Commentary

Commentary - 19 June 2020

Relationships require work (but not paperwork)

 
By Simon Scott, Export Sales Manager
Commentary author

By Simon Scott

Export Sales Director

At Balmoral, we are often asked how we’ve managed to build such a good team of partners in our global customer and distribution network.

The answer is simple; we look after our customers and work in collaboration to ensure they feel supported and as much part of our business as we are a part of theirs. The word partner gets banded around a lot, but a true partnership is a mutually beneficial relationship that is built on honesty, trust and transparency.

In 2019 and 2020 we signed several new partnership agreements with established distributors who had been working with our competitors for many years. Their reasons for wanting to change were quite simple as, despite many years of doing business together, they felt unsupported, isolated and on the wrong side of every contractual and financial discussion. Effectively, they were alienated and unwittingly pushed to look for an alternative supplier.

On approaching Balmoral, they were surprised and delighted at how simple it was to negotiate and agree a supply package that gave them the product and support they were seeking, with terms and conditions that were fair and reasonable to both parties.

The most interesting discussions we had were in relation to the Balmoral distribution agreement. It is two pages long, not seventeen, not nineteen, but two.

We were surprised to hear how in our competitors (long) agreements every possible scenario to protect themselves was dealt with in their distribution agreement, and for what reason?

It was clear from what we heard that the distributors were bound, liable and at risk for not only their own actions, but for the manufacturer’s shortcomings too.

The final insult was that the agreements were non-exclusive and even allowed the manufacturer to set up alternative supply channels in the distributors’ territory, take ownership of projects they wished to deal with directly and take control of marketing strategies such as exhibitions and sales lead management. The distributors that were helping to grow the manufacturer were tied into agreements that did not give them anything other than access to an arguably mediocre product.

Allan Joyce, MD of Balmoral Tanks, has a straightforward take on distribution agreements: “If we need to refer to the terms of a partnership agreement, then the relationship is already over. It is up to us, as principal, to keep the relationship positive and ensure that never happens.

“The purpose of the agreement is to provide a framework upon which both parties benefit and join in with mutual trust. It’s not a range of escape clauses for the principal if things get tough.”

We understand that leaving a well-established and well-known manufacturer is difficult and can seem like a high risk strategy, but we promise that working with Balmoral will be like no other partnership you’ve ever been in.

If you’re looking for a new tank manufacturer to service your existing market or a broad portfolio of liquid storage solutions we want to hear from you.

We understand that partnerships require work to succeed, but not paperwork.

Balmoral Tanks: Trusted. Innovative. Collaborative.

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP SOLVE YOUR CURRENT TECHNICAL CHALLENGE
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RELATED INFORMATION

Balmoral Tanks Ltd
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