Bob Miodonski 2014-05-03 00:57:55
WIT 2014 conference streamlines format Almost 700 attendees participated in 5,880 scheduled meetings April 1-3 during WIT & Co.’s 2014 Distributor/Vendor Conference in Dallas. “To ensure that our distributors and vendors got a higher percentage of the meetings they requested over a shorter time frame, we essentially condensed the meeting,” WIT Executive Vice President and COOCharlie Moorhead told Supply House Times during the event’s second day. “We reduced the number of vendor-distributor meetings with the idea of making them more productive and more efficient from a scheduling standpoint. The best we can tell so far, it has been a success.” Post-conference survey results show 95% positive reviews on the overall value received from the conference for those who attended. The event covered 2 1/2 days, down from what once was a 4 1/2-day meeting, Moorhead said. Besides the individual meetings, the conference featured a panel discussion for purchasing agents and awards presentations for distributors and vendors. The panel of WIT vendor partners consisted of Don Waugaman (Charlotte Pipe & Foundry),Mark Whittington (Elkay Mfg.) And Dave Shingleton (White-Rodgers).Michael Workman of Workman and Associates facilitated the interactive discussion on “What distributors should be doing today to prepare for business over the next five years.” Purchases by WIT distributors through their vendor partners grew 14.4% in 2013 from 2012, Moorhead said. WIT membership stands at 86 distribution companies, down three from last year due to acquisitions and attrition, he added. WIT gained one new member in that time. “Probably 75% of our members grew their business by purchases through the group by some amount,” Moorhead said. “Last year, the traditionally new construction markets came back in Atlanta, Houston and Phoenix. We saw improvements in California. Some of the markets in the Midwest were growing 10% and 12%, but the growth last year was pretty much across the board.” The top 20 distribution companies by purchasing volume were recognized during the general session April 1. The t op volume distributor by purchasing volume in 2013 was Consolidated Supply of Portland, Ore. Also getting awards were distributors with the top purchasing growth by percentage. At 70.12%, the top growth company was Hydrologic Distribution Co. In Pinellas Park, Fla. WIT will celebrate its 40th anniversary at its fall meeting Sept. 2-4 in Portland, Ore. “We are going to let our hair down a little bit,” Moorhead said. “We’ll have our business meeting as we always do, but this year we’ll have more relaxation. It will be a little less formal than it has been in the past.” WinWholesale opens new distribution center Dayton, Ohio-based WinWholesale recently opened a new 256,000-sq.-ft. regional distribution center in Denver to serve operating locations mainly in the western United States. The opening comes fi ve months after another newly constructed 200,000-sq.-ft. regional distribution center began operation in Middletown, Conn. Both new facilities replaced smaller distribution centers in Denver and North Haven, Conn. WinWholesale also has regional distribution centers in Dayton, Ohio, and in Prince George, Va. Each of those locations is 200,000 sq. ft. In size. “The new distribution center in Colorado gives us the opportunity to help our locations in the West grow their businesses by adding more product lines and in greater quantities than the former facility allowed,” said Paul Donarum, vice president, WinWholesale Sourcing Services. “In addition to the west, the facility in Denver as well as the one in Middletown, Conn., increases the entire distribution network all our locations (more than 550) can use to serve their customers.” F. W. Webb is expanding into Pennsylvania with the opening of a branch in Allentown. Pennsylvania marks the ninth state where F.W. Webb has a presence, joining the six New England states, New Jersey and New York. The facility was slated to open in early May. The 64,000-sq.-ft. building adjacent to Lehigh Valley International Airport will stock an extensive inventory of high-quality products for residential trades and fuel dealers, including propane, plumbing, heating, HVAC and refrigeration equipment and supplies. F. W. Webb Propane and Natural Gas General Manager Pete Dwyer told Supply House Times the propane and natural gas markets were the initial lure to the area. The company already had a salesperson in the Allentown region for 10 years. “We generate a lot of business there, but we were shipping out of Hartford, Conn., to that area,” he said. “We were originally looking for a propane and natural gas equipment location. We went to Allentown and saw the growth potential there and found a building that would provide the same layout as one of our traditional buildings. It made sense to open a full F.W. Webb location instead of a specialty house. This gives us a great opportunity to expand our business model into Pennsylvania.” Additionally, the site will be the future home to a Frank Webb’s Bath Center retail location. Construction on the 8,000-sq.-ft. showroom will begin in 2015. Matt Bliven is the new location’s branch manager. “Matt comes from our Syracuse location and will do a terrific job,” Dwyer said. TOTO inks distribution deal with WinWholesale TOTO recently announced it has entered into a strategic alliance with WinWholesale to distribute the company’s high-performance, planet-friendly products across 37 states in the U. S. In an alliance started April 1, select Win-branded and Noland Co. Locations will have available TOTO’s full line of residential and commercial fixtures and fittings in more than 285 local supply houses and 131 kitchen-and-bath showrooms. The new agreement between TOTO and WinWholesale builds on their successful relationship of more than 10 years. The strategic partnership offers TOTO broad distribution channels to provide customers with its full line of residential and commercial products for the whole bathroom. American Standard and Blackman announce distribution partnership American Standard Brands and Blackman Plumbing Supply recently announced Blackman will offer American Standard and the exclusive DXV brand plumbing products in all its locations on Long Island, New York City and New Jersey. The products will be on display in all Blackman showrooms and available in as few as two months. Blackman plans to integrate American Standard and DXV into its showroom business, including some pioneering retail concepts to be rolled out over the course of the next 12 months. Additional American Standard Brands products will be available to serve Blackman’s full breadth of markets, including the commercial segment. “Our customers expect choice when they walk into a Blackman location,” Blackman President and CEO Robert Mannheimer said. “Our business model is to provide the broadest array of products for our retail, wholesale and commercial customers. Adding the American Standard product line, especially the new DXV line, provides an exciting opportunity for Blackman. We anticipate that our customers will respond enthusiastically.” For more on this partnership, visit www.supplyht.com.
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