The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Collaboration Case Study: Sharing Branches, Best Practices

This article is part of the MDM series: The Shifting Competitive Landscape.

One of the most popular examples of a collaboration between distributors that has worked is that of APR Supply, Schaedler Yesco and Industrial Piping Systems in Pennsylvania. The three have 11 locations together, and continue to uncover new opportunities to benefit from the arrangement. They’ve inspired a new program from Affiliated Distributors called Co-Ventures. This article looks at why the distributors’ collaboration has worked and what to consider when going down a similar path.

Jim Hoffman saw a common thread in his first three clients after he launched his consulting business. “By the end of my first year working in those three companies, I thought, ‘Except for what’s in the boxes, they’re in the same business,’” he said. If he could get them to work together, he thought they could accomplish great things.

More than six years later, the co-venture between plumbing supplies distributor APR Supply Co., electrical distributor Schaedler Yesco and PVF distributor Industrial Piping Systems continues to grow. The three distributors also continue to uncover new ways to benefit from working together.

Today, the companies have 11 shared branches


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