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Original Equipment Manufacturer

Carlton-Bates Helps Customer Win Its Largest Piece of Business

Customer: An Original Equipment Manufacturer

Key Goals

  • Bring in key components for special build ahead of lead time in order to win large business from crucial end-user.
  • Secure business away from competition and establish sound reputation as going the extra mile.
  • Find solution provider to bring engineering expertise to tough and urgent issues.
  • Have distributor partner with solid supplier partners who apprehend and recognize the need for quick resolutions.


Key customer leaned on Carlton-Bates to work directly with the supplier’s overseas factory to expedite components for major build. They also leaned on CBC’s wealth of engineering knowledge and supplier partnerships to win significant piece of business.


  • Customer saw cost savings of $50,000 in supplier negotiations on one project.
  • CBC’s on-the-spot sales rep brought engineering expertise on the double and got production moving forward within a few days.
  • Sales manager stepped in to negotiate lead time and expedition of parts with overseas factory.
  • OEM won the largest piece of new business in the history of the company.

Supplier Partnerships Keep Production On-Time

This industry leading OEM client was recently expanding on their vast product line and was on a strict deadline to get it to their end-user. The CBC Field Sales Rep was on a regular call to their factory when he discovered a critical piece of equipment did not work as planned. He dove right in to find an answer.

The CBC Rep brought in Eaton, a valuable supplier for Carlton-Bates, to assistance him with the accurate engineering solution. They decided that the crucial component needed was an Eaton variable frequency drive. The next day, the OEM customer received a sample, tested it out and approved it. Working with a vital supplier partner, CBC not only kept production on schedule, but they saved the OEM $50,000 in material cost.

First to Market, Best in Price, Best in Quality

Manufacturers are under a lot of pressure to be first to market, supply the best price the first time and have the best quality around. Sometimes that is hard to do when hiccups happen. Carlton-Bates tries to smooth those road bumps down and keep production going. That’s what happened when this same key OEM client found out another end-user needed their products quicker than they could get one of the components. Leviton’s lead time was several weeks past the production deadline.

Carlton-Bates Field Sales Rep and District Manager knew time was ticking and went to the source of the problem, the factory in China. Working with Leviton’s Director of National Accounts and factory contacts, they negotiated a quicker lead time to keep the OEM’s schedule intact. This deal brought CBC’s client their biggest win in their history.

Teamwork Goes a Long Way

Carlton-Bates talks about a “consultative approach” with its clients, but to this customer, actions speak louder than words. Inventory management, engineering assistance, superior customer service, lean solutions, strong-supplier partnerships – they all play a part in the relationship with this key client. The CBC Rep’s goal is to “add value to the end product and to be a part of their daily production team.” That’s where Carlton-Bates belongs.

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