You might think of building product suppliers solely as sources of materials. However, some suppliers truly are trade partners.

A deeper exploration reveals that some suppliers have untapped potential to help pros branch into new services and become more knowledgeable and effective, especially when it comes to windows and doors.

Here’s how to get more out of your supplier:

Take advantage of education opportunities

Windows vary widely in terms of performance, style, functionality — and cost.

“Many contractors complete their quotes with a very basic ‘budget’ number. Due to the many options and choices that need to be made, these original budgets are typically not accurate,” says Don Shohbozian, window and door specialist with ABC Supply’s Pacific Northwest territory.

To help ensure projects stay on budget, some suppliers offer seminars where, among other things, contractors can learn about product specifics and how to better price out window and door jobs.

“They gain a better understanding of the details suppliers need to provide an accurate quote,” Shohbozian adds. “And the more contractors learn, the better they can educate their customers in the field.”

These workshops also clue in product newcomers to regional preferences. For example, low-E glass tends to be popular in the Southeast due to its ability to block out solar heat while amplifying natural light.

Material choice is another hot topic.

“In Washington, we are seeing increased interest in the fiberglass and composite window and door groups,” Shohbozian says. “These products have less expansion and contraction than vinyl and perform well in almost any environment.”

Maximize marketing potential

Suppliers can also help you amplify your reach and impact in your market through compelling visual and informational materials. Forward-thinking suppliers can provide a range of resources, including brochures, flyers and digital assets. These materials can reflect regional trends, highlight product offerings and communicate value propositions to prospective clients. Further, supplier-led contractor programs can free up your time and resources, allowing you to focus on current projects, your teams and the next job. For example, ABC Supply offers Freedom Programs that include jobsite marketing materials and financing solutions to support your business. The resources you gain from a supplier are assets that will effectively demonstrate your credibility and trust as a service provider.

Lean on supplier expertise

“I think one of the most frustrating things for contractors when they interact with a supplier is the [supplier’s] lack of knowledge, the lack of advice, the lack of education,” says John Vondra, merchandising manager for windows and doors at ABC Supply.

That’s why ABC Supply continually trains their associates and contractors to be well-versed in the windows and doors category. Even better: Many ABC Supply locations have specialists in this specific category, as well as branches that exclusively sell and distribute windows and doors. In these locations, contractors have easy access to product displays, samples and literature.

“To fully understand their needs, it typically takes additional time to work through a windows and doors order with a contractor,” Vondra says. “Throughout the years, we have learned that having designated workspaces, separate from the front counter, allows us to take the time to better understand the contractors’ needs in this rapidly growing segment.”

By utilizing supplier resources, contractors can enhance their capabilities and expand their service offerings. Learn more about ABC Supply’s window and door offerings at your local branch.