At Distributor Wire & Cable (DWC), we’re celebrating our 15th anniversary this year. As part of this celebration, we’re taking time to reflect on our past with some of our more seasoned DWC Family members. This month, we hear from Robert McCord, Director of Procurement and Global Supply Chain. McCord was a DWCer from day one as he joined the company when it all began back in 2008. Recently, Robert sat down with The Monthly Wire to share his unique perspective on DWC’s 15 -year journey so far.
The Monthly Wire: You were with DWC when it all started. How does it feel to be a big part of the company’s journey over the last 15 years?
Robert Mccord: Honestly, it’s hard to comprehend that it’s already been 15 years. I’m absolutely amazed at how far we’ve come, yet I still feel like there is so much more to do. In my head we’re still that small start up trying to scrap and claw our way forward. We’re still the underdog trying to find a path forward. But the truth is we’re not. What we have is a strong company that’s been built by many great people. DWC has only been successful because of the people within it. People that were dedicated and believed in our purpose and values. There’s NO WAY we would be where we are if it wasn’t for the hard work, dedication, and commitment of so many. So, to answer the question I would say I’m honored and extremely lucky to have been able to spend the last 15 years on this journey with DWC.
TMW: What are the most significant changes you have witnessed in the company since its inception?
RM: Just our overall growth and the scope at which we operate now. We cover the entire US market with an expansive range of wire & cable products. We’re no longer a small company that just focuses on serving the Rocky Mountain region. We operate on such a large scale now.
TMW: In those early days, did you ever envision DWC operating at the capacity that we operate today?
RM: No, not even close! I have a crystal-clear memory of Bryce (Bryce Huett – DWC’s founder) and I standing out front of our original building, a few years into our business, just talking. At the time, we had two small office/warehouse units that we operated out of. We started talking about how amazing it was that the small parking lot we had, with probably 10-12 spots was full. We couldn’t believe we’d gotten to that point. At the time, we were maybe a $12-15M company, and Bryce said “If someone would have guaranteed us in the beginning that we could build a $5M company and have jobs we loved for the rest of our lives” I would have taken it. I honestly don’t think any of us back then could imagine where we are today!
TMW: What role did chocolate chip cookies play in the early evolution of DWC?
RM: That’s a good question! We bought a commercial-grade Otis Spunkmeyer cookie oven and we'd include freshly baked chocolate chip cookies with each order. The cookies were extremely vital in the early days, and probably the best tool we had for getting noticed and getting a foothold with local Colorado and Rocky Mountain electrical distributors. It certainly wasn’t our good looks! But honestly, there’s something to be said about the saying "the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach", because it certainly helped open a few doors for us! The fact that we’re still talking about those cookies to this day says it all. That Otis Spunkmeyer cookie oven might be the best purchase we ever made!
TMW: You head-up DWC’s purchasing program. How has DWC stayed ahead of customer demand from a product focus and procurement standpoint over the years?
RM: Data! No doubt it’s the data. Early on we tried to use our experience, product knowledge, gut feelings, etc. to make decisions. Sometimes it worked, but more than not it didn’t. In the early days it worked simply because it made us take some risks and put ourselves out there. As we grew it became clear that we needed to do things better. Then we figured out how to incorporate data into our business decisions and wow did it change things. Using data insights to make sound business decisions has helped us serve our customers better!
TMW: What do you think is the most important contributor to DWC’s longevity and success over the years.
RM: Without a doubt, the fact that we never quit! No matter the challenges or obstacles put in front of us, we never gave up. In fact, I would take it a step further and say we not only found ways to navigate through the rough waters and storms, but we found a way to make those defining moments the steppingstones to where we are today.