Challenges for Remote Distributors: An Interview with Nelson Bello, Commercial Vice President at Aderca

FEATURED STORY An Interview with Nelson Bello, Commercial Vice President at Aderca Challenges for Remote Distributors:

The role of a distributor can be inherently challenging. Ensuring that the supplier has the necessary information and that the end user will receive the appropriate asset for their application, in the required time frame, often demands a significant amount of time, planning, and effort by the distributor. The added difficulty of addressing these needs in a remote location is a challenge that Nelson Bello, Commercial Vice President at Aderca, is very familiar with.

Valve World Americas had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Bello about how he entered the world of industrial distribution, the challenges faced by industrial distributors in remote locations, and how these obstacles are overcome.

By Sarah Bradley

Gaining Experience

After completing his degree in Indus­trial Engineering from the Instituto Tec­nológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC) in his hometown Dominican Republic, Bello embarked on his career journey working at then GTE-owned telephone company CODETEL. He gradually rose to the posi­tion of call center supervisor, an accom­plishment that instilled in him a sense of personal pride and satisfaction.

“There is a wonderful feeling associated with achieving recognition for your work efforts, not because you are a member of a family, but because you competed against five candidates and you were the best one for that job,” explained Bello. “I recall that at that moment, I felt that I would be able to accomplish many more achievements on my own.” In 1998 he obtained a diploma in International Business from Florida International Uni­versity and, soon after, received an offer to work at Aderca with his father.

“I was taught at a very young age that, just because my family had a company, it did not mean I was guaranteed a position there. I had to excel in what I was doing, and I had to bring value to the company.” Bello agreed to join the company on the condition that he could modernize it how­ever he saw fit, and – together with his brother and father – he quickly elevated the company to the next level.

The Day-to-Day

As a father, husband, and businessman in charge of a commercial team, Bello’s main concern every day is to create the necessary harmony between the time looking after his customers and the time with his family. “After the confine­ment due to the pandemic, we all have learned how to use the tools available to work from wherever we are and be clos­er to our loved ones, without neglecting Aderca’s progress.”

“The elements I always take care of are my health and knowing the needs of my team in order to fulfill their ac­tivities and the progress made, as well as how I can support them,” continued Bello. “My customers, my team, and my family know that I am always a phone call away when they need me.”

Overcoming Challenges

The Dominican Republic is home to the largest economy in the Caribbean, driven by diverse sectors including min­ing, free trade zone manufacturing, and service industries. According to Bello, “The Dominican Republic has one of the highest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growths in the region, with substantial business in the cement, electrical power, agriculture, and food and beverage seg­ments. With such a diverse market, there is a continuous need for a large variety of industrial assets.”

Nelson Bello.

To facilitate the needs of his clients, Bel­lo employs several strategies that help him overcome many of the difficulties distributors face.

One strategy he uses is to house prod­ucts that have some form of cross-industry functionality. “Distributing a product, such as a bearing, that is viable for numerous applications mitigates the risk that the customer will request some­thing that we do not supply, or that will have a significant lead time.”

Being aware of and anticipating the needs of his clients is another major fo­cus for Bello. Given that the Dominican Republic is an island, Bello highlighted that he must account for the added com­plexity of having to import raw materials and process them into finished goods. “While typically we can have our prod­ucts delivered to the warehouse in Miami within a day, and subsequently to the Do­minican Republic the following day, the duration of the delivery can vary depend­ing on factors such as the type and size of the package, as it may be subjected to customs processes which can prolong the delivery time,” he explained.

“The Dominican Republic has great lo­gistics connections and a well-prepared workforce, but in times of conflict or turmoil, it is having sufficient stock that makes a significant difference. As a dis­tributor, I make it a constant goal to ensure that we have enough product to meet the essential requirements of our end users in case of any emergency situations.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies were forced to shut down or reduce operations to comply with gov­ernment restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus. However, some companies were deemed essential and were allowed to continue working to provide critical services to the public.

Aderca was one such company that con­tinued working during the pandemic, “in fact, we grew more than 20% that year because we were open, providing a ser­vice,” explained Bello.

“Our success during that time was due in part to our strong relationships with manufacturers. By placing orders with them, we were able to secure priority delivery of specialized items, ensuring that we could meet their needs in a time­ly manner,” he added.

Developing Relationships

Bello also asserts that comprehending cultural differences is a crucial aspect of conducting business on an international level. Numerous cultures must be taken into consideration to provide each client with the best overall service possible. “For example, in the United States when you talk to someone you look them in the eye, and it shows that you are a trustworthy person. In Japan when you look in somebody’s eye for a long period of time, it is disrespectful. It is important to truly invest time into learning how to respect and work with each individual as it makes a difference in the overall experience,” continued Bello.

“The Dominican Republic has great logistics connections and a well-prepared workforce, but in times of conflict or turmoil, it is having sufficient stock that makes a significant difference. As a distributor, I make it a constant goal to ensure that we have enough product to meet the essential requirements of our end users in case of any emergency situations.”

When asked about what he looks for in a distribution partner, Bello responded by emphasizing the importance of the bond between the leadership of manufactur­ing and distribution. Specifically, he sug­gested that a strong personal connection between the supplier and distributor and the distributor and end user can signifi­cantly impact the success of the partner­ship. “That personal bonding makes all the difference in the world,” said Bello.

Looking Forward

When questioned about his future, Bello explicitly distinguished his personal and professional future, stating that “even though it is a family company, the owners are not the company.” He expressed his desire to avoid excessive work-life integra­tion that could potentially pose a threat to his personal life. His aim is to assist the company in expanding so it is “bigger and better than all its people together.” His personal goal is to continue enjoying his work which allows him to travel, meet new people, and continue learning new things.

In terms of the Dominican Republic market’s future and its position in the global industrial landscape, Bello be­lieves that as the country is in the cen­ter of North and South America, it has great logistic connections, which will allow it to continue to thrive in the in­dustrial sector.

About Aderca

Aderca is a family-run com­pany, founded in 1972, that offers a diverse range of ser­vices to its customers, includ­ing hydraulics, pneumatics, lo­gistics, hoses, conveyor belts, and more. The company has a proven track record of suc­cess and boasts an extensive portfolio of brands. Its aim is to establish itself as the leading industrial distributor in the Do­minican Republic by commer­cializing power transmission products, delivering machinery and equipment maintenance services and solutions, and conducting its operations with a strong sense of accountabil­ity, expertise, and efficacy.

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