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How Much Are You Worth To Your Customers?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Distributors can help customers with regulations, even something as simple as making sure they have fire extinguishers mounted and charged.

What if you could save a customer $59,400? Or, more precisely, shelter them from a fine of that amount. That’s how much OSHA recently fined Mollett Welding and Mine Service, a welding and machine shop in West Virginia, for exposing workers to safety and health hazards.

Among the violations were such things as failure to:

  • Provide clean, orderly places of employment;
  • Evaluate and identify respiratory hazards;
  • Conduct a personal protective equipment hazard assessment;
  • Ensure employees wore eye protection when exposed to metal shavings;
  • Post “no smoking” signs; and
  • Ensure fire extinguishers were mounted, readily accessible and fully charged.

These are only a few of the 25 violations that the company faced. I picked out these specific violations because they are things their gases and welding distributor salesperson—or even a delivery route driver, in some cases—might be able to identify and help the customer correct. You don’t need to conduct a full-scale audit to discover these violations—many can be observed visually.

This business is about relationships—and helping customers deal with regulations can certainly go a long way toward building those relationships (Think of it as a value-add!). When you can help customers lighten the burden of regulations, you can bet they will be more loyal.

And along with saving the customer some money, many of the solutions to these violations call for products that gases and welding distributors sell, like PPE and welding fume removal systems. With a glance around your customer’s workplace, you might actually make a sale in the process of saving your customer from OSHA.

Just think: if you can save your customer $59,000, how much more would they be willing to spend with you?