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It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood
From "Apparel Hot Sheet"
By Julie A. Cajigas
August 2011

The mark of a successful apparel distributor is often his or her ability to build relationships, not only in business, but in life. Kurt Wuckert Jr., managing partner, and his brother Karl Wuckert, sales specialist for Proforma Synergy Graphics (asi/491477), are natural networkers. Consider that the brothers had a neighbor who worked in marketing for a large medical equipment manufacturer. They both chatted with her about the neighborhood and occasionally about the print side of their business. After noticing that their neighbor seemed reluctant to talk about her company’s print needs, the brothers focused on their friendship first. One day, the brothers mentioned work they were doing with an apparel client, and suddenly their neighbor’s eyes lit up. “She said that apparel was a nightmare for her and her colleagues,” says Kurt Wuckert Jr. “Their program was not working for them.”

The company, a national medical equipment organization with more than 300 service technicians serving hospitals around the country, needed a complete apparel solution. “I knew that coordinating the apparel purchases for their technicians along with their other apparel needs was taking up time they could spend servicing clients or marketing to new clients,” says Wuckert. Still sensitive to their relationship as friends and neighbors, Wuckert asked about the struggles that her company was having with apparel. His hunch proved true – sourcing, purchasing and distributing the apparel was a headache for his neighbor.

“They had been buying apparel from six or seven different distributors,” says Wuckert. “They were getting T-shirts from one vendor, jackets from another and polo shirts from yet another.” Wuckert was quick to step in and offer his services as a solutions provider. After sharing the kinds of value-added services he could offer the company, including an e-commerce solution, drop shipping and fulfillment, a meeting was set. Wuckert thought long and hard about the client, and decided that an e-commerce solution would be the best way to help the company streamline its purchasing process.

At first, executives were a little uncomfortable with the idea of an e-commerce solution, so Wuckert established trust by providing them with excellent service. For over a year, he took orders, learned more about their needs and created the data infrastructure that would be necessary for an e-commerce solution.

After experiencing Wuckert’s skill and service, the client was ready to give e-commerce a try. “We showed them that they could purchase their complete apparel program through us, that it would be dropped, shipped and fulfilled with great service and efficiency,” he says. Wuckert selected Hartwell Classic Apparel (asi/60135) as the primary vendor based on their service and product quality. “Our client is happy and we’ve done business with them for more than two years now,” he says.

The Wuckerts used their keen sense of networking and warm personalities to connect with friends and neighbors. Then, as the account manager, Kurt used his patience and dedication to good service to get his foot in the door, and his ability to craft a successful program to build a client relationship that will last.

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