“It felt like a close family that happened to be coworkers as well.” Connor Bohling, of Proton, said when I asked him his take on Wiseway Supply. His perception matched my own.
When you really think about it, family values are the heartbeat of distribution. Here’s why: people are working together toward a common goal to make sure that others’ needs are met. If that doesn’t say family, then I don’t know what does. This commitment to meeting the needs of the American people is one of the reasons I am championing the noble calling of distribution by traveling across the country to highlight the stories of distributors.
Distribution employees—you—are at the frontlines making sure that the basic needs of the American people are met. And companies like Wiseway Supply mimic the familial act of distributing by building it into their company culture. Wiseway Supply is a family-owned and operated company that was started by “Biz” and Jackie Cain. Now, John Cain—Biz and Jackie’s eldest son— runs the company and embodies these attributes. He’s led the company for the majority of its existence, and he’s making sure that family values and a culture of collaboration are the core messages.
Wiseway Supply provides high-quality electric, plumbing, and light fixture equipment to their customers—a base that Wiseway employees described across the board in one word: Loyal. The success of the company, which has lasted nearly half a century, is due to cultivating those return and long-term relationships. And the loyalty goes both ways. Distributors are loyal to their customers but beyond that, they are loyal to us. We all benefit from your hard work, and people need to know that.
The Cain family has used loyalty across the board to build and sustain Wiseway Supply, and their staff has taken notice. Wiseway driver Tony Collins told us that the door is always open, and company management and supervisors make it possible for employees to discuss any type of issue (personal or professional) in the office. This family-centric model sustained the team during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when two employees contracted the virus.
Collins said the team consistently communicated. He was on the phone daily, receiving support from coworkers, having meals delivered by coworkers—“It’s family. It’s just family,” he explained.
Wiseway’s family culture is evident even to an observer taking stock of the company for the first time. When Connor Bohling and I were chatting, he could see the family values of collaboration, support, and long-lasting relationships in the way the company revolves around the employees.
Bohling said that he, like most Americans, didn’t understand the value of the distribution world before he really started to learn about the processes behind the industry.
“Before I learned about distribution, it wasn’t an industry I thought about. People don’t think about the logistics of how things work, how they are made, how they get their food—People take things for granted,” he said.
We’re working to create more of those “Aha!” moments for Americans, like the one Bohling described, so they can understand the impactful and vital work of distributors across the country. You’re the unsung heroes meeting the everyday needs of consumers, and we want to celebrate that.
By the end of my visit, the Wiseway Every Day mentality was solidified for me. It really is about supporting people—employees, customers, and Americans in general—with superior products, efficient methods, and high-quality service. We should all work to model our workplaces after this collaborative and care-driven model that Wiseway has perfected—and we should all champion the noble calling of distribution. I hope you’ll join me in this mission.
Have you seen our interview with the team members and leaders at Wiseway Supply? Watch our second episode here, and scroll down for a bonus clip of our interview with Wiseway President John Cain. You might even learn a thing or two about bourbon in the process!
I’d love to spend the day with you and your team! TEXT MEETUP TO 1 (847) 744-8570 so we can plan a visit.