefully. Get in touch with Durrie Sales today to find out how we can help you grow your business.
“Independent sales rep groups are few and far between, and the good ones are like diamonds—very tough to find. We are very happy with our partnership with Durrie. They provide value that is unique in the marketplace. They’re a true partner, they work on developing solutions to problems, they’re very proactive, and they’re really just very enjoyable to work with.”