Working with industry groups, such as the Industrial Supply Association and Affiliated Distributors, can offer distributors great benefits, according to John Wiborg, president and CEO of Stellar Industrial Supply, an industrial distributor based in Tacoma, WA.
I spoke with Wiborg for the latest 7 Minutes With … executive interview, available here.
Wiborg says that industry associations, such as ISA, provide networking opportunities with both suppliers and distributors, as well as educational opportunities. He also says that the market data provided by these industry associations is a great resource for distributors.
"We take developing staff to ISA so they can get a broader exposure – a broader context – about our industry, about the landscape and what's going on out there in the bigger world," Wiborg says. "Educational programs and networking are all what ISA is about as an association."
Stellar also works with Affiliated Distributors, a marketing group for distributors. Wiborg says that groups like these are "hugely valuable," both financially and from a networking perspective.
"AD provides financial benefits to our company through their programs with suppliers," Wiborg says. "If (distributors) can find a buying group – if they qualify to be in AD – they should certainly take a look at that and research it."
Wiborg recommends that distributors get involved in both industry associations and marketing groups, if possible. He says that Stellar has benefited greatly from its involvement with these programs.
"I would recommend that any distributor in our industry get involved in the industry associations," Wiborg says. "Both ISA and AD have been huge benefits for the development of our business."
In the 7 Minutes With … interview, Wiborg also talks about:
- Expectations for 2014
- Stellar's specialist focus
- Advice for young professionals entering the distribution industry
Listen to the full 7 Minutes With … interview on the MDM Executive Briefing page.