It began with a need
The canvas wall tent was Norseman’s first product in 1921. It had a reputation, 100 years in the making before Proline Pipe bought their first tent.
Today Proline Pipe is one of Western Canada’s largest suppliers in the pipeline industry and a valued distributor of our W-series wall tents.
But it doesn't stop there, Proline’s customers need much more than tents and cooling blankets on job sites.
From one product to one-stop-shop
According to Purchasing Manager, Cory Solinski, “Proline tries to be a one-stop shop for our customers … we've prided ourselves on our service level, to be better than anybody else out there and have high-quality gear.”
Proline leverages Norseman's product range (beyond pipeline gear) to be a one-stop shop.
Adding non-traditional products
Cory points out, “Once our customers found out they can get what’s known as a ‘construction product’ from their pipeline supplier, they stopped having to make extra phone calls. They’re able to tag it on to orders.”
- Secondary containment berms used in residential or commercial construction
- Roll stock to help debris collection
- Canvas tarps
- Foam products
And the list continues to grow.
Until recently, sales of Canvas Cat Curtain were nonexistent. But over the past five years, Proline Pipe has gone from no sales to one of Norseman’s top distributor.
Proline Pipe is a long-trusted distributor for Norseman product lines, such as welding tents and welding/cooling blankets. They're also a distributor of industrial curtains and other products that fit into the pipeline niche.
Seamless ordering process
After more than 20 years, the order process – and relationship - is seamless. Proline contacts Norseman with a customer’s request, and if it’s available, they're going to take it.
Customer Service Investment
To better meet customer needs, Proline invested heavily in expansion. They increased warehouse space, expanded distribution channels, and placed larger orders.
Instead of special orders on request for most sizes, they stock them. And they have more ready-to-ship products.
While customer-buying behaviors haven’t changed, Cory explains their ability to help them has. “Anytime anybody calls Proline, everything is now now now now, which we are very well set up to accommodate.”
They’ve greatly increased market share by having more stock, having it ready to go same-day, and maintaining that service. If you need it today, it's out the door today.
Through their continued relationship with Norseman, Proline sets themselves apart from other suppliers.
Communication and Trust
Proline’s investment in logistics infrastructure benefitted Norseman by filling larger orders. But it isn’t just about stocking shelves. Communication and collaboration grew to reduce stale inventory and prevent shortages.
There’s a lot of open communication. And it's setting the expectations and having trust. When Cory calls Norseman, he knows he’ll get a truthful answer, even if it’s one he doesn’t like to hear.
And Norseman product experts call Proline with a “heads-up” on material shortages and increased demand so Cory can place orders. Because the trust is there, a PO usually arrives in minutes.
The opposite also happens. Norseman recommends smaller quantities, or book half now and the balance later, so Proline isn’t stuck with excess inventory.
How often do you have vendors call you to reduce or even postpone orders?
Both parties work to create the best possible situation for each other.
“Let’s commit, let's partner up”
“Norseman’s been very good to steer incoming calls from customers in our regions directly to us at Proline, even if it means taking a bit of a hit in short term revenue,” says Cory.
It’s not about the one-off sale. It’s about a decades-long relationship that continues to grow and benefit both companies.
It’s a long-term win-win.
With Norseman's quality product, Proline keeps being the company that sells “Cadillac’s.” You might pay more than retail, but it's going to do the job. It's going to finish the job. And you're not going to have any problems. Because problems is what costs you more than anything else.
Success during economic slumps
For the Norseman / Proline Pipe relationship, the proof is in the pudding. Both companies have been successful, even in down years. They've been able to maintain or increase their dollars, product turnover … everything.
“For new prospects reading this case study, the takeaway that we want for you is, be willing participants, and Norseman will offer that same level of service to partner with you. But, it's a two-way street.”
About Proline Pipe Equipment:
Proline Pipe Equipment has been serving the Canadian and international pipeline industry since 1967. They manufacture and supply a variety of equipment for pipeline and plant construction.
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