Global Fastener News

1982 FIN – Portable Microfiche Readers Replace Paper Catalogues

February 12
00:00 2015

December 3, 1982 FIN  – American Cold Heading’s Midwest Industries Division is carrying portable microfiche readers on calls to distributors instead of catalogues, to give a better sampling of current inventory.

“It is much easier to mail a guy two pages of microfiche with 14,000 line items on it than to send him a book for $5 once a month, “Gene Gorski, sales manager, tells FIN.
“The key,” he says, “is that the value of our inventory, through a bad economy such as we’ve had, has grown tremendously. What you really want to do is to do more than just have the distributor call you and say 8/32 x 1/2 Phillips head machine screws. You don’t have that, but you have a finder head, a 9/16, a hex point machine screw at a good price. You can offer him a complete package, utilize your inventory to their benefit. It is a selling tool for them. ‘Let me get back to you’ can lose you an order.”
At the same time, in arrangements with a limited number of distributors, American Cold Heading will put the distributor’s excess inventory on the same microfiche lists. Either ACH will buy it as surplus, or will help market. The advantage to ACH is that it can offer a more comprehensive inventory, thus encouraging more one-call shopping, and, since inventories are in effect pooled, the distributors will be selling ACH stock along with their own.
There are, conceded Gorski, a number of problems in such close working arrangements: How do we ship it? How do we bill it? What time frame do we use? What if you have different stock in different locations?
Sales are handled through manufacturers’ reps and inside sales people.
The microfiche is updated daily.
The program is only being tried with a select few distributors around the country. “We’ve gotten a positive response from most we have approached,” Gorski tells FIN. “But it’s amazing. On some of the accounts where you would expect the most real ‘Let’s try to do things differently’ attitude, they say ‘Nah, it won’t work. We’ve been doing things this way for 62 years; why should we change now?’
“We sit down with the guy and say, ‘Why don’t we try this? Your phone’s not ringing; we have to pursue a new avenue here’.  ©1982/2015 Fastener Industry News.
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