wholesalers

E-commerce solutions for the kitchen and bath industry are crucial for contractor suppliers. The right online solution must combine the complexity of business-to-business with the ease of consumer simplicity. It can enhance, develop and support customer relationships. But it involves the relentless pursuit of the exact mix of data, technology, training and support. In the Read More

E-commerce solutions for the kitchen and bath industry are crucial for contractor suppliers.

The right online solution must combine the complexity of business-to-business with the ease of consumer simplicity. It can enhance, develop and support customer relationships. But it involves the relentless pursuit of the exact mix of data, technology, training and support.

In the end, it preserves old-school relationships, adds a new-school solution and becomes a tool to spur new business.

A Rich History of Relationships

Contractor supply has historically been a relationship business. Customers go to the supply house and develop face-to-face relationships with staff, who become more than just order-takers.

Tailoring the right online solutions for customers can maintain that personal touch and help everyone get their jobs done faster.

What Customers Want

Distributors are adapting to a changing buyer profile that expects online services – from requesting and checking quotes, to reviewing local inventory and pricing in real time, to placing orders quickly for scheduled delivery.

But e-commerce systems and personnel can do more than help current customers. They can help win new business.

E-commerce is more than just creating a shopping cart. It’s a complete digital transformation.

A Complex Transaction

It’s critical to get input from both customers and from every level of the supplier organization. At MORSCO, we listen closely to customers, as well as our inside and outside sales teams, operations, accounts payable and other internal stakeholders. All these parties must help develop the solution and train customers afterward. It becomes everyday business, not just a one-time project.

Keep it Personal

Even with stakeholder input from all levels, e-commerce can still seem impersonal. But with support from the staff at the local branches – particularly inside sales—and with communication from local contractors, the face-to-face support will remain. Orders and follow ups should go through the local branch—not a call center—so customers know they are still dealing with suppliers at the local level who understand their needs.

The right online solution also frees up time for the outside sales staff. With advanced features, like easy-to-use custom pricing and quoting tools, the outside team can better support new and potential customers. Instead of tracking down invoices and delivery slips, outside sales reps can leverage digital platforms to spark better conversations with customers, bringing sophistication to a centuries-old industry.

Suppliers in the kitchen and bath industry, meanwhile, can continue to serve as personal consultants, troubleshooters and more, all in a face-to-face capacity. That provides better, faster service, while maintaining an unmatched level of local, personal support for customers.

Benefits for Vendors

E-commerce sites can also serve as a vendor’s marketing tool, salesperson and cashier. Benefits include:

  • Mobile solutions like phone and tablet access that help customers search for products and inventory at the local level and place orders anywhere, anytime, including on job sites.
  • The ability to increase customer reach and become the preferred online vendor for customers.
  • Increased sales and loyalty with existing and new customers.

The Right Solutions

So what does it take to offer world class e-commerce? Solutions that:

  • Help people get jobs done more efficiently, freeing talent for higher-value tasks. Viewing and paying invoices can now be done online, much more quickly, and at the customer’s convenience.
  • Allow access anywhere from desktop computers to job sites through mobile phones. Offer technical documents, catalogs, component and accessory information, as well as substitute items and recommendations.
  • Include side-by-side input from customers and support from employees.
  • Invest in training for all sales and branch staff, ensuring the face-to-face support can be seamless and add value.
  • Offer support that involve local branches, which are critical for both your customers and your employees. Be sure users know the types of support offered and that support tickets are addressed quickly and completely.
  • Leverage technology: Power your digital customer experience with top-tier e-commerce, search, marketing automation, analytics, and data platforms. At MORSCO, this gives customers the 24/7 access they need, increases our ability to make complex online transactions that vary by a customer’s needs and creates the customer value that goes beyond the online shopping cart.

E-commerce solutions must remember the importance of the long-standing relationship nature of the business. It’s an exciting time for those who can adapt.

Story contributed by by Darren Taylor, CMO, MORSCO

 

 

 

Winsupply, one of the largest distributors in the nation, has selected its annual Vendors of the Year for 2016 in their respective product categories. The Winsupply Preferred Vendors that won in each category were chosen based on volume sold over a period of years, being one of the leaders in growing the business, selling to Read More

Winsupply, one of the largest distributors in the nation, has selected its annual Vendors of the Year for 2016 in their respective product categories.

The Winsupply Preferred Vendors that won in each category were chosen based on volume sold over a period of years, being one of the leaders in growing the business, selling to a breadth of locations that buy the vendor’s type of product, and having no major issues during the past year.

The winners of Vendor of the Year include:

Electrical: Pass & Seymour/Legrand

Fire: Victaulic

HVAC: Johnson Controls

Industrial: NIBCO

Plumbing Finished Goods: American Standard

Plumbing Rough-In: NIBCO

Pumps: Liberty Pumps

Showroom: Delta/Brizo

Tools: Milwaukee Electric Tool

Waterworks: A.Y. McDonald

National Account Manager: Mark Terrel of American Standard, and Bobby Leggett of Johnson Controls.

