Looking Back on Episode One: Porter Pipe & Supply

Porter Pipe 2

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Season one of the We Supply America tour has come to an end and, after visiting some of our country’s best distribution companies, I am headed home. As I make my way back in the We Supply America RV, I’ve been reminiscing about every step of this journey. From the beginning, I have been surrounded by leaders and team members who are in touch with this noble calling of distribution. I set out to find the hardworking people who are supporting America by supplying America—I certainly found them.

Porter Pipe & Supply was the second stop on the tour and the first episode to air. Their entire purpose is to provide more opportunities for more people. This purpose has driven them to create a world-class culture centered on family values, and a legacy of providing a caring, healthy, and successful workplace for their employees. Their customers are loyal and, when times were at their toughest point during the pandemic, kept ordering material so that together they could partner to build America.

I checked back in with Stephanie Porter, who is the manager of marketing and brand initiative for the company, to see how they’re doing after our visit. She had some incredibly encouraging things to say about our industry.

Dirk Beveridge: What compelled you to be a part of We Supply America? 

Stephanie Porter: When we were asked to be a part of We Supply America, it was an absolute no-brainer for us. The entire We Supply America campaign initiative and what it stands for aligns perfectly with how the team at Porter Pipe & Supply approaches business every day—and not just in the literal sense of being a supply house. We recognize the impact of every team member on the continued growth and prosperity of America. For us, there’s no doubt that it’s a noble calling.

DB: What was your experience like while filming? 

SP: It was fun! While it was a full day of filming, the whole experience was enjoyable. The cadence built between Dirk, the film crew, myself, and various Porter team members, made it feel as though we’ve all known each other for years. (Or that they were part of the Porter Pipe Family!) There was a lot of sincerity, gratitude, mutual respect and a desire to learn more—and of course, laughter.

There was a true feeling of partnership too. Having this be only the second Supplier for the We Supply America team to film and visit, we had to think on our feet more than once about how we can best utilize our time and ensure that the message Dirk is trying to convey was clear.

DB: Do you have any stories or takeaways from the filming? 

SP: The biggest takeaway was that it is truly all about people. It was wonderful to watch team members from all different roles, backgrounds, and tenures be eager to talk about the company my grandfather humbly started back in 1976. The way they talked about the lasting positive impact this company has had on them and their families—it’s something I will never forget. I didn’t think my passion for the Porter Pipe culture and team, family business, and industry could get any stronger, but I was wrong. 

DB: Do you think the episode accurately depicted you and your team? 

SP: They absolutely nailed it! I only wish we could’ve had more team member interviews and interactions because there are just so many amazing folks and stories to be told. But we also wouldn’t have had a 25-minute episode if we had done that! But even the director, Jorby, said after filming, “Porter Pipe & Supply Season one is now complete!”

DB: What was your team’s reaction to the episode? 

SP: You could see the pride our team members felt about working alongside this incredible team, and that their company was part of such an important initiative. Honestly, I too was beaming with Porter Pride and gratitude for this one-of-a-kind team and culture. Many relayed to me that they often tell family and friends how much they enjoy working at Porter Pipe & Supply. Now, because of We Supply America, they can show them a first-hand look into the culture that’s been cultivated here.

DB: How has being part of We Supply America impacted you and your team? 

SP: Being the pilot episode for this campaign is something I’m extremely proud of and still excited about. I’m grateful that we were approached for the opportunity. Not for the publicity of it, but because I think it gave our team a true realization that every team member’s hard work does have an impact on something bigger, even beyond our customer base. 

They are building up the country’s economy by supplying the materials needed for various projects. This, in turn, provides jobs and more opportunities for other families. Our team members are supplying schools to ensure children have proper heat and air conditioning. Their work ensures that hospitals have healthy filtration systems and up-to-date piping and that all of us have clean drinking water coming out of our sinks.

The realization that Porter Pipe & Supply—a small, family-owned and operated business out of Addison, IL—has this type of impact is empowering. Especially in our current environment where far too many family-owned or small businesses have gone out of business due to COVID-19 or from the competition of large companies such as Amazon.

The realization that it’s not just about pipes or the products housed in our warehouse, but that it’s about the continued prosperity of the American people. It’s hard not to be impacted and inspired by this message!

DB: How have things been going since the filming and since the airing of the episode? 

SP: Things have been fantastic. Since filming, we’ve really enjoyed summertime with a whole lot more team BBQ lunches, fun theme days like Hawaiian Shirt Day, Neon 90s Day, etc., and some customer and internal parties and celebrations. Like many in the industry understand—we’ve been busy this summer.

DB: Is there anything else that you would like to add? 

SP: Thank you, Dirk, for capturing our team and truly championing the noble calling of distribution and the importance it has, but often doesn’t get the recognition for.

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For those who have already seen the Porter Pipe & Supply episode of our show, check out the exclusive CEO interview with Nick Porter. You’ll hear more about the impact of the company and his insights into championing the noble calling of distribution.

Thank you to our sponsors

Infor is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the We Supply America tour in partnership with Dirk Beveridge and UnleashWD. Infor is a global leader in business cloud software specialized by industry, with a special focus on wholesale distribution. We use data-driven insights to solve emerging industry challenges and provide our customers with the modern tools they need to innovate and transform their businesses.

Proton is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the We Supply America tour in partnership with Dirk Beveridge and UnleashWD. Proton’s innovative artificial intelligence platform provides turn-by-turn directions for sales reps that sell various products by telling them which customers to talk with, when, and about what through our intuitive web app.

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