Contractors 2000 has become, in effect, a buying group. At its bi-annual Super Meeting in Denver in mid-October, C-2000 introduced 11 vendors of plumbing and HVAC products, as well as various business services, who have signed on as “preferred vendors.” Preferred vendors base their pricing on C-2000 collective purchases.

Members potentially benefit in two ways: a small volume purchaser gets better pricing than a small company could obtain on its own, and all C-2000 buyers receive year-end rebates from preferred vendors based on total purchase volume throughout the organization.

According to executive director Jack Tester, the companies who participate as preferred vendors benefit from reduced sales expense and added volume. “One of the companies already has doubled its volume with our members,” said Tester. “Plus, they have people on our staff calling members on their behalf around the country. That’s a lot better than having their own salespeople try to reach everyone.”

Plumbing and HVAC manufacturers and distributors are being targeted by C-2000 for its preferred vendor program. Additionally, they are benefiting from collective purchasing of insurance, employee benefit programs, merchant services and finance programs.

Developing a marketing plan was another focus of the Denver meeting. C-2000 members broke into groups to select four high-priority marketing programs to implement in their companies. A year-long contest will be held to determine the most successful implementer, with a $6,000 top prize award.

C-2000 members heard from author Harry Beckwith and marketer Brad Peterson. Beckwith, author of Selling The Invisible — A Field Guide To Modern Marketing, spoke about establishing brand. Peterson, founder of Beckwith Advertising and Marketing, spoke about establishing a unique selling proposition.

The group also introduced a new “60 Weeks of Customer Care” training program for call takers and dispatchers. It is an adjunct to its “52 Weeks of Customer Care” program for service technicians.

Despite losing 24 members to consolidators in the last year, Tester reported membership at an all-time high of 270. Attendance in Denver totaled 340.

The next Super Meeting is slated for February in San Antonio, Texas. Call 651/426-2000.