INDEAL, which originated and flourished as a buying organization for dealers, continues to evolve and has morphed into a full platform designed to streamline the commercial interior discovery, specification, and ordering process through a combination of its own tools and technology and those of its partners.
Instead of visiting multiple websites and utilizing countless apps, the entire platform provides a one-stop destination that connects the commercial interiors world, said co-founder Dave Bloch.
“We’ve really developed deep relationships in this industry,” he said. “We have dealers and brands looking to us for guidance and steering. We’ve been a sounding board for years now and we want to continue to offer them more solutions for the future and really support them in areas where they don’t have any current support.”
INDEAL represents most of the top dealerships in North America — more than 300 in all. It began as a buying group where dealers who sold products from INDEAL’s brand partners received a rebate at the end of the year. The roots of the program still exist with financial incentives that help dealers increase profitability, but it has expanded into a platform that includes much, much more.
Education and learning is a key part of INDEAL’s mission, from help finding and specifying products to producing videos designed to explain the industry to new hires and the nuances of the commercial interiors world to more seasoned employees. INDEAL has greatly expanded its INDEAL University content and is launching a new version of Pinpoint, a digital tool that helps dealers connect with brands and products, view performance ratings for the top 200 commercial furniture manufacturers and allows designers to access rendered environments and immersive VR experiences.
“There’s nothing else like this out there,” said Bloch. “There are a lot of brands and a lot of search tools looking for products. None of them guide you to who to buy from until now.”
In short, they are putting more resources in the dealer’s toolbox and better connecting them to the products that make a difference. INDEAL now enables dealers to search for brands and products and more importantly, connects them to other tools and assets so they can take action on what they find.
A Platform That Brings It All Together
The central hub of the INDEAL platform is the Dealer Dashboard. It keeps everything members need at their fingertips, from quick links to tools like Pinpoint and INDEAL U, to handy resources like promotions and a news feed that makes keeping up to date with the platform news even easier. INDEAL also plans to add a Brand Partner Dashboard that will provide manufacturers with their own set of tools and information.
INDEAL is set to help dealers and the manufacturers they sell to connect in meaningful ways. Whether the dealer is aligned or independent, the INDEAL platform will help make them more efficient and profitable. Most dealers profit margins have fallen in the last decade with an average of about 2%. They are starving for tools to make it easier for them to do business.
Many dealers sell to more than 1,000 vendors. And even if they are aligned, a larger and larger percentage of its sales are going to brands outside their alignment. Major manufacturers with aligned dealers provide good service to their dealers. But dealers immediately lose levels of service when they go outside that alignment.
“We level the service,” said Bloch. “That’s where INDEAL can step in and really support our members. We can provide the vetting and connections. We can provide the support, we can provide the educational pieces. And now we have the technology pieces to fit everything together.”
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