Mike Miazga 2015-11-09 00:49:57
ONWARD AND UPWARD Equity buying group’s annual meeting attracts record attendance The Equity buying group’s forward momentum was on full display at its recent annual meeting held at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta. This year’s meeting attracted a record 350 attendees, which includes Equity member distributors, suppliers, service providers and invited guests. The meeting was moved to Atlanta this year after the group outgrew its previous location in Orlando. Equity now has 427 members with 566 total branch locations. Vice President of Supplier Relations Bob Snyder noted the group, through September, added 11 new wholesalers, while current members have added seven branch locations. Snyder added 2015 group purchases are tracking to exceed 10% over the previous year. “Our group has been and will continue to have a diverse mix of wholesalers,” Equity President and CEO Matt Roos told Supply House Times. “Quality independent wholesalers seeking enhanced profits and access to marketing resources should consider Equity.” Over the past year Equity has rolled out a variety of initiatives that Vice President of Marketing Ted Havel said, “spur greater collaborative planning among members and suppliers concerning sales growth and enhanced profits for both members and suppliers.” For example, the 2016 Gain Share Program encourages members to develop specific joint marketing plans and set mutually agreed stretch purchasing goals with suppliers. Equity University provides member personnel with access to high-quality Web-based learning materials regarding product knowledge and applications. Participation is encouraged through incentives geared toward course completions. The group’s Gold/Platinum Program acknowledges and rewards members that achieve growth with Equity suppliers and participate fully and effectively in Equity marketing resources. Members that achieve Platinum status earn an additional $1,500 bonus payout from Equity. Another key enhancement is the buying group’s website at www.equityplumbing.com that now features the online university, planning tools and all Equity marketing programs. “The website is an indispensable resource for our members that strive to make the most out of their Equity membership,” Havel said. Havel said Equity’s focus has shifted from its early days of expanding membership and attracting industry-leading suppliers. “Today, our attention is concentrated on assisting members and suppliers in developing joint marketing plans and achieving strategic objectives that drive sales and increase profit dollars for both members and suppliers,” he said. Roos said Equity is in a good position to continue with its growth in the years to come. “We are looking at double-digit growth to continue with or without the help of the overall economy,” he said. “We will continue to improve our systems and strive to develop new ideas and programs that add value to the member/supplier relationship.” This year’s Equity membership performance award winners include: Clark Hardware (Laredo, Texas), Cozine Supply (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Discount Plumbing & Electric (Franklin, Tenn.), GP Supply (Greensboro, N. C.) and North Shore Plumbing Supply (Flushing, N.Y.). Supplier award winners for 2015 are United Pipe & Steel (delivery), Zoeller Pump Co. (marketing), Lenox-Irwin (merchandising), Liberty Pumps (product) and Jones Stephens Corp. (promotion). During the group’s awards luncheon, Snyder was honored for his vast contributions to Equity. Snyder is retiring effective April 2016. The 2016 meeting returns to Peachtree Plaza Sept. 26-28.
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