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44•


CoverStory Strengthening relationships (Continued from page 42.)


loss in efficiency; they have confi- dence that these HET toilets will work well. “Flow restrictors in lavatory sets and kitchen sets is a good idea and


weekly container shipments to our lo- cations in Alaska and Hawaii — de- signed to ensure we have the right product on hand. We don’t have a typical stand-alone DC; rather we give that responsibility to a couple of


and has helped us improve relation- ships with our vendors. “The obvious benefit is the way in


which it impacts our bottom line on purchases. But beyond that, I would say that the networking that occurs between members at the shareholder meetings every August has been very helpful. We break into roundtable


•THE WHOLESALER® — MARCH 2011


“We’ve hosted the Pacific Plumb-


ing Supply Annual Golf Tournament for 18 years,” said McDonald. “It’s a full tournament that includes a wel- come gift, lunch, 18 holes of golf with a cart and is capped by a buffet dinner and lots of prizes for our cus- tomers. The best part of the event is that we have been able to donate the proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foun- dation. Over the past 13 years, with the help of our sponsoring vendors and the incredible generosity of our customers, we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to donate over $145,000. It’s a great opportunity to gather our vendors and customers to- gether for a day to have fun, build re- lationships and also contribute to this outstanding organization. We are re- ally looking forward to our 19th an- nual event being held on August 12th, once again benefitting the Make-A- Wish Foundation.” But that’s not all. Here are some of


the other ways Pacific Plumbing Sup- ply stays close to their customers: • One Thursday in 2004 they in-


vited a small group of customers to a Mariners game to enjoy an afternoon of sun and baseball. It provided a great opportunity to spend quality time with customers away from the distractions of the day. “Our customers had a great time


On the left is Ron Smevik, outside radiant/hydronic sales, and on the right is Joey Longo, radiant/hydronic sales manager. They are pictured here re-adjusting the settings on the boiler controls in The Green Room.


we’re seeing more of that from our manufacturers. There’s certainly not the volume of water to save here as there is from toilets but is a relatively simple process for manufacturers and consumers seem to support it. We are also seeing improved per- formance in showerheads from man- ufacturers. New technology is pro viding for a wider variety of spray patterns and spray intensity while reducing usage. By design, hand-showers are very efficient to use and the same technology is find- ing its way here as well. Body sprays are still very popular and help pro- vide a touch of efficient customiza- tion in most any shower.”


Inside Pacific’s operations One of the ways that Pacific


Plumbing Supply has been able to maintain its profitability and operate efficiently is thanks to its purchasing system. “We use a centralized purchasing


approach, but the branches are al- lowed to do special orders if they need product in a more timely fash- ion,” said Abramson. “We also have a sophisticated branch replenishment and transfer system every day — and


locations that primarily serve as a hy- brid between a DC and a branch. This total approach allows us to use all of our purchasing power and manage fill rates and terms better.” Solomon noted: “I would just add


that we have a fairly robust commu- nication system whereby even though we are centralized for administering the purchasing, we are small enough that we are influenced very definitely by customer contact at the branch level and them communicating that with our purchasing department. We are a very nimble company and can react quickly.” Of course, being a part of the


well-respected Embassy Group Ltd. buying and marketing group has been extremely beneficial to Pacific Plumbing Supply in a number of ways. “We have been a member of Em-


bassy for about 14 years now,” Solomon noted. “I’ve had the honor of serving on our board, and our VP of sales Brad McDonald has served two terms on the vendor committee, chairing it as well. It is a great group of industry folks, many of whom have now become our friends. Em- bassy gives us a great deal of support


• Be sure to visit www.thewholesaler.com for web exclusive articles and videos! •


Pacific Plumbing Supply’s The Green Room showroom in Seattle features a wall of condensing boilers on display.


have always been a high priority at Pacific Plumbing Supply. The com- pany hosts regularly scheduled events designed to build customer loyalty.


and salespeople. • There is also an annual trip pro-


motion for Alaska customers. It is (Turn to Pacific... page 46.)


discussions and share best practices and benefits. It’s been extremely use- ful to be able to ask questions and see how other people solve problems. Relationships with their customers


and suggested that it would be a great annual event,” said Sherman. “The idea stuck and it grew a bit; we now partner with a few select ven- dors for the event, which includes a pre-function at Pyramid Ale House and a double suite at Safeco Field for the Mariners game.” Guests in- clude customers, sponsoring ven- dors and Pacific branch managers


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