January 2/9, 2017: Volume 31, Number 15
By Ken Ryan
Beginning with the Jan. 16/23 issue, FCNews will kick off a special series highlighting each member of Bravo Services, LLC, a consortium of 14 master distributors.
Bravo Services, which made its official debut last fall (FCNews, Sept. 5, 2016), boasts sales and service capabilities spanning 50 U.S. states, 10 Canadian provinces and three territories. As a group it provides great financial and marketing clout, and the geographic swiftness to service flooring retailers across North America within 24 hours.
The group comprises some of the industry’s most successful distributors—including No. 1-ranked Haines. Together the group represents over $2 billion in annual sales of flooring and related supply products.
As a powerful network of distributors, Bravo has the wherewithal to attract the best manufacturers and, in turn, seek out the best products. “The fact that we are well capitalized allows us to search for suitable products, take the needed time and not rush to market,” said Allen Gage, president of Tri-West, Santa Fe Springs, Calif. “We give our customers the best of both worlds being locally centered with superior market knowledge, yet nimble enough to make changes quickly with a national influence.”
The true benefit to the retailer flows from the collaboration with Bravo members. “At times we will share inventory to preserve orders,” said Scott Rozmus, president of FlorStar Sales, Romeoville, Ill. “The formality of our organizational structure facilitates that. We continuously strive for excellence. We help each other get over the speed bumps.”
The collaboration among Bravo distributors works on many levels, from brainstorming to sharing best practices as well as pooling financial resources. “Bravo is essentially 14 entrepreneurial organizations, fully autonomous yet operationally exceptional in their respective regions,” said Ed duDomaine, president of Schnier, Canada’s largest wholesaler. “We are able to share best practices, which in turn elevates our individual performance and sales/service capabilities.”
Bravo has nearly 250 suppliers in its portfolio. In a given week, there could be 20 to 30 new product demonstrations that the group shares amongst its 14 members. Bravo’s product committee looks for what it calls true strategic partnerships, which will add value throughout the chain.
John Sher, president of Adleta, said one of the hallmarks of Bravo distributors is they are well-capitalized experts in their local markets and as such carry larger-than-average inventories. “If we are out of something, we can access it from another Bravo distributor. We have also pooled our resources to invest in technology.”