Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 97

LaSalle Bristol

million parts per month with a fill rate of 97.7 percent,
according to the company. One of the biggest reasons
for that success is the company's network of distribution centers, which are strategically located to serve the
greatest number of customers throughout North America as quickly as possible.
A subsidiary of Arran Isle Ltd., a management owned,
financially solid global company, LaSalle Bristol also has
the infrastructure in place to optimize its import sourcing, which results in faster and more economical service
for its customers as well as quality assurance and cost
productivity. LaSalle Bristol has five full-time employees
based in China, where it focuses on import sourcing directly from suppliers in Asia.
LaSalle Bristol also ensures that it provides customers with the best possible products and service because
it has its own in-house manufacturing capabilities for
plumbing and air handling components. For the flooring and lighting sides of the business, LaSalle Bristol has
technical experts who work out in the field, collaborating with leading industry designers to develop the best
possible products for the market's needs. All of this adds
up to a significant competitive advantage for the company, according to Karcher. "It's service, it's design and it's
technical expertise, and it's import sourcing expertise,"
he says.

Midwest

"we're actively exploring additional
markets to look at for growth opportunities that could leverage our
distribution network." - Rick Karcher
in the past, and LaSalle Bristol has to be able to demonstrate its value for their supply chain.

Growth Mindset
However, Karcher notes, LaSalle Bristol is adapting to
the new marketplace successfully, and he expects big
things for the company in the future. "We're going to be
growing," he says. "We're actively exploring additional
markets to look at for growth opportunities that could
leverage our distribution network across the country."
He notes that this includes looking for new product
categories that LaSalle Bristol could add to its current
offerings. "We're definitely in a growth mindset," Karcher says. mt

Adapting to Changes
Although LaSalle Bristol still holds a strong position in
the marketplace, that doesn't mean the company has
been able to ignore some of the ongoing challenges in
the industry. Karcher says one of the biggest challenges
facing the company and the entire industry today is consolidation, as many smaller independent OEMs are being
acquired by larger conglomerates.
"We've had to adapt to that, and what that's really
done is challenged us to be a lot more professional in
how we market and sell to our customers," Karcher says.
"We've really retrained our whole sales organization to
sell on value."
Karcher explains that with the dynamics of the marketplace shifting, customers' relationships with suppliers have changed. The days of meeting with customers
over a round of golf and lunch are over, and today's larger customers are looking for whomever can provide the
best value overall. "In the old days, it was all about price
and relationships," Karcher says, adding that customers
are more willing to buy directly from manufacturers than
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 manufacturing-today.com

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016

Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 3
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 4
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 5
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 6
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 7
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Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover3
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