“Winsupply nominated the best of many excellent suppliers in each respective industry and our local companies provided input to help us make these selections,” said Roland Gordon, Winsupply president and CEO. “The winners are manufacturers who share our desire to be partners in serving our customers. They played an important part in our growth in 2016, our third consecutive record year in sales.”

About Winsupply Inc.

Winsupply Inc. (www.winsupplyinc.com) is a leading supplier of residential and commercial construction and industrial supplies and equipment headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. The privately-held company has nearly 580 wholesaling locations in 45 states and offers entrepreneurs the unique opportunity to own a meaningful part of the local business. Collectively, Winsupply is known as “The Winsupply Family of Companies” and includes Win-branded locations, Noland Company, Carr Supply, Security Plumbing & Heating Supply, and Wyatt Irrigation. In the family are companies conducting business-to-business wholesale distribution of supplies and equipment in plumbing and heating; hydronics; pipe, valves and fittings; HVAC and refrigeration; electrical; fastening hardware; waterworks and utility; pumps; turf irrigation and landscape; and fire system fabrication. Follow Winsupply on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Winsupply Inc., one of the largest distributors in the nation, has opened Winwater of Northeast Arkansas, serving waterworks contractors throughout the northeast part of the state. The company is located just east of Jonesboro in Lake City. Tony Robinson is the president of the new company. He leads a team of four who have 25 Read More

Winsupply Inc., one of the largest distributors in the nation, has opened Winwater of Northeast Arkansas, serving waterworks contractors throughout the northeast part of the state. The company is located just east of Jonesboro in Lake City.

Tony Robinson is the president of the new company. He leads a team of four who have 25 combined years of experience in the waterworks industry. Tony and his team formerly were part of Little Rock Winwater and had been operating in Lake City as a satellite location. The two companies now operate separately but are both part of Winsupply Inc.

“Tony is an experienced business owner with years of experience in waterworks products and has established customer relationships in the northeast part of Arkansas,” said Roland Gordon, president and CEO of Winsupply Inc. “Tony took advantage of what we call the ‘Spirit of Opportunity’ at Winsupply in which we share ownership in the company. He can now work with his customers in an owner-to-owner relationship with local decision-making authority.”

In the Winsupply co-ownership business model, Winsupply Inc. has majority equity in each of its locations, while the local company president and sometimes employees own substantial equity. With this model, local companies have the autonomy and flexibility to decide how best to meet the needs of the customers in their markets. Co-ownership gives them “skin in the game,” pride of ownership and the ability to share in the company’s profits without caps. Winsupply provides its local company locations purchasing power, distribution and other support services such as business consulting, accounting, payroll, IT and marketing. The centralized support allows local operators to focus on their customers, local markets and products.

There are some 580 Winsupply locations across the United States serving the residential and commercial construction and industrial markets with supplies and materials.

About Winsupply Inc.
Winsupply Inc. (www.winsupplyinc.com) is a leading supplier of residential and commercial construction and industrial supplies and equipment headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. The privately-held company has 580 wholesaling locations in 45 states and offers entrepreneurs the unique opportunity to own a meaningful part of the local business. Collectively, Winsupply is known as “The Winsupply Family of Companies” and includes Win-branded locations, Noland Company, Carr Supply, Security Plumbing & Heating Supply, and Wyatt Irrigation. In the group are companies conducting business-to-business wholesale distribution of supplies and equipment in plumbing and heating; hydronics; pipe, valves and fittings; HVAC and refrigeration; electrical; fastening hardware; waterworks and utility; pumps; turf irrigation and landscape; and fire system fabrication. Follow Winsupply on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Winsupply Inc., one of the largest distributors in the nation, has opened Winsupply of Smithtown (N.Y.), serving contractors in the plumbing and hydronic heating industries on Long Island and in the New York City metropolitan area. Winsupply of Smithtown is the ninth new company Winsupply has opened in 2016. Rob Butler joins Winsupply as president Read More

Winsupply Inc., one of the largest distributors in the nation, has opened Winsupply of Smithtown (N.Y.), serving contractors in the plumbing and hydronic heating industries on Long Island and in the New York City metropolitan area. Winsupply of Smithtown is the ninth new company Winsupply has opened in 2016.

Rob Butler joins Winsupply as president of Winsupply of Smithtown. He leads a team of six who have 75 combined years of experience in the plumbing and hydronics industries. Butler was previously vice president and general manager of Kelly & Hayes, an electrical supplier that formerly also distributed plumbing supplies.

“Rob Butler has 20 years’ experience in plumbing distribution and has strong customer relationships throughout Long Island and beyond,” said Roland Gordon, president of Winsupply Inc. “Rob took the opportunity to invest in the unique equity partnership that Winsupply offers. A graduate of West Point and a former captain in the U.S. Army as an armor officer, he has the skills that have proven successful for so many of our company leaders.”

In the Winsupply co-ownership business model, Winsupply Inc. has majority equity in each of its locations, while the local company president and sometimes employees own substantial equity. With this model, local companies have the autonomy and flexibility to decide how best to meet the needs of the customers in their markets. Co-ownership gives them “skin in the game,” pride of ownership and the ability to share in the company’s profits without caps. Winsupply provides its local company locations purchasing power, distribution and other support services such as business consulting, accounting, payroll, IT and marketing. The centralized support allows local operators to focus on their customers, local markets and products.

