WinWholesale held one heck of a family reunion recently.
The Dayton, Ohio-based company’s Annual Meetings and Vendor Showcase drew a crowd of about 1,200 to the Gaylord Texan resort in Grapevine, Texas, just outside Dallas.
The meetings brought together 540 WinWholesale local companies (477 Win-branded companies and 63 Noland Companies) as well as 193 vendors. A number of manufacturers reps also were part of the festivities. This was the 58th overall company meeting and the second time when the entire company was represented under one roof (the first was two years ago in Nashville, Tenn.).
In addition to face-to-face company meetings, attendees heard a variety of speakers, attended vendor training sessions and met one-on-one with vendor representatives. The Vendor Showcase portion of the show was a smash hit with the nearly 200 vendors displaying new products and technologies.
WinWholesale hosts Q&A
During the event, members of the WinWholesale executive management team held a one-hour question-and-answer session with members of the national trade media. Present for the session were CEO and Chairman of the Board Rick Schwartz, President Jack Johnston, COO Monte Salsman and Vice President of Marketing Steve Edwards.
Schwartz reported the company enjoyed a prosperous fiscal year (which ended Jan. 31, 2014) with revenues increasing from $1.94 billion the previous year to $2.2 billion.
“We had a fantastic year,” Schwartz said. “It was our best year since 2008. Our business model success is evidenced by the strength of each local company.”
WinWholesale opened 13 new locations and acquired three others in fiscal year 2013, which upped the company’s portfolio to 559 locations around the country. Salsman revealed WinWholesale local companies range in size from $750,000 in annual sales to $28 million in annual sales with the company average at about $4 million annually.
During the event, WinWholesale celebrated a milestone when the first order was shipped out of its new 256,000-sq-ft. Aurora, Colo., distribution center. The company has four DCs throughout the country.
During the question-and-answer session, a question was asked if any thought was given to changing company branding to a singular WinWholesale name and eliminating the other industry-specific titles such as Winair, Winnelson and Winwater Works.
“Our locations are very industry-specific,” Edwards said. “Windustrial, for example, sells more industrial-specific products so a name change would make a little less sense.”
Edwards added the name Winsupply has been bandied about and several new locations and some existing locations have adapted that name, but no overall company name change is currently in the works.
“Our brand is very important,” Edwards said. “It’s not about a name or a logo. Our brand was built on three pillars: dependable expertise, products when and where you need them and the ability to deal with a local decision-maker. That’s what we live by every day.”
WinWholesale honors vendors
After the Vendor Showcase, WinWholesale hosted its awards dinner and reception that honored its top-performing local companies and vendors. Among the winners were: Plumbing Company of the Year: Tulsa Winnelson (Chuck Johnson); Industrial Company of the Year: Newburgh Windustrial (Dean Lucas); Dan Burns Award: Dean Lucas (Newburgh Windustrial); Special recognition: Vince Brown (Baltimore Windustrial); Lifetime Achievement: Chester Remington (Kansas City Winwater Works).