For building service contractors, their product suppliers are often one of the most critical business partners they have. But how are those relationships doing?

Our sister publication, Sanitary Maintenance, recently surveyed BSCs and in-house service providers on the topic of distributor relationships and found that 69 percent of respondents are happy with their suppliers. That number may be encouraging for distributors, but it doesn’t sit too well with me. What about that remaining 31 percent? That’s a pretty large slice of the industry to be left less than satisfied.

I’ve met many BSCs who belong to that 31 percent and all have the same complaint: a lack of value-added services. BSCs want training, on-time delivery, safety materials, warehouse storage, emergency servicing and more, in addition to products at reasonable prices. It’s hard to believe that more distributors aren’t attuned to this demand, but if they were, customer satisfaction would be closer to 100 percent.

This issue is our annual BSC Guide To Distributors. If you’re not happy with your current supplier relationship then it’s time to take action. Either communicate your needs with your current vendor and see if he is willing to accommodate, or search this guide to seek out a new supplier (and voice your demands up front). There’s no reason you can’t be among those satisfied customers.