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NetPlus Alliance, Lockport, NY, a buying group of industrial distributors formed two years ago, will gain 21 members from the merger of the Industrial Network business group on January 1. NetPlus Alliance will start 2005 with more than 190 companies in 42 states. In separate news, NetPlus Alliance plans to hold an annual meeting in conjunction with the May 2005 meeting of the Industrial Supply Association.
NetPlus Alliance President Dan Judge told MDM the merger brings onboard an additional 50 suppliers to the current roster of 95. With the addition of Industrial Network members, also distributors with strong industrial products focus, the 190 distributor members have 440 locations and a combined purchasing power of $2.2 billion.
NetPlus Alliance was founded in September, 2002 with a handful of general mill supply, contractor supplies and cutting tool distributors, as a "no-frills" buying group to pool the collective purchasing power of distributors for better pricing and rebate programs. It was formed by Judge, formerly the executive of idONE, the first industrial supplies buying group that shook up the industry ﾖ specifically traditional manufacturer/distributor relationships ﾖ at the beginning of the 1990s. idONE merged with Affiliated Distributors a few years ago.
Mike Baygood, president of Industrial Network, was the first business manager for idONE in the 1980s. Baygood will provide management consulting services to NetPlus Alliance members and others focused on strategic planning, productivity enhancements, profitability improvements and executive advising and coaching.
Industrial Network, Inc. was founded in 1992 with the mission of bringing all the players in the channel together to increase efficiencies in any area of business. According to Baygood, "both organizations operate as an advocate for the independent distributor. This merger will continue to provide and enhance the values and benefits our members have received in the past and will need going forward to better compete in this ever changing marketplace."
NetPlus Annual Meeting
In an industry first, the Industrial Supply Association and NetPlus Alliance have formed a strategic partnership, announced at the just held ISA fall meeting in Chicago. NetPlus will hold an annual meeting and supplier booth program in conjunction with the May ISCON convention in Toronto. NetPlus suppliers will participate in ISA's conference booth program. NetPlus distributors will participate in the Distributor Booth Program under the banner of NetPlus Alliance. Their members will participate in all educational and social events at the meeting.
Judge said more than half of NetPlus distributor members are not members of ISA, with the same true for 40 or more NetPlus suppliers. "This offers a stronger value for NetPlus members as well as bringing new prospective members to the ISA meeting," Judge said. "Ironically, we started without intending to hold an annual meeting, to keep the focus on the purchasing and rebate programs we negotiate. But our suppliers wanted to meet with distributor members, and this seemed like a logical win-win."