November 16, 2022
If change is the only constant, why do some leaders resist it at all costs? Jennifer Murphy, president of NetPlus Alliance, an industrial buying group based in Lockport, NY, isn’t faint-hearted. Instead of retreating from its inevitable challenges, she embraces the transformative process, ditching long-standing methods to ensure the future health of her multi-generational family business. Jason caught up with Jennifer to learn more about NetPlus’ culture of continuous improvement and how membership in a buying group benefits both the distributor and supplier.
NetPlus members may sign up for the perks, but they stick around because Jennifer and her team are committed to providing value. “We are very passionate about what we do, who we serve, and how we're going to support them,” she says. “We love to be strategic, to challenge people to think about how we can help each other and help [our] distributors find ways to access new products, grow business with their current customers, and find new market opportunities with end-users.”
For those unfamiliar with buying cooperatives, members earn rebate money by channeling their purchases through the group’s preferred suppliers. The best models facilitate thousands of mutually beneficial relationships. Although part of a powerful organization, each NetPlus member remains independent while reaping the rewards from collectively securing better pricing deals and access to the latest training programs.
That educational piece has proven to be NetPlus’ next significant growth opportunity, especially since the pandemic has upended traditional modes of disseminating product knowledge. True to form, Jennifer has positioned NetPlus to lead the charge. “You can't wait for others; you have to be at the forefront, always working to grow the business and evolve,” she says, adding, “By offering those types of support to our members [we’re] gonna help ensure their long term success.”
Jennifer’s exposure to the family business at an early age informs her attitude toward taking risks. “I saw how important it was to embrace change and the types of things you needed to do to be a much more progressive and competitive business.” As long as change remains constant, NetPlus will meet its challenges.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
“There's nothing that I like more than when my younger team here at NetPlus talks about all of these things that we need to do to continue to involve and change our offerings to our members.”
“Especially at our national meeting, I always get on a platform and talk about how important it is for distributors to continue to embrace change.”
“I think one of the best outcome of 2020 is the fact that it really forced people to pivot in ways or adopt things that they had never done before in their businesses.”
“You can't really can't stand still. I often joke with people that I feel like I've run a marathon at a full race pace for the last 20 years.”
Distribution Talk is produced by The Distribution Team, a consulting services firm dedicated to helping wholesale distribution clients remove barriers to profitability, generate wealth and achieve personal goals.
This episode was edited & mixed by The Creative Impostor Studios.
Special thanks to our sponsor for this episode: INxSQL Distribution Software, integrated distribution ERP software designed for the wholesale and distribution industry