Former Tucker Rocky executives found company to help dealers buy directly from manufacturers

Publish Date: 
Dec 14, 2010

Two former Tucker Rocky executives have founded Direct 2 Manufacturer (D2M), a company that helps dealers buy from manufacturers directly. The company also helps the manufacturers set up and facilitate the sales. D2M is promoting the service as a cost-effective alternative to a two-step distribution process.

The founders are Tim Pritchard and Del Munoz. Before parting ways with Tucker Rocky in 2009, they served as the distributor's VP of sales and director of sales, respectively.

D2M is looking to sign up about 20 vendors, none of which can be direct competitors, meaning there will be only one exhaust company, one helmet company, etc. About 55 sales reps employed by D2M nationwide will represent the brands.

Thirteen vendors are now on board. Pritchard says that D2M and each vendor will be making joint announcements in the weeks ahead.

Even though D2M never buys inventory, it will warehouse products as a third-party logistics provider that will fulfill dealer orders using its own proprietary software. “By rolling 20 companies together, you’re shipping several items to dealers at the same time and really reducing the cost to the manufacturer,” Pritchard says.

D2M has bought a warehouse in Fort Worth, Texas, and is working with another company in the Carolinas, Pritchard says. “We will have product placed in distribution centers across the United States so that it’s still one- to two-day service to the dealers — very similar to two-step distribution, but that product belongs to the manufacturers.”

In a press release distributed today, Pritchard says, "D2M has manufacturers reps visiting dealers nationwide to make it very easy to do business with each other. Several manufacturers currently or have tried to sell their products directly to dealers in the past. While some have certainly had success, the challenges with costs, service levels and scalability have made most attempts either unsuccessful or less successful than what the distributors currently provide."

Pritchard heads a group of powersports industry veterans who felt the time was right to improve efficiencies in the industry's supply chain by helping manufacturers sell their products directly to dealers. D2M partner John Whitaker is head of marketing. "We looked at many other industries around the U.S. and identified solutions to help vendors, manufacturers and dealers connect,” he says. "We studied some of the best ideas concerning traditional and modern-day distribution, blended our industry-specific needs, and connected it with the latest technologies to create a unique program to take the powersports industry into the future."

Adds Pritchard: "With many other industries adopting a more efficient, cost-effective, direct supply chain, powersports dealers and manufacturers are being left behind. They have had a tough time remaining profitable and competitive in the current economic climate."

Says Munoz: "D2M's primary goal is helping the industry's long-term success. We all know the dealers and manufacturers are the lifeblood of the industry, so by streamlining business practices which include less cost, more margin and shorten the production timeline, we're confident that dealers, manufacturers and the industry as a whole will be more successful. D2M will only work with manufacturers and dealers. ... We will not sell consumer-direct."

According to Pritchard and Munoz, their model focuses on improving and consolidating the supply chain with the tools and service that enable manufacturers and dealers to easily do business with each other. The upcoming vendor announcements will lead up to an official D2M launch at Dealer Expo.

D2M is now accepting resumes for sales reps nationwide and will have some manufacturers reps in the field starting in January. If you are a manufacturer or industry professional interested in learning more about D2M, e-mail info@direct2mfg.com.

Posted by Arlo Redwine