Aaron Bergman has been selling tools and equipment for Matco Tools for seven years in the Bloomington-Normal area of Illinois, following his brother, Kevin, into the business. Kevin has been a Matco distributor in Champaign-Urbana for 18 years. Something about the Bergman brothers works in...
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Part of the process is keeping up with your customers' needs and wants.
"If I haven't done my job right, then I don't deserve it," Kevin said.
Both Kevin and Aaron have similar philosophies on truck layout. Unlike many distributors who have almost all shelving with one toolbox at the back of the truck, Kevin and Aaron both feature at least two toolboxes near the doorway.
Aaron's truck sported two of Matco's new 6s toolboxes, as well as two carts along one wall. Kevin's smaller truck featured a 5s and one other Matco toolbox.
One way Aaron optimizes his space to be able to feature the toolboxes is through some slide-out shelves (Aaron's truck is a newly set-up 2006 Kenworth and features a bit more display space than Kevin's truck.) He said sliding vertical shelves turn two feet of wall area into 12 feet of display space.
"The 'slide-outs' are a new idea. … I've seen them on another truck in Chicago. But with the toolboxes, I helped my brother build his display … he had that idea to put them all on one side," Aaron said.
"It's so versatile, it's nice. In my other truck, I had a spot for a two-bay toolbox and a three-bay toolbox, that's it. I had to put the rest in the hallway. Not many distributors have the opportunity to have this kind of truck," Aaron said. I'm pretty fortunate to be able to do this."
Support from district, at expo
Both distributors also credit their success to Matco and the help available in their district, and particularly to District Manager Glen Vanderwall.
"Over the years, I've met a lot of district men who've come and gone. I've never seen one as dedicated to making us happy and profitable as Glen," Kevin said. "He's a good man, and I just hope we never lose him.
"He's as good as they come … and it shows; we turn a lot of dollars down here."
Kevin also gives back to the company through his 15 years as a Matco Distributor Advisory Council representative, a process of feedback from the distributors on the street back to management. Matco's 71 districts each have one MDAC rep, who meet four times a year.
"We give ... a perspective that Matco's management doesn't see," said Kevin. "During my 15 years on the council, we've seen a lot of changes for the better."
Aaron adds that aside from district support, the annual tool expo is a big help. And more than the tool deals or being on stage or training sessions, he looks forward to visiting with distributors from other districts and learning what they have to share.