Industry News New Buying Group Formed By Northeast Wholesalers Associated Co-Operative Wholesale Distributors (ACWD) recently established a charter and made itself an offi cial buying group. It currently consists of 17 supply houses in the Northeast. Pictured, front row seated (L-R): Bob Barry (ACWD treasurer), R & R Supply; Russ Vaclavik, Watertown Supply; Brad Carstensen, Boston Pipe & Fittings; Paul St. Pierre, New Bedford Supply; Kevin Cunningham, Cunningham Supply; and back row (L-R): Steve Berger (past ACWD president), Modern Plumbing Supply; Andy Matrundola, Murray Supply; John Corcoran, Te Corcoran Supply; Robert Betts, Betts Supply; Dale Duby, Cunningham Supply; David Berger (new ACWD president), Modern Plumbing Supply; Jim Godett, Joe Young Co.; John Kindelan, Viking Supply; Steve Durej (ACWD secretary), Bay State Supply; Jim Baker, State Supply; Bob Morris, Ace Supply; Jesse Ritz, R & R Supply; and John Henri (ACWD vice president), Northshore Heating. Not pictured: Mark O’Brien, George O’Brien Supply, and Kim Betts, Betts Supply. The group, which meets quarterly, was founded with the help of the late Brad Sell more than seven years ago. “We are looking to grow in membership and spread beyond New England,” said Steve Berger of Modern Plumbing Supply, past president Affi liated Distributors Honors Affi liates and Suppliers Affi liated Distributors, Wayne, PA, presented awards at its North American meeting in October. Among the winners: Central Supply Co., Affi liate of the Year, Plumbing; N.B. Handy Co., Affi liate of the Year, HVAC; Ward Manufacturing, Supplier of the Year, Plumbing; Johns Manville, Supplier of the Year, HVAC; Texas Plumbing Supply Co. And Cambridge-Lee Industries, Best Conversion to A-D Supplier- Plumbing; Columbia Pipe & Supply Co., Best Annual Planning Process — PHCP; Viega LLC, Supplier of the Year- Marketing Excellence- PHCP. PVF awards are reported in PVF News, on page 10 Mid-Way Supply Shares Growth Strategy Zion, IL-based Mid-Way Supply, a supplier of HVAC products, announced steps it is taking to stay competitive during the current economic downturn while preparing for its future success. The company partnered with a business consulting fi rm to design a fi nancial and operational plan. The plan identifi es the geographic areas where Mid-Way can provide the highest levels of service and the brands it must carry vs. those that can be phased out. It also streamlines inventory management. As part of the plan, Mid-Way will exit the Rockford, IL, market to focus more on the Chicagoland area where 90% of its sales and accounts are located. Also, low-demand products will no longer be kept in stock but will be available on a special-order basis. “We’re already seeing benefits,” said COO Dennis Wierzbicki. “Through strategic planning and maintaining rigorous budgeting and expense control measures, we are paving the way for continued success.” APR Supply Named Business Of The Year APR Supply Co., a 22-branch plumbing, heating and HVAC supplies distributor based in Lebanon, PA, was recognized as the 2009 Business of the Year for its resilience and ability to grow and prosper during both strong and weak economic cycles by the Central Penn Business Journal. A third-generation family-owned business, APR Supply Co. Has been operating in Lebanon since 1922 and has more than 150 employees. Scott Weaver, president, said he looks to have APR double in size every fi ve years through a combination of organic growth, acquisition and new markets. Coburn Supply Hosts Lunch For State Water Heaters The executive team of Beaumont, TX-based wholesaler Coburn Supply, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in August, hosted a luncheon for State Water Heaters employees in Ashland City, TN, to show their appreciation for the two companies’ continued partnership. State had presented Coburn with a fully restored 1934 Ford V-8 stake bed pickup truck (resembling its first delivery truck) to commemorate its anniversary. Pictured at the luncheon (L-R) Don Maloney and A.J. Maloney of Coburn Supply; Ajita Rajendra of State Water Heaters; and Scott Franz, publisher of Supply House Times. Unifi ed Group Members Discuss Goals, Honor Member More than 60 Unified Group members met at the 2009 Annual Meeting/Owne r s’ Forum Nov. 11-15 in Palm Springs, CA, to discuss current challenges and goals for 2010. Guardian E n v i r o n m e n t a l Services was honored as Member of the Year. Tom Barker, vice president of Guardian E n v i r o n m e n t a l Services, accepted the award. Johnstone Supply Honors Members HVAC cooperative distributor Johnstone Supply, Portland, OR, presented awards at its annual members meeting in Dallas, TX, in September. Among those honored: owner Paul Chawla of Waukesha, WI, for Branch of the Year after posting 40% sales growth, and brothers Mark and Paul Marozzi of Albany, NY, presented with the John M. Shank award, for demonstrating the entrepreneurial spirit of Johnstone founder John Shank. Vendor awards included: Honeywell, Supply Chain; Fujitsu, Vendor Training; and Crown Boiler, Excellence in Sales & Marketing. Emerson Climate Technologies received the Supplier of the Year award and Brad Jacka, an Emerson representative, was honored as Corporate Liaison of the Year. A. O. Smith’s Johnson City Plant Sets Safety Record The employees of the A. O. Smith Water Products Co. Plant in Johnson City, TN, were honored for working more than 8. 53 million hours without a lost-time accident, a new safety record for the company. Johnson City implemented its current plant-wide safety program in 1995, managed by a 25-person Safety Steering Committee that meets twice each month. In early 2009 Johnson City began a pilot program using online safety training in a new computer safety lab. Viega Offers Training Nine trade press editors and publish Ers attended a media training event at Viega’s educational facility in Nashua, NH, in December. Supply House Times Editor Jim Olsztynski and Pat Lenius, managing editor, were among the attendees. Here are some highlights: Viega, family-owned • ed 110 years, manufactures plumbing, heating and piping products in Germany and the U.S. and views itself as a complete systems solutions provider. The company has maintained steady growth in recent years. • “We have automated as much as we can, focus on features and benefi ts and compete with service,” says Christian Geisthoff, vice president of business development/marketing. He predicts the market should be coming back somewhat by early 2011. • Viega has 140 fi eld salespeople who sell direct and some rep agencies. The company has fi ve locations, offers 14,000 products and has more than 2,500 employees worldwide, including about 500 sales and offi ce staff in North America. • Viega offers training, tech support and design services, according to Mike Parent, director of technical services. The training is application-driven. • MANABLOC is Viega’s modular manifold system that serves as a master control center for household water, controlling the fl ow of hot and cold water to every faucet, toilet or appliance and providing shut-off access from one central location. • Silane is a chemical additive that is added after PEX has been extruded to make it more chlorine- or UV-resistant. • PEX al PEX and FostaPEX are not the same! PEX al PEX has aluminum in the middle and PEX on the outside. FostaPEX has the aluminum outside and the PEX inside. — Pat Lenius
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