- I’m a customer with many contract options, how will BTL show me their contract best meets my needs?
BTL establishes a “baseline” by conducting an analysis of current product selection/usage, costs, controls and reporting. This helps BTL build a “Case for Change” which then makes it easy for customers, purchasing, manufacturers and BTL to identify potential benefits, reduce risk, gain support from all levels of influence and ultimately increase outcomes.
- Why are your prices better than other distributors?
Our customers understand that by driving costs out of the whole supply chain (from manufacturers to end-users) costs can be reduced. Identifying those costs, including hidden rebates, is a key to this shared goal.
- Does BTL support cooperative buying?
Cooperative buying has a main purpose to leverage best practices and volume pricing. Unfortunately, those goals are often not accomplished. Our relationships with cooperative buying groups is both strong and results driven.
- We have used market-basket pricing for years because we can’t evaluate all of the products we buy. Why don’t you follow that same approach?
- All too often the products in the market basket aren’t your top spend
- It minimizes the value of a cost-in-use program as a system
- It stifles the introduction of innovations in products and/or processes
- What products/vendor lines do you carry?
We engage both manufacturers and customers in tailoring products and programs to meet customers’ specific needs. If a customer has a requirement for a specific product, we will provide it. Our customers have said that having a million products in a catalog has never been a compelling value prop for them.
As a customer-focused business; our first priority is to empower our customers (end users). BTL can help ignite or disprove product ideas and promotions offered by manufacturers by, observing, documenting, analyzing and reporting.
- How do you support our set-aside programs?
Like contract compliance for manufacturing programs and internal customer controls, we support the decisions of our customers with processes and controls to ensure compliance at all levels to achieve our customers’ goals.
- What experience do you have in our industry?
BTL, as our name indicates goes “beyond theory”. We have practical, real-life experience in the janitorial/sanitation, broader wholesale distribution, 3PL logistics, retail, manufacturing and other industries. This vast experience has allowed us to incorporate best practices in the BTL service model.
In addition, we are frequent speakers in industry conferences where we share our extensive knowledge on how to leverage best practices across industries.
- My facilities people have a lot of experience in product selection. Are they included in the product/program selection?
Yes. Their involvement is critical and leads to better results for all, including a sharing of best practices with their peers.
- What is your “in-line audit”?
It’s our way of ensuring molehills don’t become mountains. Lean and Sigma programs show us that measuring and stopping issues in progress are both less costly and create a learning environment – part of BTL’s Continuous Improvement program.
- I contract with a vendor to negotiate the best prices. How can BTL do it better?
BTL does the same thing, but we are forthright and transparent about the process and because we provide insight about your needs to manufacturers, they are more than willing to offer a better “net product/solution price”. BTL acts as an advocate on the customer’s behalf.
- Why aren’t political subdivisions using our state contract?
Either they don’t know about the value of your contract (a marketing issue), or they don’t believe it meets their needs (a structure issue). BTL addresses both of these in our contracts and states our plan for achieving results.
- How do I leverage all of these reports?
Customers can use them to both manage budgets and ensure compliance by both BTL and internal resources. Central Purchasing can use the reports to both show the value of their work and ensure the customers are receiving the value/benefits expected.
- What type of training does BTL offer?
Training on proper product use is conducted at the implementation of a contract, for new facilities and as needed, with the expertise of both the manufacturer(s) and BTL. For training on the contract administration reports, BTL offers both implementation and ongoing training for any customer or purchasing resource. As new reports or products/solutions are introduced, ongoing formal training is proactively offered.
- My current vendor charges for training. Does BTL?
No. Training is part of a contract requirement and is critical for effective communication.
- How do I know your “Continuous Improvement” is working?
Reports and ongoing communication both through personal contact and through a customer’s “Customer Center” monitor these results and show tangible examples.
- How will new manufacturer products/solutions be introduced?
A customer representative will decide if there is interest in changing products/solutions. BTL has exceptional relationships with manufacturers and actively solicits news/updates on their innovations.
- Is BTL an integration or system implementation firm?
BTL is a non-traditional distributor of commercial goods, specializing in logistics and contract administration. BTL applies a customer-centric approach, our first priority is to empower our customers (end users) and ensure they are receiving the products and access to support programs that they specifically desire/require.
- What makes BTL different from other logistics providers?
We begin all of our customer relationships by first listening. We recognize “customer-signals”, signals that indicate customers may be unhappy with current contracts and the status quo. “Customer-signals” such as:
- Buying “off” contract
- Using own contract
- Buying from non-state contracts
- Buying from several overlapping contracts
- Buying from several vendors on one contract
- Communication between BTL drivers and facility managers
- Market basket items are not being purchased in quantities that market basket items should be purchase
To empower our customers and ensure contact compliance BTL offers value-added services such as:
- Spend Analysis
- Management of Inventory
- Manufacturer Program Support
- Business Rule Management
- Advanced Supply Chain Best Practices
- Continuous Improvement
- What about innovations in logistics and contract administration?
BTL is seen as a “thought leader” in the broad world of supply chain management by making frequent speeches to trade associations and attending conferences. For a list of upcoming events, click here