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alpscontrols.com – an internet-only distributor where flesh-and-blood technical support people make the whole thing work.

2012 June 8

Let me start out by saying that at alpscontrols.com, we LOVE the internet. We’re huge fans. Each day it’s a thrill for us to engage in this cross-generational, multi-cultural communication space in which opinions and art and entertainment and philosophy and government all come together for the purposes of information exchange and commerce!

We were particularly tickled recently to discover this blog post, in which internet-only building control distributors are called out for a number of perceived shortcomings, and in which alpscontrols.com is specifically — in super-duper secret coded fashion! — mentioned:

…Stocking no inventory, having manufacturers ship direct to customers, providing no technical support, and bragging about it. Really? Give us a break, even Clint knows there is no free lunch. One way or another you get what you pay for. Not to name names, but if you are using these guys you have A lready L ost P erspective and S ensibility.

To use a phrase popularized by the kids on the internet: we see what you did there!

But the fact of the matter is that the statement above gets at least one item glaringly, stupendously wrong: at alpscontrols.com, we do provide technical support. In fact, a good 35% of our staff is dedicated to delivering experienced, immediate, efficient and product-based customer support that also includes specifying and quoting. There’s really no way that our innovative business model could be successful without it, and a large percentage of our customers, when asked about the strengths of our company, tell us that our support personnel are what bring them back to alpscontrols.com day after day.

Why is that? Setting aside for a moment that our people are quick, friendly, and know their stuff, it comes down to three main reasons:

  1. Our use of advanced communication technology, in which we leverage Skype, in-house training, webinars, online video, live support and even email and telephone calls to quickly serve our customers’ support needs;
  2. Our ability to deliver more customer support than traditional wholesalers. We’re able to do this because we take all the time that we’re not stocking shelves, performing inventory and driving trucks and we spend it working with our customers; and finally,
  3. The fact that, in those instances where more comprehensive product answers are needed, we immediately bring our customers together with our manufacturers to find the information they need. There’s complete transparency on alpscontrols.com between suppliers and contractors, primarily because we actually want our manufacturer-partners to know who their customers on our site are.

We’re just funny and generous like that.

Here’s the thing: there is still a need in the marketplace for local brick-and-mortar distributors to provide the immediate gratification of inventory-based product sales. Heck, sometimes we even purchase products from local distributors, and they buy from us as well. But our business model is designed for — and successfully fulfills — a much broader, global need. In a single online space, we’re able to offer over 8 million products that couldn’t possibly be warehoused efficiently; we handle hundreds of transactions every day for control contractors who seek a cost-effective way to order an entire project’s specification list on a single purchase order. And sure, we do it without stocking an inventory, and by having our suppliers ship directly to our customers — but we do it because it provides value and efficiency not only to our customers who appreciate it, but also to our manufacturers who, freed from the time and personnel it takes to support product transactions, are enabled to spend their time doing what they do best: design and create new and better products.

If you have any questions about our ability to provide technical, specification, product, or sales support, we’ll tell you what: why don’t you simply contact our non-existent support folks and find out for yourself?

Thanks for reading.

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