Mike Miazga 2015-07-03 01:42:48
OMNI NAMES FREEMAN EVENTUAL SUCCESSOR Omni Corporate Services President Bob Hoff announced at the buying group’s annual meeting in January that a succession plan was underway and an individual had been identified to eventually take over the presidency upon his retirement. That individual is former Lasco Fittings executive Ben Freeman, who officially started in April as the group’s director of sales and marketing and will eventually succeed Hoff. “The leadership at Omni and within the group is what attracted me,” Freeman told Supply House Times. “The Omni members care more for the overall success as a group than the overall success as an individual.” Freeman was a regional sales manager at Lasco Fittings and previously worked in the medical sales and technology industries (for companies such as AT&T and Blackberry). Out of the gates, Freeman’s role at Omni is to build vendor relationships and extending new vendor program initiatives while expanding product opportunities and enhancing new programs such as the group’s innovative Fill It Now online warehouse for Omni members. “Every week I take on more responsibility and am working with Bob every day so our members and vendor partners are 100 percent comfortable with the transition,” he said. Freeman added he wants to accomplish plenty both in the present and future. “My short-term goal is to work closely with Bob over the next two years incorporating diversity into the group,” he said. “We currently are expanding HVAC, waterworks and PVF, and are targeting other product groups down the road. Bob has built a solid foundation at Omni that allows our team to take the group to higher levels while adopting new technology and vertical business solutions. My vision is to move Omni into the future and eventually become the buying group other groups want to mirror. It is my goal to ensure our members not only have peace of mind when it comes to our future, but are excited for the future as well.” NCWA CONVENTION FOCUSES ON SALES STRATEGIES Forty-year industry veteran, author and speaker Jim Ambrose provided attendees of the recent North Central Wholesalers Association Convention in Dublin, Ohio, with a host of tips and strategies related to a distribution company’s salesforce and how to drive profitable share gain. Ambrose stressed one key is to make sure companies target the proper customers. “You can’t be everything to all customers,” Ambrose told Supply House Times in a video interview available at www.supplyht.com/videos. “Management has to identify the right customers to go after and the right ones to keep. Without that, you probably are doing a lot of things for a lot of people and probably are mediocre at best. Identify the accounts that are the best fits for the business and the ones you can make the most money on.” Ambrose said his data shows an average of between 40% and 42% of an outside salesperson’s time is spent engaging the customer face-to-face. “That’s a terrible stat,” he said. “We hire outside salespeople to engage with the customer. Less than 50 percent is a stat we can fix. Get the salesmen out of the office and in front of the customer.” And during those customer engagements Ambrose is a proponent of pre-meeting preparation with the use of a call packet that outlines what will be discussed. “It improves quality engagement,” he said. “The salesperson creates a packet of what he or she wants to talk about with the customer and it allows that person and the customer to explore additional items and ideas. I call it pathological selling. If a salesperson doesn’t prepare that, they are more likely to wing it.” However, Ambrose stressed the road to profitable share gain has to start with company leaders. “Upper management needs to talk about profitable share gain by identifying the right customers and having the selling skills to get that customer,” he said. “If senior management doesn’t produce the resources, support, style and culture, the outside salesperson is out on his or her own.” New NCWA members announced at the convention are Iron City Pipe & Supply and Nicklas Supply. NCWA also honored outgoing board members Al Guidish (Preferred Sales), John Strong (Economy Plumbing Supply) and Russ Vitner (Etna Supply). New approved board members are Rich Leming (Leming Supply), Dave D’Arcy (Westwater Supply Corp.) and Brian Burke (Burke Agency). Scott Middleton (Robertson Heating Supply) also takes over NCWA’s young executives group from Progressive Plumbing Supply’s Jim Agnello. The 2016 NCWA heads to Detroit and the Westin Hotel Downtown June 7-8. EASTERN PENN SUPPLY CO. AND ITS VENDORS RAISE $12,000 FOR MILITARY Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-based Eastern Penn Supply Co., recently embarked on a project with selected vendors to donate a small percentage of their sales for a specifi c timeframe to a military support fund. EPSCo matched donations dollar for dollar. While the project still is wrapping up, as of early May EPSCo President