API Marine unveils dealer-direct sales program

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API Marine, a division of SEI Marine Products, announced that it changed to a dealer-direct sales program.

Effective immediately, all dealers can buy direct at distributor pricing.

“This new two-step strategy will greatly reduce the cost of our product, allow free standard delivery in the continental USA and provide two levels of mark-up for our dealers,” API Marine general manager Brian Schnieder said in a statement. “The spread available to the dealer between distributor price and MSRP will be 200 percent plus on most parts.”

“The three-step model involving manufacturers, distributors and dealers has been on life support for years in the automotive parts business. It was inevitable that the marine industry would feel the same pressures and change to a two-step model,” SEI Marine Products general manager Justin Webb said.

“We have been very successful over the last 10 years building the world’s largest lower unit aftermarket business using a two-step model, so we know it works and our dealer customers like it,” Webb added.

All 7,000 SEI Marine Products dealers will automatically have active accounts for which they can buy from API Marine at distributor prices.


3 comments on “API Marine unveils dealer-direct sales program

  1. Greg Scholand

    I agree, the 3 step process will fade into the history books for the most part. Back in the early days of manufacturing, distributors played a valuable role as a ‘holding pen’ for the factory’s output prior to seasonal consumer demand. That was when tooling-up required long lead times, the production runs were large and transportation/logistics were complicated. Technology has allowed manufacturers to be very nimble with far shorter set-up times and shorter production runs. The 2 step process has actually been alive & well in the marine industry for years and has proven to be successful if managed properly, but depending on who you are, it is either overlooked or derided. The winds of change are freshening, I will defer to my favorite quote from William W. Ward before I get back out on deck to trim the sails, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”

  2. Bill

    The only problem with the line of thinking that “two-step” is better than “three step” is this – why not make it “no step”? If all those facets are true as you say (shorter production runs, less leads times, more nimbleness), then why not just sell everything directly to the end user?

  3. Greg Scholand

    I think we may find that will be yet another step as time goes on. The “Gotta have it this very minute” mentality of the consumer fuels the current system. There will be a socio-economic event that will shift their expectations to, “I’ll wait until Big Brother sends it to me”.

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