Ali Group brand launches key distributor programme

Catering equipment brand Baron, part of the Ali Group, is introducing a new key distributor programme through its UK importer Universal Foodservice Equipment.

The Caterham-based brand partner previously had a flat pricing structure for distributors, with MD Roger Flanagan commenting: “This has become a little lopsided as all distributors receive the same discounts and support which in some ways disadvantages our larger and more dynamic distributors.

“We have had suggestions (from our customers) that, in view of our market spread, a more varied offer would be a way forward, rewarding those companies who can provide the best return, who also carry the largest overhead and who offer the better client support.”

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Therefore the new programme will provide what Flanagan described as “a more realistic and fair benefits structure for those distributors who we hope will become part of our key distributor operation”.

The brand’s UK distributors will now be graded as standard, main or key. Standard distributors will receive a 40% discount, the same as currently, and will be offered distributor sales and a 1 year parts and labour warranty.

The same warranty applies to main distributors, but their discount will be 45% plus the option of Baron’s “spares on site” offer. The key distributors will get this package for all sales, plus a discount of around 50%, a 2 year parts and labour warranty and 60 days’ credit.

Flanagan explained: “We hope this structure will solve some of the problems experienced by our larger distributors when competing with their smaller counterparts and provide them with a reasonable advantage, without disadvantaging the current distributors who provide our regular business, who will remain on the same terms.”

Universal and Baron’s objective is to have regional coverage throughout the UK with likely no more than eight to 10 key distributors.

Performance be monitored on an annual basis to ensure the system is working for both parties.

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