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  • Writer's pictureLocke-Brothers

Understanding the Value and Advantages of Working With a Manufacturers’ Representative

Updated: Jan 18, 2022

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There are many types of Manufacturing Representative Agencies. Some are specific to your product line, sell varying lines or sell complimentary lines. Most manufacturers hire a manufacturer's representative to establish an effective sales force with less overhead.

Since hiring a Rep Group is so important, we have listed a few components and reasons why to hire a Rep Group.

Manufacturing Processes and Product Knowledge:

A good manufacturer’s representative should have a vast knowledge of the many different manufacturing processes. They must also understand your manufacturing process and the advantages of your capabilities.

Being well versed with your capabilities is a critical need for a rep. An understanding of the company’s products capitalizes on product synergies to maximize opportunities. A good Rep Group will take a consultative approach in the sales process to increase both the company’s and Rep Group’s value.

Additionally, their knowledge of manufacturing processes can help guide engineers to design the most economical part.

Case Study: Converting a Laser Cut Part to a Stamping to Lower Costs and Improve Quality

A recent example for Locke-Brothers was an agricultural customer part designed as a laser cut fabrication. The client's engineers designed the part to be fabricated; however, they often had issues with oxidation on the edge of the part.

Due to our experience with stampings vs. fabrications, we were able to produce that part in a stamping environment eliminating the laser oxidation issues, while saving our customer money and frustration.

This experience offers suggestions across a wide range of manufacturing processes based on the experience of selling other manufacturing processes to our customers.

How to Build Solid Relationships:

A well-seasoned Manufacturing Rep can offer more complete coverage in specific geographic areas and markets due to their familiarity with the markets, and established relationships.

Experienced representatives will identify new opportunities and value-added cost savings.

Rep’s also come with existing long-term relationships with the decision maker! These trusted relationships transfer as buyers move from company to company and maintain their relationships with the Rep.

Manufacturers Reps know from experience who are those responsible for purchasing as well as the other decision-makers within the company.

Typically, Rep Groups sell several compatible products, thus, they call on a wider variety of prospects and customers. Multiple line selling creates a synergistic sale. Finding applications for multiple manufacturing processes denied by a single line salesperson are easy for the Rep Group because they have the established, trusted, relationship!

As a result, it’s important to find a manufacturers’ representative agency that understands the value of these relationships. They should attend your industry’s events, trade shows, and stay on top of industry changes.

Locke-Brothers represents 12 manufacturing processes that are commonly used in many different types of products. Our manufacturing processes include:

Our customers rely on Locke-Brothers to provide them components from these multiple processes for their finished products. This creates a single source contact for our customers which is an advantage in today’s environment.

What Should You Look for in a Manufacturers’ Representative?

When partnering with a Rep Group, look for a group that values customer service and communication. Reps can be the conduit that helps mediate quality, or pricing issues.

Many Rep Groups have been around for many years. They are vested in the quality of their products and the respected relationship they have with their customers.

A respected Manufacturers Representative, ‘does not sleep’. Unlike a ‘company salesman’, they are available to address any need, 24/7.

An effective Rep Group can speak all languages: purchasing, engineering, and quality.

This ability, to communicate on a wide range of topics, can quickly and efficiently bring conclusion to the topic at hand.

The Team at Locke-Brothers is accessible to our customers 24/7. It might be for a rush RFQ or it may be for a quality issue, or simply for an update on a shipment.

Not too long ago, late on a Friday afternoon, we had a customer reach out to one of our salesmen asking for a favor; they needed hundreds of parts, by Monday, for an unanticipated order, they had received from one of their larger customers.

Without these parts they would not have been able to deliver product to their key customer. Our salesman immediately contacted our manufacturing partner to figure out a way to help our customer. Our manufacturing partner successfully ran production over that weekend.

Our salesman picked up the parts up late Sunday afternoon and delivered them to the customer first thing Monday morning. This is the type of customer service Locke-Brothers offers to any size customer!

Why do Independent Reps Offer Longevity?

Locke-Brothers Inc., a Manufacturing Rep Group, has been helping customers navigate manufacturing for over 50 years. Hard work and long hour are motivation to help you be prosperous.

The Locke-Brothers Advantage:

Locke-Brothers provides solutions for many other different manufacturing processes while offering a relationship that will make you not only confident but comfortable with your partnering decision.

Integrity is our foundation and transparency is our spoken language. Our focus is our mutual success. We can build longevity together. Just ask our customer base of 250+ strong.

Come join our over 50 years of manufacturing experience and allow us to help you find the best manufacturing process for your custom engineered design.

“A lot of companies manufacture parts. Anybody can go out and make an investment casting, or have sheet metal fabricated. Yet, that's not what determines success. It's what you do after the parts are made that counts. That's what creates lasting partnerships. That's what sets Locke-Brothers apart.” - Robb Tausend

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