LOCKPORT, NY — NetPlus Alliance, a North American industrial and contractor supplies buying group, accelerated the first round of its 2019 rebate distribution, sending electronic payments to 180 distributor members that opted to receive their funds via ACH on April 17. The goal was to get these funds into the hands of NetPlus distributors as they navigate the uncertainty of the global COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic fallout.
“We need to support each other so that we all come through this together,” NetPlus Alliance President Jennifer Murphy said. “I take great pride in the tradition of personally signing every check to our members, however, we realized early in the COVID-19 crisis that we needed to get our members’ rebates out to them as soon as we could to help support their businesses. Our team worked efficiently to collect ACH information from distributors that wanted to receive an electronic transfer.” The remaining 220 NetPlus members will receive a paper check in the mail next week.
“We are thankful the NetPlus team got the rebates out so quickly,” added Cheryl Hoffman Coniglio, director of operations for NetPlus member C&C Supply Company of Woodbury, NJ. “It really shows a lot of dedication to distributor members. While we are bracing to see what the next several months may bring, we are glad to have NetPlus as a partner along the way.”
The NetPlus Alliance team is working remote, but continues to provide critical guidance to their members, sharing relevant economic and financial information, as well as important updates from NetPlus preferred suppliers. “During this difficult time, our team has been 100 percent committed to supporting our distributors and suppliers: answering calls, helping to connect distributors to other distributors and NetPlus suppliers to find much-needed PPE product for their customers,” Murphy said.
In the latest NetPlus Alliance Industry Outlook survey, produced by 3 Aspens Media for NetPlus members, about half of distributor members reported that they expect second-quarter sales for their businesses to be down significantly (more than 8 percent), and 18 percent expect sales to be down between 3 and 7 oercent.
“Many members had begun taking significant steps to grow their businesses this year, and then the COVID-19 shutdowns started taking hold, throwing those well-thought-out plans out the window,” said Dan Judge, NetPlus Alliance Chairman. “I think the good news for our industry is that every company that responded to our survey indicated that their business is considered ‘essential’ in their respective state and 100 percent reported that they are still operating.”
NetPlus recorded year-over-year growth in 2019, with member purchases from NetPlus suppliers up 8.5 percent from 2018. In the first quarter 2020, purchases were down year over year due to the steep and sudden economic decline in March, the first time NetPlus has seen a negative growth number since the first quarter of 2009.
“We are in a period of unbelievable disruption from both a business perspective, as well as a personal one. But this industry will get through this,” Judge said.
With more than 100 years of combined industrial distribution experience, NetPlus Alliance negotiates improved pricing, rebates and terms with more than 170 manufacturers on behalf of more than 380 industrial and contractor supplies distributor members.