Business View Magazine | March 2018

122 123 year’s event will be extra special to celebrate our 170th anniversary.” BVM: What rolewill technologyhave in the future of MackenzieMilne? Primmer: “Technologyplays a huge part inwhat we sell,howwe sell,and howwe continue to succeed.As an industrial supply retailer,wemust have inventory and knowledge of themost cutting-edge advance- ments and products for our customers.We try to be the first tomarket with things like Bluetooth-capable, personal gasmonitors,fall protection gear that meets the latest legislation,newest power tool models,etc. Andwemust be earlyadopters of those same kinds of technology. “Wewere,quite literally,the first firm tomake use of electric lighting andmotorized deliveryvehicles in the early1900s,andmore recently the first industrial supplier to install digital TVadvertising screens at the sales counter,and the first to have digital signature capture devices which helped us become practically paperless.This year we hope to have scanners and bar- code readers in place to improve accuracyand speed up transactions. MackenzieMilne’s future is amirror of its past; a storyof evolution.The company that began 170 years ago as a tinsmith shopwill continue to foray into new markets where opportunities arise.Everyyear Macken- zieMilnewill find newniches to fill. categories inmany industries,but we’ve reallyexcelled the last fewyears with niche lines such as asbestos re- moval and abatement supplies,truckand jobsite boxes and totes,tailoredworkwear,etc.Withmore sales occurring out of town,we can negotiate better freight and shipping rates,which in turn drivesmore business across the countryand into the United States.We’ve watched competitors leave themarket altogether in certain categories because of howsuccessful it’s going for us. “Ninetypercent of our sales are in the Sarnia region; however,we also have agreements and national con- tracts with customers across NorthAmerica.Andwe’re in the process of implementing anAmazon-style,inter- net-based shopping experience towiden our national and global reach. “The entireMackenzieMilne store is one big 12,000-sq.-ft showroom.All inventory is displayed,so customers can see and interact with everythingwe sell. While the store is open to the public,most of our clien- tele are tradesmen,teamsters,and contractors who buy on account and come in several times a day.None of the inventory is priced,andmerchandising efforts are minimal to keep overhead costs down.The strength of our buying power and commitment to stock is on display.Whykeep pallets of duct tape or rain suits in a darkwarehousewhen you can plunka skid beside the sales counter andwatch customers gape at the tower- ing cases?More often than not,you’ll hear themsay,‘I didn’t knowyou guys carried this,’or ‘I should get some of thesewhile I’mhere.’” Hoekstra: “In 2006,we joined the IndicaMarketing Group,the largest buying consortiumof industrial sup- plies in Canada.Theyhave a unique platform that links together manufacturers and distributors as partners. For an independent company like us,it means we can suddenlybuy like the large guys.Also,themanufactur- ers have their people out in the field talking to cus- tomers and end users on our behalf,which is a huge help. “We also like to thank thosewho have supported us,so,once or twice a year,MackenzieMilne holds an open house/customer appreciation luncheon and invites suppliers to take part and set up booths,turning it into a grand tradeshowunrivalled bycompetitors.We serve a fully-cateredmeal that is second to none.This CONGRATULATIONS ! 170 Mackenzie-Milne Years of Business ! on MACKENZIE MILNE PREFERRED VENDOR n Superior Glove n Makita Canada Some tools are IRREPLACEABLE According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hand injuries account for 1 in 10 emergency room visits every year.