Just an opinion ... A good answer to this may hinge on more information about the "criticality" of what they supply..from the customers viewpoint....
Level 1 - critical impact
Level 2 - semi critical
Level 3 - low level (discretionary judgment calls)
I would agree that making a trip across the country to evaluate a plastic wrapper distributor "may not be value added"....but if the distributor is supplying items like tension critical springs for A bomb fuses
it would be another issue all together..