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Reading Between the Lines – How Channel Partners Add Value

( 06/05/2020 ) Written by: Teresa Mann

Our Channel Partners go the extra mile to provide that perfect solution for their customers.  Mid-Atlantic Rubber recently covered that distance and reinforced the concept of “value-add” by taking the time to talk with their customers and focus on their requirements – and the products they supply are now easier for their customers to use.

One of Mid-Atlantic Rubber’s customers was designing a new part for a recreational vehicle and was interested in adding barcodes to the new rubber part. Typically, the part would already be marked with part numbers, but this customer had an eye on future automated production.  Barcoding parts allows the installer (either human or robotic) to scan each part and ensure the correct part is being installed in the correct location. Barcoding also enables better tracking and inventorying of parts.

While barcoding is not unusual, due to the color of the part, Mid-Atlantic had to play around with the color of the barcode stamp to find one that could easily be scanned and read. Black did not provide the needed contrast. A white ink was tried instead of black ink, but that too proved not to be successful. They then realized that the space between the white lines could serve as the actual barcode. Mid-Atlantic reached out to a craft company for their assistance in inverting the barcode, so it could be read between the lines. It was a success! Through this one product, Mid-Atlantic found a way to produce readable bar codes on multiple products despite the color of the product or coating. Barcodes are now being requested on multiple products to aide in tracking and assembly.

Another value-add service this Channel Partner routinely provides is stamping Parker LORD mounts with color-code ink. The various mounts are very similar in appearance so providing a different color stamp (red, green, yellow, etc.) based on the product, helps the customer to immediately identify whether they are using the correct product. Additionally, some customers have requested that parts are stamped with “To Reorder Call: [Company name and phone number].” This can help customers retain their client base, as when it’s time for replacement parts their customers will use the easy method and call the number on the part. It also ensures that quality Parker LORD products are used instead of knockoffs which often use cheap or hazardous materials or cut costs in some other manner. These unapproved materials can be dangerous for both people and equipment. Making products easier for customers to assemble doesn’t stop with stamping. Mid-Atlantic also provides “kitting”.  This process involves assembling individual items (including instructions, components and other supplies) into one comprehensive package. The kitting service not only allows all of the elements to be carefully bundled together, but also ensures that everything needed is in the kit before it is sealed and sent out.  This is because the kits go through a stringent quality control process before leaving Mid-Atlantic Rubber’s facility. Sometimes a customer may even request a drop shipment to a final assembly destination. Kitting eliminates the need for the customer that orders the part to then gather up all the relative parts needed for the assembly.

What do these services mean to a Mid-Atlantic Rubber customer? Simply – don’t hesitate to request a value-added service that will make your production process flow smoother. “The main idea is to make it easier for our customer to be efficient while also maintaining their identity and keeping that awareness with their customers,” says Dave Zeman, Sales Manager, Mid-Atlantic Rubber Company.

Teresa Mann

Teresa Mann is the Industrial Equipment Channel Partner Manager for Parker LORD in the NVH division. Teresa ensures that the Channel Partners are equipped with the tools they need to be a successful sales extension of the Parker LORD team. She is an alum of The University of Iowa and has been with the company for nearly 17 years.

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