EMG takes stock in growth
Englewood Marketing Group (EMG) was formed in 1996 after Jack Tuttle acquired Englewood Electric, a Midwest distributor of electrical products for whom Tuttle had directed small appliance business since 1970.
Tuttle and the EMG team have developed the company into a leading national distribution, marketing and logistics solutions provider focused on small appliances and housewares.
Backed by combined warehouse capacity of some 500,000 square feet at its Green Bay, WI, headquarters and California location, advanced logistics automation and a seasoned operations and sales team, EMG is a cost-effective, one-stop distribution services resource dedicated to keeping housewares manufacturers responsive to the needs of retailers in all channels across the country.
What is the state of third-party distribution for housewares and EMG?
Jack Tuttle: Third-party distribution is heating up for all types of retailers and manufacturers. In-stock position is more critical than ever. What do you do if you are out 120 days and you have to replace product?
We’re picking up more business. We can put together a program with manufacturers that allows retailers to buy weekly, if needed, with a 98% on-time and complete rate.
What makes EMG’s role in supply-chain management unique?
JT: We go to great lengths to understand what the customer needs. We have salesmen all over the country, covering key accounts, regional retailers, independent dealers, dot-coms. They can customize a program for each customer, and they can line up a call on behalf of the vendors immediately.
What’s that worth – to offer a distributors program that has trustworthiness and customer service written all over it?
How do brick-and-mortar retailers benefit from EMG’s distribution programs?
JT: Our brick-and-mortar business remains very strong with the help of all the powerful name brands we service. Our sales team is nationwide in key locations needed to service the accounts. The retailers value that they have a very reliable distributor that is in stock, carries a wide breadth of products and can ship on time. We generate one purchase order for several brands, one ship point and one invoice. It makes it easier for retailers to focus on their business.
Retailers need to control inventory levels and the charges they get from their internal warehouses. Buyers like the option of having EMG as a flow-through alternative. The burden is on us with proper forecasting to be in stock, monitor sales activity with all accounts and perform at 98% and above flow levels. We can facilitate truckload shipments of product right to the stores.
How do regional and other smaller retailers factor into the EMG strategy?
JT: These retailers can benefit from direct access to our broad range of brands. And many manufacturers can’t get to smaller retailers effectively. That business represents a major, untapped growth opportunity for many. That is where our sales, distribution and service expertise delivers a real advantage.
Why are more vendors working with EMG?
JT: We enable them to service accounts of all sizes. They can ship full truckloads and receive on-time payment without invoice deductions. We can cover the cost better than they can in an economy where they might cut back wherever they can and may not be able to service accounts as effectively.
It is the manufacturer’s primary job to find new ideas to bring to market. Instead of having to concentrate on all phases of distribution, especially shipping single boxes to homes, they’re coming to us.
Why is EMG’s e-commerce business growing?
JT: We are taking on more of that business with the same philosophy: Joint inventory where it’s needed; shipping orders the next day no matter what size the customer is.
Why bring in bulk shipments to their own warehouse, when EMG can ship all of our brands the next day? Then we can follow up with backup in the weeks before Christmas.
There’s no guessing; we have their inventory. A lot of the people look at dot-com as secondary business, therefore the dot-com becomes an add-on business. We don’t look at it that way. Our dot-com customer understands we take this business very seriously, and our numbers reflect it. It’s only the beginning of who can master this channel.
How has EMG advanced its systems and services?
JT: We’re implementing new systems and new procedures that enhance the precision of our inventory management, order processing and shipping performance. We’re investing in increased productivity for both brick-and-mortar and dot-com. It’s about how can we move those boxes even faster.
What is the ultimate return-on-investment from partnering with EMG?
JT: The real added value winds up in that 98% shipping performance… period. You can talk all you want about a great array of lines. But if you can’t deliver the goods when they are needed – whether for dot-com or brick and mortar – nothing else matters.
A lot of customers still prefer to go into a store to see the product. We help make sure it’s there when they’re looking.
Why is EMG succeeding in today’s more demanding marketplace?
JT: Look at all the powerful brands we offer: There is a reason they are with us. We offer retailers of all sizes in all channels competitive prices and strong margins, but it means nothing if we don’t ship that box where it’s needed, when it’s needed.
That’s what we excel at. Our team is focused on the housewares market. We offer tremendous experience, and we’re attracting talented young people that understand this business. Trust is a big part of our longevity in this industry.
What are EMG’s growth opportunities?
JT: We’re starting to zero in on the hardware channel. Our advantage applies to any retail channel. It’s very important for manufacturers to be as competitive from a distribution standpoint as we can by offering a wide assortment of brands that can ship at 98%. We are always trying to look ahead to where we have an opportunity for new business, from opening new retailers and channels to expanding the lines we offer.