On the Road with Dirk – 08.29.21

We Supply America RV

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This morning I find myself at site number 55 at the Kampground of America (KOA) off Tomahawk road in Apache Junction, AZ. I’m staged here to begin the 13th and final week of the We Supply America tour - 2021 edition.

We set out to champion the noble calling of distribution, and the conversations I have had with hundreds and hundreds of professionals who have made distribution their career solidifies the importance of what we have created with We Supply America.

While we have so many stories to tell in the coming weeks and months about the people who have answered this noble calling of distribution …

On Thursday we premiered our eighth and capstone We Supply America film.

I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I’d become an executive producer of a documentary series, but I am damn glad that I answered this calling.

The companies and the people I have met along the way have inspired me beyond my wildest dreams. They have taught me lessons that you can only learn by getting in the trenches to hear their stories and see them in action.

Right now … before your day really gets going, I encourage you to take 20 minutes to watch one of the eight films.  When you do I guarantee your Sunday will be better.

Go on … pick any of the eight.  I have provided the title of each with a direct link to the film below:

Enjoy!

And let me know what inspired you and/or what lessons you took from the film you choose.

The Granite Group Review

I traveled to Londonderry, New Hampshire to film the final episode of We Supply America with The Granite Group. This plumbing, heating, cooling, water and propane supplies distributor is the capstone subject for the series, and man are they incredible. I’ve written about it before, but one element of their success, and something that really makes them stand out is their purpose: to be sustainable growth engine for their people—and they fulfill that purpose in spades.

Their Chief People Officer Tracie Sponenberg told me that she used to think H.R.’s job was to chase people around with forms, hire and fire people—but with The Granite Group, that’s all changed. She said that The Granite Group helped her understand how to really be a people-first company. Her new mission is to recruit, train and promote employees, and to help them grow personally and professionally. She explained that “we can be those connectors to help,” and that is what she does now—she helps.

I spoke with so many amazing people at The Granite Group, from CEO Bill Condron to Inventory Control Associate Syndey Carter, whatever their role, people are given the chance to thrive at The Granite Group—a noble calling indeed.

Inspired By…

Ninety-one days ago today—the day before Memorial Day—I pulled out of my driveway in Barrington, IL and set off on the We Supply America tour. I’ve traveled from sea to shining sea, through 34 states, 13,500 miles. I’ve met with over 30 distribution companies, hundreds of distribution employees, and spent over 80 of those 91 nights sleeping in the We Supply America RV.

It’s been an amazing ride.

I’m so inspired by the amazing companies I’ve toured, the people I’ve met, and the experiences I’ve had. I feel incredibly humbled and lucky to have had the opportunity to spearhead this tour.

I’m inspired by those of you who have supported me, welcomed me and followed my journey. I hope you will stick with me for the coming days. From Memorial Day to Labor Day—We Supply America!

One Last Thing

Bill Condron, the CEO of The Granite Group, spent some time talking with me after the filming of the last episode of We Supply America. Our conversation is one of the most dynamic and insightful ones I’ve had during the course of We Supply America.

Bill explains their mission—to be a sustainable dynamic growth engine for their people—how they came up with it, and how they use it to drive their company. He is a wicked smart and passionate as hell forward thinker.

He truly encapsulates the noble calling of distribution.

This is a CEO interview that is not to be missed. Check it out! 

Back on the Road

Tomorrow I have a chance to have the We Supply America tour stop at Valin, a technical solutions provider for the technology, energy, life sciences, natural resources, and transportation industries. I have had a chance to work with this team for years and I can’t wait to celebrate the noble calling of distribution with them!

Then, I’m pointing the RV east and driving toward Texas.  On Thursday, I’ll be in Houston with Northwest Drive Train, a member of our sponsor, VIPAR, before closing out the week in Haltom City, Texas (in the Dallas / Fort Worth area) at Professional Flooring Supply.

Here we go …

Thanks for being a big part of 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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