MDM Podcast: BradyIFS + Envoy Solutions See Many Ways to Win - Modern Distribution Management

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MDM Podcast: BradyIFS + Envoy Solutions See Many Ways to Win

Ken Sweder, CEO of the now-combined JanSan, foodservice and packaging supplies distributor, stops by to discuss the strategy behind the merger, the path ahead and the outlook for the company's product markets.
Ken Sweder Pod photo

The JanSan, foodservice disposables and industrial packaging supplies distribution markets have seen considerable consolidation in recent years; two of the leaders in those verticals have been BradyIFS and Envoy Solutions.

That has included the merger of Brady Industries and Individual Foodservice into BradyIFS, which has made many acquisitions post-COVID, while Envoy likewise has grown through dealmaking.

BradyIFS and Envoy took it to a whole other level this fall, as the two distributors merged at the end of October to form one company that has nearly $5 billion in annual revenue, powered by 6,000 employees across 180 locations, and representing more than 100,000 branded and exclusive brand products.

The guest on our latest MDM Podcast episode is Ken Sweder, who now serves as Chairman and CEO of the combined company after serving in those same roles for BradyIFS.

We discussed the strategy behind this landmark merger; how conversations between BradyIFS and Envoy started; and the still-moving pieces involved, as well as what each side saw in the other to pursue their combination.

“We call it many ways to win,” Sweder told me. “We see more potential serving our customers, and nationally, we see more potential in terms of expanding our product assortment or marketing execution. We see a lot more potential as well to re-resource and disproportionately invest in our commercial engine. And that’s very exciting. So there are a lot of ways to win – whether it’s in sales, operations, technology or supply chain, we think that there’s potential across each of those.”

Sweder emphasized that the company has no plans of slowing down on the expansion front. It has announced three more acquisitions since the merger, including one on the same day we recorded this episode.

“We’re a great home for operators who want to continue on and be relevant and have the legacy and heritage for their teams,” Sweder said. “We find that resonates because it’s real and because it affords potential new partners with new and better ways of doing things at scale. So yes, we will be very, very acquisitive here in the coming quarters and years. And we think that’s a key arrow in our quiver to continue on our growth trajectory to build value for our stakeholders, customers, shareholders and investors.”

We also touched on what the 2024 demand outlook is for the JanSan, foodservice and packaging markets that BradyIFS & Envoy serve, as well as if a rebranding is in the works.

Check out the podcast via the audio player above, and you can view our entire MDM Podcast library here.

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