Manufacturer apps create a more level playing field with competitors from large corporations that have entered the janitorial and sanitary supply distribution markets, says Ed Corr, president of Corr Distributors in Tonawanda, N.Y. These larger entities use web technology extensively, he adds.

Formerly, such sophisticated tools were too costly for manufacturers to embrace. While there is certainly an investment on behalf of the manufacturers, developing these apps has a much higher return on investment, today — especially when the tools they develop help sales representatives sell more product.

In fact, one of Corr’s suppliers developed an app specifically for the distributor since it private labels the chemicals, Corr says. 

“They custom designed an app that allows our customers and sales people to look up products, spec sheets and safety data sheets,” says Corr. “It’s a matter of efficiency. If I can convey the message via an app either in person or remotely, it makes me more efficient.”

With manufacturer apps, sales reps can also avoid the mishaps that can occur during product demonstrations. For example, says Browne, if a janitorial supply salesperson is attempting to sell a no-drip, no-touch mop, the product must work flawlessly during a presentation or he could risk losing the sale.

If a salesperson chooses to use a video embedded in a manufacturer’s app showing how the mop works, however, they can alleviate some of the stress that comes along with live product demonstrations, he says.

The use of mobile technology and manufacturer apps in the field show, “the industry is moving quickly and we are ahead of the curve,” Rothstein says.  

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