A-Z Safety Supply is owned by Joe Ricciardi and is a reboot of his earlier success with Work Fitters Tool & Safety. After 10 years of “Outfitting the American Worker”, Mr. Ricciardi narrowed the company’s focus in 2008 to Safety Supplies in order to provide value in what he perceived to be an underserved niche.
Although the A-Z portion of the name correctly implies the wide scope of safety products available, our philosophy concerning supply is primarily driven by real world application and customer feedback.
Typical retail buyers enjoy the experience of shopping where consumption and variety are the spices of consumer life. Business clients, on the other hand, favor results over potential. For the typical industrial and wholesale buyer having what works is more important than having everything in the world. Profits are generated not by pie in the sky but boots on the ground…safety boots at that.
Ricciardi’s Law - the inverse relationship between the size of one’s catalog and the level of customer service available: as one increases, the other decreases.
Products are important, of course, but let’s be honest, construction workers, factory personnel, tradesmen and roustabouts, male and female, care a lot less about fashion than performance. This is our clientele and over the past 20 plus years in this business, we have educated ourselves about manufacturers, products, regulations, compliance, vendors, materials, guidelines, rules and the marketplace in ways that a normal consumer couldn’t do even with Google and a normal business customer doesn’t have the time to do.
We don’t sell everything, but we do sell the stuff you’re looking for. It’s our job to know what works and how to make it work at the lowest price possible without losing touch with our customers. Our success rate is not 100% but it continues to climb year after year mainly because we’re big enough to help you but small enough to change.
We’re like a WW2 PT Boat: big enough to do damage and yet small and quick enough to turn around in tight corners and change directions. We can adopt new technologies when appropriate without losing the stability of tried and true products.
Which brings up an often misunderstand concept, i.e. What does it mean to have the BEST product? Perhaps an example from common experience might help set the groundwork.
How often do salesmen at tech stores upsell customers into buying the latest and greatest personal computer? You know the one I mean, the one with a 9th generation CPU that renders differential equations in the blink of an eye and a solid-state storage drive capable of storing the contents of the Louvre.
Why do we as consumers fall into this trap? Because we somehow believe we always need to have the best.
And in technology with its relatively short life cycle, perhaps going for as many bells and whistles makes sense. But when it comes to products for industry where performance does trump fashion, how do we find that ‘best product’ for the job?
Big Box Syndrome and the Cherry Pickers - the two most common ways retailers use to get at our wallets is that either they try to sell the least expensive thing in the entire world. I label this approach as the ‘big-box syndrome’. Or they take the easy road riding on the coattails of recognizable brand name products. I label these companies as ‘the cherry-pickers’ (not to be confused with the Aussie bluegrass band of the same name).
We follow a road less traveled. At A-Z Safety Supply the best product is the one that gets the job done in the most cost-efficient manner possible. Sometimes that might also be the least expensive product. Sometimes it might even be a recognizable brand name. But we are not driven by either one above another but rather than what does the customer need to get the job done.
And in addition to the need, what does a customer want…cause let’s be honest sometimes you want a more comfortable harness, a cool pair of safety glasses or a bold looking Hard Hat. We’ve been on this highway long enough to accommodate both while still minimizing your effort and maximizing your buying power. Let me give you an example.
A customer came in recently and asked to purchase a ___(well-known brand name)___ Fall Protection Harness. It normally sells for around $250 and, although I don’t stock it, we could get it for him in a reasonable amount of time. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to take his credit card, order the harness and be done with it.
Instead I asked if I could show him an alternative. He took it from my hands, looked at the harness and said,
“Wow, I like this better. How much is it?”
“$159.95” I replied.
He bought 2 of them. He has a crew of 8 to 10 people and he is now going to standardize on that Fall Protection Harness by a manufacturer whom he had never heard about prior to dropping by.
The month before we had suggested that heconsider buying some new ANSI cut Level 4 gloves for $3.79 per pair to replace the leather drivers he had been buying. He figures that one change will save him about $60 per month over the next year.
Sure, we can sell almost ANYTHING but we don’t stock EVERYTHING. Instead we work really hard to stock the ‘best’ things, i.e. the ones that get the job done in the most cost-efficient manner possible.
That’s A-Z Safety Supply in a nutshell. You’ve got work to do and so do we. We take both jobs seriously.
I hope we can help you invest in safety supplies for your company with the confidence that you’ve got knowledge and experience looking out for your bottom line.