Interview with Dean McDonald, Sales Agent and Principal at Vancouver Rigging Supply
BY: Bob Glenn, Editor
Dean McDonald recently alerted us to Vancouver Rigging Supply’s newly designed, just-launched launched website. We wanted to share that news with our readers, but we thought it would be more interesting to understand how website is intended to support the way the business goes about serving their customers.
Dean was glad to answer a few questions for us, and here’s what we learned.
Bob Glenn, Wire Rope Exchange (WRE): Tell us a bit about your background in the industry, and the history of Vancouver Rigging Supply?
Dean McDonald, Vancouver Rigging Supply (VRS): I’ve been working in the wire rope and rigging industry since 2012. I started my career as a junior rigger at Unalloy, where I learned the ropes – literally! – and honed my skills. Over the years, I worked at two other shops, gaining experience and diversifying my expertise with each move. Eventually, I would spend most of my time performing field installations, repairs, and inspections of crane ropes and towlines.
Four years later, I became a territory manager for Western Equipment Ltd., a company that focused on industrial products as much as rigging. In the following five years I would utilize my hands-on experience in conjunction with great team and mentorship to create a healthy and lucrative territory.
Fast forward to the fall of 2021, I made the decision to pursue my passion for knowledge of wire rope and rigging products by opening my sales agency, Vancouver Rigging Supply Ltd. I would be able to work closely with manufacturers and gain the knowledge that I so desired. Now, a year and a half into this role, I can proudly say that I have found a genuine passion for what I do, confirming the age-old adage that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
WRE: Are there any specific industries or applications that distributors have found your products to be particularly well suited to? Put another way, is there a “sweet spot” where your offering has been especially helpful for your customers?
VRS: Without a doubt, our products have found a sweet spot in the construction industry. Being based in the Vancouver area, we’ve been able to cater to a diverse range of land-based equipment, including crawlers, A/Ts, piling rigs, and pipeline equipment. With the constant demand for construction services across Canada, we’ve been able to provide our distributors with solutions that specifically meet their clients’ needs.
WRE: What do you hope to accomplish with the website? Is the site an e-commerce play, or simply a tool for someone to build a quote on their own for you to fulfill?
VRS: The objective of this website is to streamline the workload for our distributors, with the aim of enhancing their efficiency. Through my years of experience in distributor sales, I learned that optimizing my time would ultimately determine my clients’ success. Tedious tasks such as finding part numbers, sourcing products, and creating quotes for chain assemblies would usually take up 50% of my time, but it was a necessary part of the sales process. However, with the website, our aim is to automate these tasks and allow our distributors to allocate more time towards engaging with their clients.
WRE: What do you consider to be the key feature(s) of your website?
VRS: We believe that providing top-notch customer service and response time is key to our success. Having worked at the distributor level, we understand the importance of figuring out part numbers, working load limits, and quantities quickly and accurately, especially when new to the industry.
That’s why we have developed an industry-first part number lookup feature that allows users to easily search and find competitor part numbers from the biggest names in the industry. Our team has collected over 10,000 competitor part numbers to make sure that our customers have access to the most comprehensive part number crossover tool possible.
But we didn’t stop there. We also understand that dealing in high-performance crane ropes can be challenging, especially when you’re not sure what questions to ask your customer. To solve this problem, we have created a wire rope request form that guides users through the data collection process, ensuring that they have all the information they need to offer the correct replacement rope. Even if our distributors are unsure about some details, they can always use our wire rope crossover function at the bottom of the page to ensure they are offering the right product.
WRE: What are the most important thing(s) you want distributors to know about VRS?
VRS: At VRS, we take pride in our approach to problem-solving. We do not provide products – we provide real solutions to the challenges our distributors face. With a network of over 5,000 contacts across North America, we have the connections and expertise to help our distributors source the products and technical information they need to succeed. Our commitment to our mission means we are not afraid to do the homework if we don’t have the answer and we are happy to refer our distributors to our competitors if we don’t have a solution that meets their needs. We believe this unique perspective sets us apart and makes us an invaluable partner for those in the industry.
Visit www.vancouverriggingsupplyltd.com to learn more.