http://www.moderco.com/forums/forum/318-2/

Several Ways That You Can Acquire Operable Wall Products But…

The ways and means by which a manufacturer, in our case Moderco, eventually gets it’s product into the hands of the actual consumer is becoming more complicated and varied these days. Manufacturer’s, motivated by the recessive economy and declining opportunities are willing to think differently and explore all options in order to sell their product. Optional methods are particularly inviting for those products that are less complicated, light, do not require special equipment, are in remote areas where travel can be a great expense or do not have to be “installed perfectly” in order to make them fully operational.

When accordion doors came on the scene (the precursor to operable wall systems) they were sold on a supply only basis direct from the manufacturer to anyone who wanted one. Then as products evolved and became more complicated, flat wall systems with acoustic characteristics became the desired product, aesthetic wall features required special handling, electric wall systems were introduced etc. the need for installation specialists trained by the manufacturer became almost mandatory. Thus the concept of operable wall manufacturers establishing fully trained installing distributors that have exclusive product rights in defined territories, was the direction that was taken by the major companies. And for the most part it remains so today. But the economy, competitive pressures & the decline in business opportunities is forcing many companies to reevaluate how they market & sell products. The following are the most common options and Moderco’s position on each.

A: Bidding with a Distributor Partner: (Moderco to Distributor to Consumer)

This is the Moderco way: the way we prefer to get our product to the ultimate consumer. For the most part we have a long lasting and loyal base of installing distributors all of whom are fully trained in our product. When product is shipped to them we have confidence that they have the skills and equipment to install product correctly in order to make the system function as desired. In other words a complete wall system shall be provided including desired acoustic qualities and aesthetics. All Moderco warranties, without exception, will apply.

To bid this way would be a distributor decision. We see nothing wrong with a distributor partner selling accordion doors on a supply only basis and would encourage consumers to enquire. However if an operable wall system is involved we suggest to the distributor that some discussions take place with Moderco as to the ability of the distributor’s customer to install the product so that expectations will be met. The distributor will supply measuring and installation instructions to his customer as well as advice but typically will not conduct site visits as part of his bid proposal. Defect in product warranties only will apply.

Some manufacturers actually “own and manage” distributors through which they sell their products as well as other manufactured products. Moderco does not have any “company stores” nor is it our present intention to open any. We feel that it is in the best interest of the consumer to deal with a locally established distributor independent of the manufacturer. It is entirely possible that, in times of dispute, the “company store” operation may have divided loyalties and therefore not take as an aggressive a position as possible in order to make matters right.

B: Bidding Independent of a Distributor Partner: (Moderco to Consumer)

There are territories within the International geographical areas that Moderco serves where we do not have any distribution or where we feel that our distributor, after consultation with Moderco is unlikely to bid competitively or bid at all. In these instances Moderco will offer to sell product supply only direct to consumers but will include the services of a technician to instruct and assist in installation. In addition we will provide an estimate of hours needed to install the system and the names of trained installers that the consumer can contact. The services of the technician will include discussing all installation needs during the phases of the project, providing lists of equipment and tools required, suggestions for layout and waste disposal, instructions as to how to measure etc. Complete installation instructions will be provided. If the recommendations and instructions of the technician are followed then Moderco will provide a full product warranty.

As above (B.1) except we will only provide detailed installation instructions. Warranties will be limited to product only and will not include any performance guarantees.

At the present moment we will not be offering this option.

In the best interests of all we certainly recommend and encourage the A 1 option. This is the time proven all encompassing way to proceed and ultimately guarantees a satisfactory project as well as dealing with and having the services of a locally owned distributor/installer who is known and can be contacted quickly if needed.