Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors
August 31, 2020  |  ByDouglas W. York, NAW 2020 Chairman of the Board

In our distribution world, time and cash are two of the most important commodities we have, and yet they can be among the most difficult to balance.

Especially now that we are operating our businesses during a global pandemic, where we are being impacted daily with manufacturer delays, inventory shortages, freight regulations and capacity, additional safety protocols and potential economic shortfalls, it’s become increasingly more important to identify and partner with the right service providers to create greater efficiencies.

Emerge

At Ewing, we have been using a shipper-oriented transportation platform, called Emerge, and we’ve seen tremendous success and positive results. Previously, as your logistics team may be experiencing, we relied on emails and phone calls to find, request and receive freight bids. It was a tedious, error-prone process, requiring us to manage multiple brokers and carriers for multiple loads. Then we engaged Emerge.

Emerge is a Digital Freight Marketplace, which helps us to increase our efficiency and cost savings. Their marketplace allows the Ewing logistics team to send one bid request to multiple brokers/carriers of our choosing, at one time, then automates the bid receiving process. From here, we can quickly determine the right bid and carrier to fit our needs. Besides the intuitive platform, being able to manage our own broker/carrier relationships without an outside influence is one of our favorite aspects of Emerge. Ultimately, Emerge is organized, so it saves us time and money.

We knew Emerge was the type of service provider that other distributors could benefit from and as the COVID-19 pandemic began in the country, I felt the responsibility to share this great tool with my fellow distributors. This is how we brought Emerge into NAW’s Affinity Partners program.

As you may know, NAW’s Trusted Affinity Partners bring essential business services designed to protect margins and help improve your cash flow. While I was familiar with NAW’s program in terms of identifying key services, I could leverage at Ewing, I hadn’t thought about how I can contribute to this program to help my peers in NAW.

Working with Anthony Simone, NAW’s Chief Affinity Officer, I learned, and appreciate more, how a business is brought in as an NAW Affinity Partner. Each partner is carefully vetted and the NAW program is tailored to a distributor’s specific requirements. NAW’s Affinity Partners take the time to learn about the industry and pride themselves on taking a consultative approach to every customer, regardless of company size.

If you haven’t explored the unique partners Tony and NAW have vetted for your distribution business yet, I strongly encourage you to do so, especially now. You can find them on the NAW website under the “Business Services” section. In addition to Emerge, here are two other key Affinity Partners, Gallagher and Unified Payments, that I believe can be instrumental to you to utilize during our current pandemic economy.

Gallagher

Our partners at Gallagher provide resources for wholesaler-distributors to manage aspects of returning to work in the aftermath of the COVID-19 virus outbreak and solutions to a hardening property-casualty insurance market. Big spikes in premiums for Umbrella, Auto, D&O and liability coverages have made Gallagher’s help key to better managing those risks and costs.

Unified Payments

Unified Payments save wholesaler-distributors significant money by streamlining the order-to-cash process through innovative approaches and technology related to credit card surcharging, electronic invoicing and payment acceptance via the web and ultimately becoming a cashless wholesaler-distributor during and after this radically changed environment.

You can learn more about these NAW Affinity Partners at www.naw.org under the Business Services tab on the homepage or by contacting Tony at asimone@naw.org. And, if you have a partner for your distribution business that you believe can help your fellow NAW members, I encourage you to contact Tony about bringing that partner on board to NAW’s Affinity Partners Program.

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Douglas W. York, NAW 2020 Chairman of the Board

Douglas W. York, NAW 2020 Chairman of the Board

Douglas W. York is President and CEO of Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. Ewing is the largest family-owned supplier of landscape and irrigation products in the country. The company supplies professional contractors with irrigation supplies, water efficient and sustainable solutions, landscape and turf products, agronomics and growing, hardscape and outdoor living, landscape lighting, water features, erosion control and more.
Douglas W. York, NAW 2020 Chairman of the Board

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