National distribution company ADI’s newest branch office in Omaha, Nebraska features a much smaller layout and a new concept. Assuming the “ADI Express” concept works well in Omaha, ADI will be opening up a lot of new branches in secondary markets, Michael Flink, ADI president told me.
The Omaha branch is ADI's 100th branch. “ADI has 99 regular-size branches in 65 major markets,” Flink said. Typically, ADI branches are about 8,500 square feet and have six or seven employees. The new ADI Express office is about “half the size, half the number of employees,” Flink said.
Every couple of years, ADI does real estate research. Recent findings led the distribution company to explore the idea of a smaller store in smaller markets. “Initially we thought the smaller stores would also have half the inventory as well, “ Flink said, but good design enabled ADI to carry “almost as much merchandise [in the smaller ADI branch as in the larger branches].”
“One thing we did not want to do is lose value in the what ADI offers,” he said. So, while most of the merchandise is moved behind the counter, the ADI Express still has a small training room, a 7/24 pick up room for dealers and a small show room. “Dealers like to come in and see, feel and touch the products,” he said.
In smaller markets a dealer’s staff may not get to travel to trade shows, but a local ADI Express showroom is a good place to see a variety of new products and technology, Flink said.
“It’s like bringing a mini version of a trade show into the branches,” Flink said. “We carry a lot of products.”
ADI currently offers 1,800 training classes. The smaller branches will enable ADI to bring more training to secondary markets. “We can get the manufacturers to come to the smaller markets for training, [because] we can fill up a class if they come.”
ADI plans to open up one more ADI Express branch in Q3. It will then take about six months to evaluate and tweak the smaller branch concept. Flink predicts ADI Express “will dramatically increase the number of markets we can open in,” he said.
Dealers are invited to attend the grand opening at the Omaha branch tomorrow, May 1. The event will include training events, sales specials, and free giveaways. The ADI Omaha Express Store is at 12112 Centennial Road, Suite 7, in La Vista, Nebraska