Looking Back On The Granite Group

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When I visited The Granite Group for the eighth and final episode of the premiere season of We Supply America, they told me they think of themselves as a service business. That’s because they’re a massive team that works together like a well-tuned machine to serve their customers and each other.

The company is family-owned, but you could also say they’re family-run. Because they have a number of families with multiple members working for them. During the episode, I chatted with Sheila Hamilton, who started with The Granite Group, loved her job, and started recommending the company to everyone in her family. Now, she and her daughter, Sydney Carter, both work at the company along with a few other family members as well. 

Another one of the employees I spoke with said that working for a family-driven company like The Granite Group was worth making the industry shift from a “sexier” career he had before—though we agreed that distribution is sexy, people just don’t perceive it that way (which needs to change!). 

The thing you need to know about The Granite Group is that they’re all about their employees. I wanted to reconnect with the team and hear their take on the episode, now that they’ve seen it. I checked in with Tracie Sponenberg, Chief People Officer, to get her thoughts. 

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

Tracie Sponenberg: I have been a fan of yours for some time now, and really enjoyed the work you’ve been doing since the start of the pandemic to highlight often-overlooked front-line workers in our industry. I read about the We Supply America tour, particularly a post that was seeking companies to be a part of the web series, and I reached out. I thought it was an incredible chance to highlight our amazing team at The Granite Group!

DB: What was your experience like while filming? 

TS: From start to finish, you and your team were wonderful to work with. We knew the timeline, exactly what to expect, and what the process would be like.

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

TS: I was lucky to get to watch most of the filming. It was so fun to watch the faces of our people light up when they talked about our company! I deliberately didn’t watch Sheila and Syndey, our mom and daughter team at Central Distribution, during filming. I knew Sheila was nervous in front of the camera, and I didn’t want to make that worse.  I’m glad I got to see that first during the premiere because it was my favorite part of the episode!

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

TS: Absolutely. Our people-first culture really shone through, and you could hear the love for our team in the voices of everyone who was interviewed. I’m proud to work for a company that values its people as human beings. Complicated, wonderful people who have lives outside of work. We work hard at creating a truly inclusive culture of belonging. That’s really difficult to illustrate, especially in 20 minutes! 

I also love that there was a very strong focus on the women of our company. Women in distribution are underrepresented, and we are working to change that. We have a large number of amazing women on our team, and I think that comes through in the episode.

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

TS: Who wouldn’t love that episode? Everyone loves hearing Bill speak, and it was fun to get to hear from others that we may not hear from as often!

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

TS: We’re proud to be a small part of this large industry. We’re proud to share our team with the wider world. And we’re grateful we got to be a part of it. I just hope we don’t lose Sheila and Sydney when Hollywood comes calling!

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

TS: One of the coolest things about The Granite Group is that the day of filming was just like the next day, and the next. Not that every day is the same—not at all, but we were a part of something really fun, and then we got back to work and served our customers. That’s what we’re doing every day. Taking care of our people, and serving our customers. If you’ve already watched Episode 8 of the We Supply America series, check out the bonus content we have to share with you. Get a behind-the-scenes look at our filming process and watch the full CEO interview we filmed at The Granite Group. In it, I talk with President and CEO Bill Condrun and get his take on our incredible industry and the noble calling of distribution.

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.

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