There are some 580 Winsupply locations across the United States serving the residential and commercial construction and industrial markets with supplies and materials.

MORSCO, Inc. (“MORSCO”), a Fort Worth-based distributor of commercial and residential plumbing products, heating and cooling equipment (HVAC), and pipe, valves and fittings (PVF), has acquired Fortiline Waterworks (“Fortiline”), a portfolio company of CHS Capital LLC and one of the largest waterworks distributors in the United States, as its waterworks distribution platform. MORSCO, a portfolio Read More

MORSCO, Inc. (“MORSCO”), a Fort Worth-based distributor of commercial and residential plumbing products, heating and cooling equipment (HVAC), and pipe, valves and fittings (PVF), has acquired Fortiline Waterworks (“Fortiline”), a portfolio company of CHS Capital LLC and one of the largest waterworks distributors in the United States, as its waterworks distribution platform.

MORSCO, a portfolio company of global private equity firm Advent International (“Advent”), is a leading U.S. distributor of commercial and residential plumbing and HVAC supplies. MORSCO is one of the fastest growing companies in its industry with 140+ branch locations, more than $1 billion in sales and over 2,000 associates in 12 states.  Advent made a significant new equity investment to support the acquisition.

Mike Swedick remains President and CEO of Fortiline, which continues to operate as a standalone company, responsible for waterworks supplies distribution inside of MORSCO.

Chip Hornsby, CEO of MORSCO, commented, “One of our biggest goals of 2016 was to continue to expand our footprint in the Sunbelt region of the United States. With recent acquisitions in North Carolina and Georgia along with the Fortiline acquisition, we now have a presence in 17 states. The addition of Fortiline as a standalone waterworks business under the leadership of Mike Swedick further demonstrates our commitment to the waterworks industry and to being a leader in the markets we serve. Fortiline brings a highly experienced leadership team possessing a track record of growth, operational excellence and superior customer service to the MORSCO family.”

Fortiline, the third-largest waterworks distributor in the U.S., significantly enhances MORSCO’s market position and provides MORSCO’s vendors and customers with greater opportunities.  The acquisition further diversifies MORSCO in terms of geographies, end markets and products.

“We are excited to join the MORSCO family and know that our similar cultures and values will allow for a relationship that will enable both companies to continue to thrive and grow,” said Mike Swedick, Fortiline President and CEO. “We look forward to continuing to build our waterworks platform while collaborating with the leadership team at MORSCO to build a world-class distribution company. Similar to MORSCO, we plan to strategically grow our presence in our existing markets while looking to enter new markets throughout the Southeast.”

MORSCO plans to convert a select number of Morrison Supply Company’s waterworks branches to Fortiline stores to leverage Fortiline’s vendor and customer relationships. MORSCO and Fortiline will work together to expand product lines in existing branches as well as in new locations.

For information on MORSCO and its companies, please visit www.MorscoUSA.com.

About MORSCO

MORSCO is a leading U.S. distributor of commercial and residential plumbing, waterworks and HVAC supplies. The company was founded nearly 100 years ago in Fort Worth, Texas, and is now one of the fastest growing companies in its market. MORSCO is a private company sponsored by Advent International and led by a team of industry veterans. The MORSCO family of operating units consists of Express Pipe & Supply (CA), Farnsworth Wholesale Company (AZ), Morrison Supply Company (TX, OK, NM, LA, KS), Murray Supply Company (NC, SC, VA), Wholesale Specialties (CO), DeVore & Johnson (GA), Fortiline Waterworks (AL, FL, GA, KS, KY, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA) and MORSCO’s premier showroom offering in these markets, Expressions Home Gallery.  For additional information regarding MORSCO or any of its brands, please visit the website at www.MorscoUSA.com.

About Fortiline

Fortiline Waterworks, headquartered in Concord, N.C., is one of the largest wholesale distributors of underground water, sewer and storm utility products in the United States. Founded in 1997, Fortiline distributes more than 75,000 SKUs to a diverse base of more than 4,500 contractor, developer and municipal customers through a network of 42 branches in 12 states in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. The company’s vision is to be the preferred and most trusted resource for utility infrastructure product solutions, and Fortiline backs that with specialty divisions and extensive inventory at locations across the country. To learn more, visit www.fortiline.com.

About Advent International

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in more than 315 private equity transactions in 40 countries and as of June 30, 2016, had $40 billion in assets under management. With offices on four continents, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 190 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecom. After more than 30 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies. For more information, visit www.adventinternational.com.

About CHS Capital

CHS Capital is a Chicago-based private equity firm with over 25 years of experience investing in the middle market.  Through partnerships with strong management teams, CHS Capital aims to accelerate earnings growth and drive value creation through human capital initiatives, performance improvement actions and strategic growth activities.  Throughout its history, CHS Capital has made investments in over 400 businesses and invested $2.9 billion of capital.  For additional information, please visit www.chsonline.com