Lockport, NY — NetPlus Alliance, an industrial and contractor supplies buying group, hosted 500 distributor and supplier attendees at its fifth-annual meeting Oct. 7-9 in Phoenix, AZ. Over two days, more than 2,200 one-on-one booth meetings were held between NetPlus distributors and manufacturers. Members also attended educational breakout sessions hosted by industry and subject-matter experts.
The theme of the annual meeting, “Power of Partnership,” represented the group’s commitment to channel relationships as the cornerstone of the industry and the key to long-term growth and success.
“Our members are optimistic. In our Industry Outlook survey, 40% of distributors expect sales to go up more than 8%,” NetPlus Alliance Founder Dan Judge said as he kicked off the luncheon address to the group. “Year to date, NetPlus is up an astounding 36 percent compared with the second quarter of last year, with many distributors and suppliers posting record gains.” Judge went on to advise the membership: “Don’t take your eye off the ball. Invest in the right people, tools and technology to strengthen your relationships with customers and suppliers to ensure your growth.”
In her address to members, NetPlus Alliance President Jennifer Murphy said the industry needs to embrace and recognize the value that technology can add to business relationships. “These relationships – these partnerships are the heart of everything we do. Technology may change what your business relationships look like and how they operate, but it doesn’t change their importance. None of us can do this alone. There is power in the partnerships we are building at NetPlus Alliance.”
Murphy went on to talk about the programs NetPlus has developed to support distributors and manufacturers as they work to strengthen relationships in the industry, including a Small Distributor Consortium with Texas A&M University; a partnership with Tooling U-SME to provide online product and skills training; Growth Plus, a sales planning program for members; distributor networking groups; and NetPlus manufacturer-led product training for distributors.
Dr. Barry Lawrence of Texas A&M University’s Industrial Distribution program gave the keynote address at the meeting to deliver the consortium findings, as well as case studies on how distributors can build a competitive model to leverage their unique strengths.
NetPlus Alliance presented its annual member awards at the meeting:
The Growth Plus Best in Class sales planning award went to McClellan Sales and Ergodyne, which executed a joint sales plan that resulted in year-over-year growth of 212 percent together.
The Distributor Engagement Award was presented to Triple T Supply, for their high conversion activity with NetPlus preferred suppliers. A NetPlus member since 2015, they doubled their sales and added 14 new supplier lines in 2017.
The Marketing Excellence Award was given to JPW Industries. The award is presented annually to a manufacturer that develops a strong marketing and brand partnership with NetPlus and achieves one of the highest levels of all-in sales growth in 2017.
The Partnership Excellence Award is presented annually to a true advocate for NetPlus Alliance. This year it was awarded to Don Chargin of Royal Supply.
PFERD, Inc., was the 2017 Supplier of the Year. A preferred supplier with NetPlus since the group began in 2002, PFERD achieved the highest results on three KPIs: total NetPlus purchases growth, count of new distributors, and same-store purchases growth.
The 2017 Distributor of the Year was EBN Industrial Supply, which achieved Diamond status in NetPlus last year and the highest level of same-store purchases growth year over year. “EBN focuses on having a friendly, knowledgeable team that provides outstanding customer service,” Murphy said upon presenting the award to Owner Jeff Harding.
The Dan Judge Founder’s Award was presented to Allan Guthrie, director of strategic sourcing for DXP Enterprises. “Allan has enthusiasm in business and in life, and a high level of integrity and passion for the industry. We are grateful for his commitment to NetPlus and the Advisory Council,” Murphy said.