Winsupply names A. O. Smith plumbing vendor of year

Winsupply Award

Milwaukee, Wisc. — When A. O. Smith received the Winsupply 2017 Vendor of the Year Award in the Finished Plumbing category on March 13, it was more like receiving 600 individual awards. 

While the recognition is sponsored by the Winsupply corporate group in Dayton, Ohio, the nominees are voted upon by the 600 local Winsupply local company presidents nationwide.  The awards were presented at the biannual Strategic Planning and Vendor Showcase awards dinner held in Nashville.  More than 1,400 people attended the event. 

“Winsupply selected the very best of our many excellent suppliers in each respective industry,” Roland Gordon, president and chief executive officer of Winsupply Inc., said in a press release.  “They earned their awards based on several criteria including growth over the prior year, volume sold over a period of years, being one of the leaders in our growing business, and selling to a breadth of locations that buy the vendor’s type of product.” 

Winsupply is one of the largest wholesale distributors in the U.S. and a long-time A. O. Smith customer.  A. O. Smith supplies residential and commercial water heaters to the vast majority of Winsupply’s local facilities. 

Earning the award was a total company effort, according to Phil McAfee, manager-national accounts, who oversees the Winsupply account. 

“Every person at A. O. Smith who touches the local Winsupply owners has to do well, whether it’s the rep, people in the office, the people who answer our 800 number.  They have to make that a good experience for the customer.  They have to do their job and do it well. 

“It speaks well of our company,” McAfee pointed out. 

“The biggest reason for our success with Winsupply is strategy and alignment,” Rick Hawk, vice president-sales for national accounts, observed.  “We have been very consistent with our strategy for the last six or seven years, which is to work with the local companies to drive alignment with our initiatives; we treat them as individual entrepreneurial companies.” 

Another factor behind A. O. Smith’s success is its effort to meet personally with the local Winsupply owners.  “We ask our reps to call on each customer a number of times every year,” Hawk explained.  “They cover new products, new promotional programs, and learn about the local owner’s business needs.  Phil collects the feedback from those calls and reports back to our organization with action plans, to either mitigate issues or act on opportunities.” 

The reps have been instrumental in A. O. Smith’s success with Winsupply, and McAfee emailed all of them the day after the awards ceremony to thank them for their support. 

A. O. Smith was well represented at the biannual Strategic Planning Meeting, using it as an opportunity to meet one-on-one with local owners and members of the Winsupply corporate team. 

“The regional sales managers have done a fantastic job engaging Winsupply at the local level,” Hawk observed. 

For the new year, A. O. Smith and Winsupply are planning to focus on the tankless product line with a number of special promotions.  There also will be new programs introduced for commercial water heaters.  

And, A. O. Smith will lay the foundation to earn another vendor of the year award.  “I don’t like to be in second place,” McAfee pointed out.

About Winsupply
Winsupply Inc. is a leading supplier of residential and commercial construction and industrial supplies and equipment headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. The privately-held company has nearly 600 wholesaling locations in 45 states and offers entrepreneurs the unique opportunity to own a meaningful part of the local business. Collectively, Winsupply is known as “The Winsupply Family of Companies” and includes Win-branded locations, Noland Company, Carr Supply, Security Plumbing & Heating Supply, Wyatt Irrigation, APCO, Michigan Temperature Supply, Electrical Sales, Inc., Tacoma Electric Supply, and Thomas Pipe. In the family are companies conducting wholesale distribution of supplies and equipment in plumbing and heating; hydronics; pipe, valves and fittings; HVAC; electrical; fastening hardware; waterworks and utility; pumps; turf irrigation and landscape; and fire system fabrication. Follow Winsupply on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.