AD continues its upward trajectory
Member purchases rise again; ‘All In’ theme celebrated.
The AD buying/marketing group is in a good place.
The Wayne, Pennsylvania-based member-owned cooperative held its annual PHCP-PVF North American Meeting in Grapevine, Texas in September where Chairman and CEO Bill Weisberg, celebrating his 35th year with the company, revealed a host of statistics that demonstrate the group’s continued strong health.
Weisberg noted AD enjoyed a year-to-date 15% sales increase in the group with a projected $46 billion in member purchases in 2019. He added 2019 marks the fourth straight year and sixth in the last seven years that AD will experience double-digit growth in member sales from AD supplier partners. Weisberg said AD expects sales this year with supplier partners across all AD divisions to grow by $1.2 billion.
In terms of member growth, Weisberg noted 27 companies were purchased by AD members, while 240 other companies joined AD in the past year, with 208 coming from three recent mergers AD completed. A total of 32 companies defected to AD from other cooperatives, while AD reported zero defections. Nine AD members sold their businesses outside the group.
“Despite industry consolidation, in spite of robust recruitment competition from other groups, we are growing,” Weisberg said during his annual lunch confab at NAM. “We are growing and we are winning.
“We have the largest array of programs and services, by far. We have the highest rebates. Thank-you AD suppliers. And we have the lowest cost to serve. This isn’t rhetoric. These are proven facts. We deliver the most value and we do it at the lowest cost. We don’t do this in order to beat other groups. We do it to serve our members because they deserve and expect the best. The things we do here, they take hard work. They take focus and intentionality. They take a team of people pulling together. I’m talking about staff, members and suppliers.”
Weisberg reflected on his 35 years with AD, which tied into the theme of his annual speech, “All in.”
“Let me tell you one important thing I have learned about work,” he said. “You are blessed if you are able to work in a company you truly believe in. You are blessed if you can actively engage in a cause that resonates with you personally. And you are blessed if you are able to work with people who are equally committed and passionate about what they do. I have been blessed in all those ways at AD. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m all in on AD. I’m all in on what we stand for. I’m all in on what we do. I’m all in on who we do it for and I’m all in with who I get to do it with. For those of you like me, who get to be all in for what you do at work, don’t ever take that for granted.
“Just in case you are new or unsure, I’m going to give you four reasons why I think we should be all in on AD: our cause, our strategy, the way we do things and our spirit. We’re all in for independents. We’re all in for providing the most value at the best value. We’re all in on great people, great service, treating our business partners with respect, a winning culture and good governance. We are all in on the future and we are all in on today.”
During the group’s annual Spirit of Innovation Awards dinner, F.W. Webb was named AD HVAC member of the year. “Winning is a treat, a surprise and an honor,” F. W. Webb President Jeff Pope said. “I thank the F.W. Webb team that got us to this point. Independence is the best. Let’s keep going at it.”
Charles D. Sheehy was named PVF member of the year, while Dodson Global earned PVF supplier of the year honors. Consolidated Supply was named plumbing member of the year, while Watts earned plumbing supplier of the year honors. First Supply took home best Field Marketing Summit honors, while American Pipe & Supply was honored with the 2019 AD Giving Back Award.