George Conyngham Jr. Announced company vendors have donated about $6,000 which EPSCo will match for a total of $12,000. The donations will go to three organizations: USO, Home for our Troops and the Wounded Warrior Project — with each organization receiving about $4,000 each. Conyngham Jr. Noted those organizations have ratings of either 3 or 4 stars on a 4-star scale by www.CharityNavigator.org. “We are most grateful to the vendors that participated in this project, with many stepping above and beyond,” he said. MORRISON SUPPLY OPENS NEW LOCATION Fort Worth, Texas-based Morrison Supply has opened a new location in Uvalde, Texas. The new branch is located at 91 FM 3447 in Uvalde and carries plumbing and HVAC products. “We have deep roots in Texas and look forward to expanding our offering here by welcoming Morrison Supply Co. In Uvalde to the family,” Morrison Supply President Stan Allen said. “We plan to provide our customers in Uvalde with great value and excellent service. The opening of Morrison Supply in Uvalde aligns perfectly with our mission of servicing this community directly.” JONES STEPHENS OPENS NEW CALIFORNIA FACILITY Jones Stephens recently announced it has expanded its distribution capabilities to the West Coast and has started to fulfill orders from its new Valencia, Calif., distribution center. A formal ceremony took place June 10. The new investment is part of Jones Stephens’ “We Got it …West Coast” initiative designed to bring the best selection of products with the highest level of customer care directly and efficiently to Western U. S.-based customers. The Valencia DC supports 5,000 most-frequentlyordered Jones Stephens plumbing and MRO products. The company said its strategic West Coast location provides faster and more cost-effective replenishment of these core products to customers located in 12 Western U.S. states. Jones Stephens added in most cases, orders placed by 2 p.m. PST will be delivered by the following morning. The new facility strengthens the company’s national distribution system with more than 400,000 sq. ft. Of warehouse space in Alabama, Pennsylvania and now California. FERGUSON OPENS MEGA SHIP HUB Ferguson Enterprises recently celebrated the opening of its new 460,000-sq.-ft. mega ship hub in Secaucus, N.J. The facility is designed to provide the company’s customers in the New York metropolitan market same-day or next-day product deliveries within a 100-mile radius of the New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut and eastern Pennsylvania region. More than 200 guests attended the celebration, including football hall of famer Terry Bradshaw. The opening adds to Ferguson’s stake in the New York metro market, which has been bolstered by numerous recent acquisitions, including Davis and Warshow, Karl’s Appliance and the Davidson Group as well as the construction of a 450,000-sq.-ft. warehouse and distribution center in Coxsackie, N.Y. The new ship hub features 30,000 SKUs and $25 million of inventory. THE GRANITE GROUP OPENS NEW VERMONT BRANCH The Granite Group recently announced it is opening a branch location in Newport, Vt.— the company’s 31st branch location. The branch will be housed in a 10,000-sq.-ft. facility located at 565 Union St., the former home of Fred’s Plumbing & Heating. Construction started in May and the branch was excepted to be open for business earlier this month. This is the third new branch the company has opened over the last year. “This new branch like other recent branches we’ve opened became a reality after customers asked us to find a way to build a presence in an underserved but emerging area for business,” The Granite Group President and CEO Bill Condron said. WINWHOLESALE OPENS NEW IOWA LOCATION Cedar Rapids Winsupply has opened in Iowa to provide plumbing contractors in Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area with an inventory of plumbing products, supplies and services. The new company is part of WinWholesale, which is a majority shareholder of Cedar Rapids Winsupply. D. J. Frickson is president of Cedar Rapids Winsupply and has 25 years of experience in the wholesale plumbing industry, including the last six with the Win Group of Companies. “D.J. is an expert plumbing wholesaler who is committed to customer satisfaction,” said Monte Salsman, chief operating officer of WinWholesale. “D.J. and the Cedar Rapids Winsupply team have 45 years of combined experience in plumbing supplies and providing expertise to their customers.” HARDI DISTRIBUTORS REPORT REVENUE INCREASE IN APRIL HARDI’s monthly TRENDS report shows average sales for distributor members increased 4.9% in April. The annualized growth through April 2015 is 6.3%. HARDI noted this is the midpoint of narrow range of the past 12 months. “There was mid-single-digit growth in five of our reporting regions,” HARDI Market Research and Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus said. “Growth is healthy in the Southeast and the West is showing signs of improvement.” The Days Sales