But these are your stories, and I want you—the distributors—to continue to own your stories and experiences. That’s why, last week, I reached out to John Cain, President of Wiseway Supply, a regional distributor of electrical and plumbing supplies based in Greater Cincinnati and serving Central Ohio to Central Kentucky. It’s been a few months since I learned about the family culture at Wiseway Supply and the “Wiseway Every Day” mantra. So I wanted to catch up with John and find out how things have been going since the filming and since the Wiseway episode aired in mid-July.
We had a great conversation!
Dirk Beveridge: What compelled you to be a part of We Supply America?
John Cain: Quite simply, I think We Supply America is a great, great idea. People don’t realize the impact of our industry, and it’s important to highlight that. Especially in the time of Amazon, everything you do—all day, every day—revolves around distributors.
It was quite an honor.
DB: What was your experience like while filming?
JC: It was more fun than I thought it would be. I felt like you did a good job of asking questions that everyone, at all levels, could reflect on and answer.
One of the funniest things you did was when you were interviewing another one of our team members, and you just looked at me and said, “Hey, I want to talk to him for a few minutes. Can you go find something else to do?”
That was memorable to me because it showed that you wanted to talk to our team members honestly and hear their thoughts without them feeling watched.
It was a neat experience for my entire team at all levels.
DB: Do you have any stories or takeaways from the filming?
JC: You know, I’ve watched all of the episodes, and it was fascinating to see how you make sure to talk to people at all company levels—you weren’t just doing CEO interviews.
DB: Do you think the episode accurately depicted you and your team?
JC: It was quite moving. We all get so buried in our day-to-day activities, especially with today’s terrible supply chain. It was a unique window into our company culture that you portrayed well. It’s the company culture that we strive for, but you seldom get to see it talked about by your team. Culture is felt; it touches you. It made me and our entire team feel good about our company. Now, I joke that we have to live up to it!
DB: Is there something you hope people take away from watching your episode?
JC: The big picture is that distribution is a part of everybody’s lives, and they don’t realize it. Just about everything you touch in your personal life goes through a distributor. I am not just talking about the plumbing and electrical supplies that we sell, but door hardware, auto parts, food, toilet paper, COVID masks . . . EVERYTHING! And distribution employs many people, and they’re good-paying jobs—they’re not just Amazon jobs. I was thrilled you told that story.
DB: What was your team’s reaction to the episode and filming?
JC: Our team members wanted to do well, and they wanted to make the company shine. A neat thing for me was watching the truck drivers talk about COVID. It was an emotional piece about COVID because some of our guy’s got the virus, but they talked about how they were afraid. They supported each other and appreciated the support from the company.
How have things been going since the filming and since the airing of the episode?
We put the episode on all of the TVs at all of our branches, and I think it put a lot of extra wind in our sails. July through August is our busiest time when everyone is max-stressed, so it was a nice respite to make everybody feel extra good about where they were.
Did you miss the Wiseway episode? You can still watch it online. Learn about their incredible family culture and hear their stories of resilience during the pandemic.
And for more insight into this fantastic team, check out the chat John and I had while sharing some bourbon in the warehouse. You’ll learn more about Wiseway Supply and their amazing work culture, and you’ll learn a little something about Kentucky bourbon too!
Many thanks to John Cain and the team at Wiseway Supply for hosting me and letting me catch a glimpse of the incredible work they do for both their employees and their customers.