Paving the Path to the Future

Sphere 1 partners with some of the industry's leading tech companies.

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With supply chains in disarray and every business variable imaginable weighing on the industrial market, there’s never been a better time for partnerships. Buying groups and coops have long served the market for independents looking for a leg up, providing resources and buying power to help small businesses scale and gain competitive advantage. As the pandemic’s challenges wane and others ramp up in their place, we asked some top buying group leaders how their organizations are making a difference in these turbulent times.

Rob Moe, president and CEO of Sphere 1, discusses the biggest challenges and the group's initiatives to combat them.

Biggest Challenges Facing Distributors

  • Consolidation (the big guys getting bigger): This puts an extra strain on distributors to stay competitive with their customers and relevant with the brands they partner with.
  • Talent: Finding and retaining good talent is tough in a tight job market.
  • Technology: Some industries are slow to adopt new technology, since it doesn’t affect their bottom line. Now that our world has evolved to a digital age and the pool of talent is getting younger, the need to invest in technology that streamlines workflow and increase efficiency is crucial to stay competitive.

How Sphere 1 Can Help

Sphere 1 provides its member-distributors a competitive advantage in their markets due to its strong supplier network. These partnerships, driven by Sphere 1, drive deep and long-lasting relationships with the goal of winning together. Sphere 1 provides training and shares best practice for its member-distributors when it comes to finding and keeping good talent. The focus is how to create a culture and work environment that people want to be part of and never want to leave.

Sphere 1 has partnered with some of the leading technology companies in the industry to educate and service its distributors as they evolve their businesses. Everything from texting software to B2B e-commerce platforms and PIM, Sphere 1’s technology partners and resources are helping drive the way for the future of our distributors.

Sphere 1’s Big Wins from the Past Two Years

Sphere 1 had its largest financial year in 2021 with members purchasing from suppliers. It added 37 new member-distributors over the past two years, keeping membership to 165 distributors strong.

Not only has Sphere 1 developed new partnerships with key suppliers, but they have also nurtured their current supplier relationships to increase organic growth. Sphere 1 has developed two peer groups that have helped drive the strategy for future of Sphere 1 — the Sphere 1 Young Executive Group and the Sphere 1 Woman’s Executive Group.

Our Most Ambitious Initiative Still to Come

  • Partner with software and systems providers to enhance our members’ opportunities with our preferred suppliers. This will help us grow our spend and build on what is currently in place.
  • Continue to build out the Sphere 1 management team to provide more resources and find opportunities to increase value for members and suppliers.
  • Develop an in-person training platform. In addition to our online university, Sphere 1 is partnering with a network of preferred suppliers to bring hands-on, in-person training sessions in your area.
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