Outstanding, a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, is now 51.6. SUPPLY HOUSE TIMES COLUMNIST BEVERIDGE DEBUTS PODCAST Speaker, author and Supply House Times columnist Dirk Beveridge has debuted his new “Innovate for the Future” podcast, which is designed to provide intimate access to some of the world’s most effective leaders, innovators and disrupters from within distribution and beyond. The weekly podcast, available through iTunes and Beveridge’s website at www.dirkbeveridge.com, features a series within a series format. Rather than one-off, standalone interviews, each guest is featured in a series of five 30-minute podcast episodes. The format, Beveridge said, allows for “deep and rich conversations on a specific topic that will guide listeners on a powerful and inspiring learning journey.” The firrst series features Berlin Packaging Chairman and CEO Andrew Berlin and Executive Vice President of Business Development and Strategy Jeremy Lagomarsino. The second series features U.S. LBM CEO L.T. Gibson. From the website, listeners are able to download the episode transcript and access links of all the resources discussed in each episode. APR SUPPLY’S WEAVER ACTIVE IN REGION Lebanon, Pa.-based APR Supply Co. President and CEO Scott Weaver recently participated in the local Rock Lititz bike tour and the Central Penn Business Journal’s 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes event. Rock Lititz is a recreational noncompetitive cycling event benefitting the Common Wheel (creating a safe bicycling environment in Lancaster, Pa.) And Music For Everyone (providing resources to keep music in schools and communities). Weaver and other APR team members cycled 100 km around Lancaster County during the tour. Weaver also joined eight of the region’s top CEOs as a panelist at the 90 Ideas in 90 minutes event. Each speaker has five minutes to discuss their ideas for business success. Weaver’s complete list of Top 10 Ideas can be found at www.aprsupply.com/about-us/company-news. In other APR news, the distributor recently hosted its annual Nortek dealer meeting for Maytag and Westinghouse dealers at the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Pa. With the elimination of the Tappan line by Nortek, the meeting allowed APR to introduce the Westinghouse brand to its customers and provided an opportunity for customers to meet multiple manufacturers reps. More than 230 customers and employees attended the event. WOLSELEY CANADA RAISES $51,000 FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS Wolseley Canada recently held its 10th annual Wolseley Classic golf tournament in Winnipeg, Man., and raised $51,000 in support of Special Olympics (SO). Proceeds from the tournament, held at Bel Acres Golf and Country Club, will be donated to SO Manitoba and SO Canada. To date, Wolseley Canada has raised $525,000 for SO. This year’s tournament, the company noted, smashed last year’s fundraising record of $40,000. Organizers achieved the significant milestone by soliciting support from numerous sponsors and also by selling raffl e and 50/50 draw tickets to the 160 golfers in attendance. KBIS NAMED FASTEST GROWING EVENT IN NORTH AMERICA The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) recently was named the fastest-growing tradeshow in attendance in both percentage growth and sheer numbers by Tradeshow Executive Magazine. KBIS was honored as one of the publication’s 50 fastest growing events in North America for 2014. The designations recognize KBIS among the tradeshows that grew faster than 99% of the shows held in the U.S. KBIS had an increase of 12,284 qualified attendees (compared to 2013 numbers) and had a 65.3% growth in qualified attendance over 2013. The show also came in eighth place for Growth Leader in Paid Net Square Feet for 2014 with a 29.2% growth in paid NSF over 2013 totals. VIEGA ANNOUNCES 2014 TOP GUN AWARD WINNERS Viega recently named its 2014 Top Gun Award winners at the company’s 2015 annual national sales meeting held in Wichita, Kan. Honored with the highest award the company gives are: Andrew Richards (New England Region), Casey Blew (inside sales), Dave Logsdon (West Region), Garry Miller (Southeast Region), Jaime Gomez (Central Region), Ryan Olsen (West Region), Scott Rea (Northwest Region) and Vaughan Latham (Midwest Region). More than 200 sales professionals, reps, guests and VIPs gathered in Wichita for the annual meeting, which also included product training. EWING JOINS AD Industry veteran Stephanie Ewing recently joined the Affiliated Distributors buying group as its vice president of marketing programs and strategy, PHCP Division. Ewing brings 15 years of industry experience to AD, including most recently as director of strategic partnerships at Watts Water Technologies. While at Watts Ewing served on AD’s Plumbing Supplier Advisory Council.
Published by SupplyHouseTimes. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.bnpmedia.com/article/Down+The+Pipe/2047893/264426/article.html.