Rep Selection Process
In that there is a plethora of MILREP agencies available within this channel of trade, determining the right Military Exchange Sales Rep Agency (MILREP) can be a rather daunting exercise. If you wish to sell to the Military Exchange System (essentially, the Military Department Stores), you should consider associating with a ‘Military Exchange’ specialist agency. This is our area of expertise, and where we choose to focus 100% of our efforts. The Military “Exchanges” are charged to resell hardlines, softlines and a limited number of consumables.
If your company desires to sell the Military Commissaries (essentially, the Military Grocery Stores), you should be considering ‘Military Commissary’ specialists. We do not provide sales support to this highly specialized resale area. Although both ‘Exchanges and Commissaries’ are located in close proximity to one another, they generally require different levels of expertise, as well as in-store sales and service support.
Finding the right fit for your company? There are only a handful of MILREP agencies who offer global sales and service support to all five Headquarters Buying offices (AAFES, NEXCOM, MCX, CGES and VCS), as well as providing frequent in-store sales and servicing support to all ‘Exchange’ locations around the world. This support includes: replenishment, product maintenance, merchandising, sales associate product training, and demonstration (sales) support. This is what United States Sales Corporation is committed to do for our vendor portfolio. However, there are some MILREP agencies which are quite limited in scope, and, thus, only call upon the Headquarters buying offices (perhaps only the top tier), and may provide little to no in-store support. It is important, therefore, to know how to appropriately differentiate one MILREP agency from another.
One of the quickest ways to determine if the MILREP agency you are considering is experienced, well connected and equipped to offer your company a complete sales and service support package to this market, and without any brand conflicts, is by making a request for the following evaluation criteria:
1. Manufacturer’s Portfolio (a company is often judged by the company it keeps)
2. List of Account Executives who are assigned responsibility in calling upon the five Headquarters Buying Offices, as well as their product category brand responsibilities and experience
3. Company Organizational Chart, so as to determine if there exists sufficient internal and external structure and oversight
4. List of Military Exchange Field Management and In-Store personnel, and call frequency based upon store class
5. Samples of various internal communications, sales reporting systems, buyer submissions and recaps, and in-store services offered
Ultimately, you are seeking a MILREP agency which successfully represents complimentary/ non-competitive brands, and who, therefore, enjoy an existing and well developed relationship with ‘your’ buyers. Longevity, within this industry, is another critical component to our success.
At United States Sales Corporation, we ‘master’ sales and service support to the Military Exchange System ONLY, and with a dedicated team of professionals who are narrowly focused. Thus, potentially, our efforts in your behalf will not become diluted, by committing our people resources to ‘the other’ (non-Exchange) Military Resale channels where your company’s products may not be sold. There are MILREP competitors which do offer vendor support to all Military Resale arenas, and some providing sales and service to alternative civilian retail channels as well. This is our agency’s most significant point of difference from our larger competitors.