Wholesale & Distribution International - Spring 2017 - 54
SUMMIT SALES INC.
www.summitsalesinc.com / Headquarters: Olathe, Kan. / Employees: 13 / Specialty: Plumbing products
/ Paul Zeller, president: "We feel confident that we have the best coverage in our major markets."
Close to Home
Summit Sales Inc. maintains close ties to its sales staff and territories. BY JIM HARRIS
that we have the best coverage in our major markets."
Summit Sales recently renovated its headquarters with
the input of employees.
he territories in which Sum-
mit Sales Inc.'s salespeople work
are more than just places where
they call on customers - they're also
where they call home. Each member of
the Olathe, Kan.-based manufacturer's
representative's outside staff lives within the company's major markets, which
include the state of Kansas as well as Missouri and southern Illinois.
One of the company's largest markets
is in Wichita, Kan., where an outside sales
representative serving that city as well as
the western part of the state lives. "That's
a very big market for us," President Paul
"We have a lot of business in western
Kansas as well as in the Kansas City mar-
54 www.wdimagazine.com Spring 2017
ket, so having a person living in a major
market like Wichita instead of trying to
cover it out of Kansas City a few hours
away is a big advantage for us," Zeller
says. "This means he can be at a customer's place of business right away if
needed. A lot of other manufacturer's
representative companies in our region
couldn't get someone out that quickly, so
we feel that's a huge advantage for us."
In addition to giving Summit Sales a
better response time to potential customer issues, having a presence in its
markets helps it build closer relationships with its customer base. "We are the
people they see on a daily basis, instead
of every month or even every couple of
months," he adds. "We feel confident
Summit Sales represents the manufacturers of several plumbing product lines
to the wholesale market and secondary
markets such as mechanical and plumbing contractors. The company promotes
the products they represent to the secondary market, as well as wholesale customers and their showrooms. It also caters to contractors' showrooms.
The company's brands include Delta Faucet Co., which was the very first
brand carried by Summit Sales upon its
founding in 1980. Co-founder Bill Davenport, who had previously worked with
a representative organization in Ohio,
started the company with partner John
Kaczmarczyk shortly after learning Delta
was seeking a new sales representative in
Kansas and western Missouri.
A second brand, Owens Corning's fiberglass tub line, was added a few years
later. "Once we got a second line, the
wholesalers in our market started to believe we were a full manufacturer's representative and not just a Delta factory
salesperson," Davenport says. "We've
been selective in the lines we choose to
represent, and that's paid off."
In 2007, the company expanded its
territory to include all of Missouri and
southern Illinois. The company represents most of its brands across all its
territories, though it also represents