3M Appoints Interwest as New West Coast DistributorMay 20th, 2013 | Category: Featured Content, Industry News
3M has announced it will now distribute its window film products in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Nevada through Interwest Distribution Co. This information follows the recent announcement that 3M was parting ways with Service Group Distribution (SGD) and Zola Tools Distributing (Zola).
According to Peter Eisenberg, 3M Window Film U.S. sales and marketing manager, the split between the companies had nothing to do with the recent news that Patric Fransko was leaving SGD/Zola, though the announcement did speed up the company’s timeline for announcing the change.
“For us this was a big industry change and we’re very excited about it,” says Eisenberg, noting the switch was 3M’s choice. “We hold Patric in extremely high regards. We made this decision before he left; he was aware of the decision.”
Eisenberg says both he and 3M are thrilled with the change.
“We are very excited to have [Interwest] continue on to be a partner of ours,” he says. “We wish the distributor not handling this the best of luck, but we know this is the best thing for our us, our dealer network and the industry as a whole.”
For dealers who may be hesitant to consider the change Eisenberg says, “Look back three or four years ago at the positive changes the 3M and the distribution network has made. Not only has it made an investment in resources but an investment in programs, an investment in products, an investment in promotions and a long-term investment in the 3M brand. I would also say the resources that have been put in place have shown a large commitment to this industry and to this business. Everything we do from our website leads to our product to our advertising is done around having a consumer or a business person find one of our dealers. People trust the 3M brand, they trust 3M window film and they trust that we are going to continue to be around and in this business for the next 110 years … They now will see increased investments in inventory, increased investments in training immediately that will allow them to build their business.”
Hugh Bernardi, Jr., president of Interwest, says, “I think [the new region is] an expansion of what we currently do. 3M has a very high level of investment in this industry. Interwest has started to focus a lot more on business education in the industry and installation training. In the next 30 days we’re going to have about five open houses. Our mission within the industry is to build better businesses with 3M products. If the dealers are really interested and the entrepreneurs who run the dealerships are interested, we can help them expand their businesses and grow.”
Bernardi says for the open houses, “We invite dealers in a specific geography … and we give them a lot of exposure in how to make their business better. That can be anything from the installation of new products, to how to use new software packages or marketing purposes. It can also be education on the business side: how to price products for optimal profitability, how to manage employees and different ways to look at financing.”
Interwest, which previously had two locations in Denver and Chicago, is opening its third location in Anaheim, Calif., June 3, to distribute 3M on the west coast. Bernardi says an open house will be held the same day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST.