Phoenix Contact differs from their competition. First, they practice a limited distribution approach channel: about half that of their traditional competitors. Secondly, the vast majority of their business goes through this exclusive channel. As a global leader in the automation and interconnect industry with over 60,000 products in their portfolio, getting the right product information out to their diverse customer base is important. Distributor Digitalization experts at KYKLO are helping to make this making it possible.
Increasingly, “getting the word out” requires enhancing more than the traditional brick and mortar approach to selling. Mark Bierbower, Phoenix Contact’s Director of Industrial Distribution, explained: “As we all know, these days many people are going to the virtual world to seek information to solve their problems. This is especially true for younger people in our industry. This somewhat autonomous research and buy approach is driving much of the online sales growth we have seen.” Expanding further on this idea, Cody C. Miller, Phoenix Contact Account Manager for Automation and Elite Distributors, said: “Millennials and most sub-Boomer generations do not want to deal with traditional sales types. They have learned to quickly find the information they seek via the web and, for the most part, are often only reaching out to salespeople when they have a specific question.”
As an organization, Phoenix Contact feels a solid digital presence is a foundational building block for the future. Again quoting Mr. Bierbower: “We have been calling distributors without a strong digital presence and discussing future plans for this segment of their business. We are recommending KYKLO to our automation and controls distributors who do not have the resources to build the digital presence they need. It is part of keeping up-to-date in our environment, which is an essential part of long-term viability”
In the recently inked agreement, Phoenix Contact has authorized the use of co-op funding to assist in offsetting some of the costs of KYKLO’s unique digitalization approach. Distributors using KYKLO can quickly and efficiently launch a state-of-the-technology webstore complete with Phoenix Contact’s product data.
Mr. Miller outlined why this is good for Phoenix Contact and their channel partners: “This initiative allows us another reason to get even closer to our distributors and our mutual customers. We will make all the interactions easier, better, and more efficient. Phoenix Contact will provide part numbers, images, and other important data to KYKLO for distribution ahead of new product launches. This aids distributors in their efforts to capture more business.”
The folks at Phoenix Contact see this move to improve business as matching perfectly with their progressive view of how co-op funding and joint marketing in general might work better. Here are their words: “Relative to co-op funding and utilization, a lot of manufacturers just allocate the money and do not closely collaborate with the distributors on its use. Phoenix Contact does it differently. We set a mutual plan for using the co-op dollars and work to assist our distributors in executing the plan. Further, each quarter we meet to see if the plan is working, or if there is a need for a new and better plan. KYKLO is a part of the plan for some.”
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.
About Phoenix Contact: PHOENIX CONTACT develops and manufactures industrial electrical and electronic technology products that power, protect, connect, and automate systems and equipment for a wide range of industries. Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG, Blomberg, Germany, operates 50 international subsidiaries, including Phoenix Contact USA, Inc., in Middletown, Pa.