Affiliated Distributors hosted more than 100 Industrial Supply Division sales and marketing executives at the first A-D Safety Conference Sept. 10-13 in Chicago. The main purpose of the conference was to educate affiliates on several strategic product categories, investigate safety-customer needs and build mutually profitable relationships with leading manufacturers of safety products, according to a statement from the King of Prussia, Pa.-based marketing group.
The conference was one element of the A-D Safety Market Development program, which was created to assist industrial affiliates with market-entry strategy, training and personnel development, and gaining access to and support from leading safety manufacturers. A-D believes that its affiliates participating in supplyFORCE.com will also have a competitive advantage to earn business on national-account and integrated-supply contracts.
"Experts estimate that the North American market for safety-related products may be as large as $5 billion," said Steve Ruane, A-D vice president/marketing. "A-D's Industrial Supply Division affiliates are well-positioned to service that market and provide both industrial-MRO and safety products for customers seeking to consolidate their vendor base."
The conference featured panel discussions, guest speakers and roundtable conversations on topics such as protective gloves and clothing; confined space; fall protection; respiratory protection; safety catalogs; and developing a safety organization. One panel comprised Chicago-area plant safety managers, who encouraged attendees to increase their level of expertise in safety issues.
In August, leading safety distributor Vallen Corp. became the first participating distributor in its niche to join A-D's sister company supplyFORCE.com. (Supply House Times, September, page 33.)