Many of Miami-Luken Inc.’s competitors are not able to compete on a national level and stay close to their customers, but the Springboro, Ohio-based company manages to do both, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Todd Hawkins says. That way, “We’re able to react quickly to [customers’ needs],” he states.

For instance, when customers call Miami-Luken’s offices, they are immediately connected to a person and not an automated system. “They’re going to deal with your problem,” Hawkins says. “We make sure our customers get what they need.”

‘If it’s important to our customer, it’s important to us,” emphasizes Jim Sandusky, president of Legend Technology Services. He offers as an example an employee who worked all night on a customer’s system to rid it of the CrytoLocker virus, which is a particularly difficult virus to mitigate and infects multiple computers. All the systems were up-and-running the next morning when the customer  arrived. 

Legend Technology Services is an IT service provider that helps businesses better understand and get the most out of their technology. “We’ve had a lot of success in helping customers manage IT functions so they can focus on their core business,” Sandusky says. 

Keilson Dayton Co.’s success lies in its ability to provide quality service and competitive pricing to its customers. Based in Dayton, Ohio, Keilson Dayton is a convenience store products distributor serving southwest Ohio for more than 50 years. Keilson Dayton is a member of the American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA) and the company’s president, Gregory Wellinghoff, is currently serving as the president of the Ohio Wholesale Marketers Association (OWMA).

“Our competitive advantage is service,” Wellinghoff says. “With timely deliveries, customized ordering solutions, flexible terms and fast problem resolution, we adapt to customers’ needs.”

No business is an island unto itself. There are vendors and suppliers on one end and customers on the other, all interlocked and working toward mutual gain. How well those parties work together determines how much gain there is to be made, and the smart ones always play nice. At least that’s the messaging Intel is sending out with its Technology Provider Program, which helps channel partners create, support and sell Intel-based products and solutions across many devices and for many industries. 

Forty years ago, the convenience store industry was not what it is today. But once oil marketers got hip to the success of 7-Eleven, all of them wanted in. During the late 1970s and 1980s, the industry experienced rapid growth. Now that we are in the 21st century, leading convenience store distributer Eby-Brown has found that the industry is experiencing rapid change. 

“Over the company’s history, things have changed quite a bit,” says Joe Roenna, executive vice president of merchandising and procurement. “Thirty-five years ago it was more toward the drugstore business and we focused on candy and tobacco. Convenience stores didn’t even exist to the extent that they do today. But as the market changed, the company changed with it.”

Every day, the employees of millions of businesses purchase products for their companies from distributors and retailers with varying degrees of oversight. Purchases are made online, through a faxed purchase order, over the telephone or, in a minority of cases, in person. For companies everywhere – especially large ones – the potential savings from smart purchases are substantial, but does the company have the information, safeguards, systems and reporting in place to ensure that smart and economical purchases are being made prior to the employee purchase? According to Cy Kennedy, president of American Product Distributors (APD) Inc., “Our eLink™ Gateway system does.”

PetroChoice’s business may involve fluids, but the business actually revolves around people, CEO Shane O’Kelly says. “People are ultimately the most important part of our company,” he says. “We’re fortunate to have many hard workers dedicated to doing tremendous work each and every day.”

President of the Mid-Atlantic Division and Chief Strategy Officer Bob Mills adds that employees make sure that their customers are proud to be partners with PetroChoice. “They put us in a position to grow profitably,” he says, noting that the firm represents companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp., Shell, ConocoPhillips Co., Valvoline, Petro-Canada and Castrol Ltd.

At Nicholas and Company, being the preferred choice for its customers is based on offering them, well, choices. As a foodservice distributor working with public and private entities big and small, Nicholas and Company provides more than 14,000 line items to customers across  eight states. That includes its home base of Utah, as well as Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Montana and Wyoming. Peter Mouskondis, the third-generation president and CEO of the family owned company, says that Nicholas and Company has always lived by the attitude that if its customers can sell it, then the company will be flexible in being a partner with its customers in mutual success.   

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