KYKLO and Balluff Partner for Distribution Success
Can you name a 100-year-old company launched as a bicycle and sewing machine repair company? Here is a hint: Today this company is a leading provider of advanced sensors, networking with IO-Link, and today plans on leading the charge in digitalization and IIoT. Give up? The answer is Balluff. Following this history of boldly moving forward, Balluff has teamed with leading distributor digitalization experts at KYKLO to assist Balluff Distributors in expanding their growth.
Balluff Director of Channel, Clayton Webber, sees this as critically important. In Webber’s own words: “E-Commerce and digitalization equate to must do strategies for value-add distributors. Long ago someone told me, it is important to be where the customers are. Years ago, that was trade shows and engineering society meetings, today customers populate the internet. Research tells us customers are moving away from catalogs and sometimes it is an awkward journey.”
Mr. Webber believes a good internet presence drives two important things for a manufacturer and distributor: awareness and discovery. Awareness that products are available, a constant reminder of the breadth of the product lines available, and a subtle reminder of key brands. The discovery comes as unknown customers identify the distributor as a new potential supplier. Simply put, new sales leads are generated as customers search the web for solutions.
Thinking more about the discovery part, a distributor webshop brings in what Clayton calls “Time and Place business.” A customer is in desperate need of a part and needs it as soon as possible. A website showing products in stock locally naturally attracts this kind of business. The distributor not only makes a sale but gains a valuable lead for future sales.
Automation is exploding. Perhaps driven by COVID conditions or forecasted labor shortages, automation is moving into other industries, businesses with no history with automation technologies. Webber made this point, “The traditional distributor model simply cannot keep up with this explosive spread of technologies and new customers using automation. Further, the current distributor model does not provide the economics to chase applications into these fringe areas. If Balluff distributors do not serve these emerging markets, somebody else will. Most likely, the customers will find them via the internet. A solid digital presence heads this threat off early. This means more customers for Balluff and more customers for our distributors.”
Balluff supports their partners distributors using KYKLO’s on their digital journey in a variety of ways.
This detail plays into Balluff’s desire to be known as the leader in the sensor and digitalization business. Part of being the leader means having a channel made up of top-notch distributors who are also seen as the leaders in the business. The two go hand in hand down the path of supplier excellence.
Distributors armed with world-class webstores serve as the front line of discovery. Every time a customer discovers the distributor, whether in their search for a sensor or some other piece of the automation puzzle, they also discover Balluff. Aggressive follow-up of the lead converts an “internet browser” into a dedicated long-term customer enjoying all the other services a knowledge-based automation distributor provides.
Looking into the future, Webber sees a time when distributor digitalization provides what he calls “insightful data.” Data which provides both the distributor and Balluff with information like, what kind of potential customers are looking at products, what are reviewing versus what are they buying, and how are various products tied together in product searches. Distributors and their Supply-partners armed with this information make better decisions on inventory, product launches, and marketing activities.
Remi Ducrocq, KYKLO’s President and Co-Founder, made this comment: “We at KYKLO love to partner with organizations who share our vision of the future. Our distributor clients are better served and partnerships with industry leaders like Balluff build a solid foundation for all of us prospering in the future. We are honored to have Balluff join our family of friends and business allies.”
Headquartered in Bangkok Thailand and Buffalo, New York, KYKLO provides a state-of-the-technology solution to distributors via a cloud-based eCommerce platform. Unlike traditional suppliers who provide an unpopulated webshop and require the distributor to supply product data, KYKLO provides rich product data for nearly 2 Million SKUs. All a distributor need do is connect their ERP (Business System) to KYKLO’s system.
Every KYKLO client receives in depth guidance and ongoing coaching tied to engaging customers with their ecommerce platform. Additionally, they provide best practices for using the system for generating quotes and assisting inside salespeople in product selection.