FireRescue Depot will seek to become the premier fire and rescue hydraulic tool source in the country. This strategy will rely on a competitive edge and a strong marketing and sales campaign. FireRescue Depot will leverage their competitive edge of offering the finest selection of manufacturers' products. The marketing campaign will seek to develop awareness of FireRescue Depot and the unmatched selection that they offer. The sales campaign will emphasize FireRescue Depot's ability to offer the highest level of customer satisfaction in the industry.
FireRescue Depot's competitive edge is their unmatched selection of models and manufacturers within the product lines that they offer. This variety of inventory is very difficult because of the capital requirements necessary to maintain inventory levels. FireRescue Depot avoids this pitfall by having negotiated arrangements with all of the top manufacturers. FireRescue Depot will have at least one example of each product in stock for the showroom, in return the manufacturers have agreed to drop ship future purchases directly to the customer. Having this arrangement in place means that FireRescue Depot is able to offer an unmatched selection without having large overhead. The manufacturers are happy to sell the products and drop ship them as long as FireRescue Depot has at least one example of every model in their showroom. This competitive edge of unmatched selection will be a sustainable advantage for FireRescue Depot.
FireRescue Depot's marketing strategy aims at increasing awareness of FireRescue Depot and their products within the targeted customer segments. Advertisements will be key in developing awareness. The main source of advertising will be National Fire and Rescue Magazine. This media source has over 35,000 rescue departments that consult the magazine, a 95.4% penetration rate. Advertisements in this periodical will provide FireRescue Depot with excellent exposure. Because the industry is so specialized, this is a wonderful resource since it is consulted by so many people. Additionally, advertisements are effective in generating customers because rarely does a department actually need to see the equipment. The equipment is similar from brand to brand, what separates the equipment are the product specifications. If a department is able to compare specifications they can make knowledgeable equipment choices. This of course lends itself to mail order/Internet sales where the customer might not be near a retail outlet. This reality of the industry supports FireRescue Depot's idea that advertising will be an effective method of marketing.
Part of FireRescue Depot's marketing strategy will be participation in the Firehouse World Expo. This exposition is the largest exposition in the country and is heavily attended by both product manufacturers and many fire/rescue departments. FireRescue Depot will operate a booth at the exposition. The key in the advertisements and the exposition is creating the image and awareness that FireRescue Depot is the number one source for fire and rescue hydraulic equipment. When any department needs the best selection of tools as well as the most useful advice regarding purchasing decisions, FireRescue Depot is the place to consult.
FireRescue Depot has identified several milestones which will serve as organizational goals. The timetable is ambitious, but achievable. Please see the following table for a graphical representation of the milestones.
FireRescue Depot's sales strategy is based on the premise that maintaining the highest level of customer service is the easiest way to create repeat customers. The premise is based on the fact that the industry is relatively small and specialized, and that it is important to be known for great customer service. Word travels fast within the industry. If a firm's reputation is positive, the industry quickly becomes aware and sales spike upward.
All employees of FireRescue Depot will be given the tools/skills necessary to ensure that all customer interactions are positive. All employees will make sure customers leave happy. They will be taught how to remedy common problems or to enlist the help of their supervisor if they are unsure how to handle the situation. FireRescue Depot recognizes that while it may cost money to keep a customer happy in the short term, the long-term benefits of a happy and loyal customer outweigh any expenditures in the short term. This customer-centric sales strategy coupled with the marketing strategy and FireRescue Depot's competitive edge will allow them to quickly gain market penetration.
The sales forecast has been developed from a conservative perspective to ensure that the sales targets are met. Sales will increase at a slow but steady pace. Sales are forecasted to make a jump after the Firehouse World Expo. FireRescue Depot's presence at the Expo is expected to generate many sales and the forecasts reflect this.