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Learning from Peers Is a Benefit of NAW Membership

Chairman's Column - April 2015

Manuel Perez de la Mesa, NAW 2015 Chairman of the Board, and President and CEO of Pool Corporation

I believe there are three fundamental elements needed to be successful in any business:

  1. A Plan derived from a thorough understanding of the market, the competitive environment, and the opportunities available for sales and profits
  2. An Organization suited to match the needs of the Plan such that the right individuals are in the right positions and empowered to succeed
  3. Execution carried out each and every day with a sense of urgency to consistently exceed our customers’ expectations.

Integral to this process is having the systems in place to ensure that every employee at every level fully understands what is expected of them. Equally important is having the measurements that enable feedback both in absolute and relative terms with regard to expectations and the systems that provide daily objective reporting on those measurements. The goal is for everyone to know every day where they stand regarding their Execution within the Organization to the Plan.

Why is this relevant to NAW? Simple, the tools made available through the research and publications of the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence—coupled with the opportunity to exchange views and learn from peers and subject matter experts at NAW events like the NAW Executive Summit and Executive Roundtables available to CEOs, CFOs and other C-suite executives—opens a window for NAW members that serves to positively contribute to their success. In fact, a distribution business participating in NAW has a distinct competitive advantage over other distributors that do not participate.

Pool Corporation has been an active member of NAW for almost 20 years. During that time, we have grown significantly, including having realized a 21% earnings per share CAGR since going public in 1995. While I can’t point and state that X% of our EPS CAGR is directly attributable to our NAW membership, I can definitely trace dozens of initiatives across our organization back to what we learned from distribution executives and subject matter experts as a result of our involvement with NAW. This is demonstrated by the fact that almost 90% of our EPS growth has been organic, the result of better Planning, Organization, and Execution.

I trust you have your own story of what value your firm receives through membership with NAW. If your firm is not an NAW member, however, I encourage you to join. Learn about the benefits of NAW membership and view NAW’s latest Annual Report.