Richard Crifasi may have the finish line in sight, but he’s not ready to leave the track just yet. Even after decades in industrial and electrical supply distribution, he still gets a charge out of solving everyday customer problems and plotting long-range company goals.
Jason chats with his old friend about his circuitous career path and current role as a safety consultant, his perspective on working for privately held vs. public companies, and why no other industry can match distribution in its access to the good life.
“I’m enjoying the heck out of this,” Richard laughs after a thorough breakdown of his consulting role through which he helped bring Charlotte-based ENSCO Supply under Capital Electric’s Tool & Safety Group banner. And while he misses the day-to-day challenges of running a distribution business, he’s thrilled to support the new entity on its upward journey. “We’re very competitive. We’ve built up this business, and it’s grown like wildfire. There’s really nothing stopping us!”
Richard has earned the right to boast. His career is filled with forward momentum and acquaintances with many folks who’ve made guest appearances on DT. Those connections, he says, are what makes distribution such a rewarding field. Take his decision, early on, to work with Evergreen Marketing Group, the national cooperative of construction supply distributors. “I started to attend the meetings, participated in some of the activities, and realized that I can learn a heck of a lot more by associating with some of these owners than I can trying to teach myself.”
Since then, he’s added numerous contacts to his phone book, folks he can call on and support. That camaraderie over cut-throat competition, he says, is what separates the folks in distribution from just about any other industry.
As for his gradual shift from daily operations to consulting, Richard expresses gratitude and wistfulness in equal measure. “It’s just been an amazing ride [and] in some respects; I’m going to miss it,”
After such an illustrious career, who could blame him? He hopes more young talent finds the same value in distribution as he has. “The management people and the salespeople in the distribution business live a good life.”
“It’s a fascinating business. We’re becoming something that I know rental companies have tried to add tools and safety. You know, you need the right software; you need the right people.”
“If you care about your family and want to spend time with your kids, you can’t beat this.”
“That’s what distribution gives you: it gives you a legitimate family life.”
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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.