Direct route Featured

6:23am EDT April 2, 2003
Wouldn't it be great if you could just sit back and manufacture products and let someone else deal with getting them to consumers?

PHD Direct, a business of PHD Inc., aims to do exactly that, taking the headache out of selling either directly to consumers or through retail outlets.

"We can go to the manufacturer and help take that product from development through fulfillment," says David Wilcoxon, president of Wickliffe-based PHD Inc.

There are different avenues to get your products in the hands of consumers, and include infomercials, cable home shopping networks, credit card inserts, catalogs or retail outlets.

"Particularly for new products that are unique to the marketplace, QVC {a cable shopping channel} or something in the infomercial arena can be great exposure to the consumer," says Wilcoxon.

Once the manufacturer decides how best to target consumers, PHD Direct is setup to handle the rest. The company, through several partnerships with other firms, can set up an infomercial shoot, have calls directed to a call center to take orders and ship the product directly from PHD warehouses.

"We can provide them with information on how many calls they received and what their actual sales were," says Wilcoxon. "We handle all the billing and shipping. It's a one-stop shop.

"Some manufacturers are good at making products, but they don't know how to get them to market."

PHD also has partners in the retail arena. Wilcoxon says that if an item would make a good gift, then that's normally a reason to go to retail.

"The real reason we started this was to make it easy for manufacturers to go to market," says Wilcoxon. "We try to solve a lot of their problems in advance. We try to take the aggravation and expense out of the process. If a manufacturer tries to do this themself, it can be a real nightmare. They might have to talk to four, five or six different companies and line up deals with each one. We want to let them get it done with one source. Time is expensive."

PHD Inc.