INTERVIEW SERIES: AFIXX Alliance® and Crossroad Distributor Source®
Please give us your name, title, job function and how many years you have worked in the fastener industry.
- Larry Kanne, VP/General Manager with AFIXX since 2013 when it became a division of Pacific Warehouse Sales
- Scott Campbell, President, Executive Management, Crossroad Distributor Source 14 years
What inspired the design of your booths?
Each year we try to incorporate some of our companies underlying core messages. This year, we wanted to highlight the value of partnership and customer service by joining forces with Crossroad Distributor Source to emphasize to our customers that “you’re way is our way.” Both companies pride themselves on the true understanding of what a partner is and what it means to treat a customer right. By incorporating a “create your own fruit cocktail bar” this allowed the customer to create a drink on either side of the aisle, their way, while demonstrating our customer service message to them!
Can you tell us about the significance of the Mixxed Drinks Theme?
To focus on our primary message “your way is our way” we wanted to create an experience that allowed our customers to engage in a positive customer experience. By offering choices of fruits, fruit juices and spirits, we truly allowed customers to create drinks “their way.”
What process do you use when trying to design the best possible booth for your company?
We try to focus on our company values and points of differentiation. In the past our themes have focused on selling to distributors only with our Private Golf Club Putting Green, highlighting progression in social media with our #FLOPNER themed poker game, and partnership and customer service with this year’s crossMIXXafixx concept. We have combined the partnership concept with Crossroad the past two years. Last year we featured a cross trafficking card game where visitors would receive a card from each of our booths to try and get a “perfect pair.” This year of course we partnered in the Club MIXX and we are looking forward to continuing this partnership at the 2018 IFE show.
How important is customer experience in the design process?
Customer experience is the most important part of the design process. The key to a successful show is getting traffic to your booth. AFIXX and Crossroad want to set ourselves apart from other booths while communicating a foundational message when doing so. Most importantly, if visitors have a great experience they will a) remember our brand message and b) and share in the pride we have leading this industry into the future.
How long does this process usually take?
We usually start planning for the next show shortly after we get back from the current show and once we have identified our primary messages for the upcoming year. We’ll have several brainstorming sessions, and then probably 6 months out or so, the real planning begins.
Should budget be the overriding factor before design-build begins?
Budget is always a concern, but making sure we have a booth that accurately displays our message and portrays our companies values is the most important. As with everything, there is a fine balance.
How do you choose which team members will be on the show floor? Does team attire play part in the overall design?
Both AFIXX and Crossroad Distributor Source are Family run businesses, so involvement in the show and at the show, is key to putting a face to our names. Both Larry Kanne who runs AFIXX and Scott Campbell who runs Crossroad, are at the booth receiving and greeting visitors. Additionally, our management teams are there, along with the creative and marketing teams that assist with the theme execution and set-up.
How many trade shows does your company participate in per year? Which events?
Between AFIXX and Crossroad, we attend IFE / Fastener Fair-Stuttgart / Expo F Panama City (2017) / Grainger Mexico (2018)
Can you tells us about your companies and the products you supply?
For over 55 years, the Lehman name has represented honesty, integrity and reliability in the fastener industry. Built upon those principles and with the promise to sell to distributors only, Pacific Warehouse Sales was formed in 1980. Run as a true family business, keen knowledge of the industry and understanding customer’s needs, is what sets PWS apart from the rest.
In 2013, PWS introduced its new division, AFIXX Alliance®
AFIXX Alliance® provides distributors with a state of the art E-commerce site that allows us to maintain our personal touch combined with the ease of doing business. AFIXX continues to offer the experience of an intimate family company along with the benefits of using innovative business solutions. AFIXX Alliance® wants you to ask questions, we want you to feel comfortable to order, check stock, review your acquisition history, and know that no matter what size your order, from big bulk shipments to small pack purchases, AFIXX is your valued fastener provider.
AFIXX offers the following products: Blind Rivets,Multigrip Rivets,Closed End Rivets,Structural Rivets,Q-Rivets(Q-fixx), Trifold Rivets (tri-fixx),Rivet Nuts,Washers,Hand Tools,Air Tools,Standard Cable Ties,Specialty Cable Ties,Cable Tie Accessories and Custom Orders.
Crossroad Distributor Source:
Crossroad Distributor Source®, also family owned, was founded in 2004. Focused on thread insert systems for industrial, aerospace and electronic applications, employees here have a combined 50+ years of experience in these product lines. Crossroad is a master distributor supplying industrial and fastener distributors throughout North America, Mexico and the Caribbean. In addition to our thread insert systems, we also warehouse AFIXX® blind rivets, rivet nuts and cable ties, in addition to Bordo® Screwdriver Bits & Accessories and the Black Book® Series of valuable technical information. Crossroad is proud of its commitment to service customers in a world-class fashion, and ability to provide the technical expertise to support that distribution chain.