Catching Up with Travis Williams

DWC CEO, Travis Williams

It’s been an interesting couple of years, to say the least. Here in 2022, everyone has likely learned that managing through a global pandemic, an ever-changing supply chain situation, and a “fluid” global economy can be challenging to say the least. Factors that weren’t on the radar a few short years ago are now incorporated into the strategic scenarios that make up a company’s business plan. We recently had a chance to sit down with DWC’s CEO, Travis Williams to discuss the current state of the market and new developments at Distributor Wire & Cable.

Q: There are a lot of new developments and growth happening at Distributor Wire & Cable right now, what are you most excited about?

A: Growth is a great thing but it comes with its own problems. So, I am most excited to see how our team members (we call ourselves Family members at DWC) are collaborating to solve challenges.  Ultimately our DWC culture is our go-to-market strategy. We are finding new ways to decentralize decisions, while using data to provide the best information we can so decisions can be made faster, and closer to the customer.  If we can continue to develop and improve our culture, our customers will respond by trusting us more and more with their orders.

Q: After 14 years at DWC’s original location just outside of Denver, the company has moved two miles away into a brand-new headquarters and distribution center, what was the reason for this move and how will this bring value to customers?

A. Two main reasons – efficiency and more inventory. To expand on those; our original facility was a story of growing a company from scratch. The business started in a small, single commercial shipping bay. By bringing value to our customers, DWC was able to expand into a 2nd bay, a larger office, and then grow into an additional 3rd bay.  The scars and literally the demising walls of this rapid growth made things operationally challenging. After COVID, we’ve a lot of our staff has transitioned to virtual/remote, so office space is less of a priority.  The new facility is 40% larger, the office is a bit smaller – but much better suited to meetings and collaboration. Additionally, the warehouse layout is a true distribution space, with higher ceilings and wide-open floor space – making the movement of our increased wire & cable inventory easier, faster, and safer.  That means optimizing resources to focus on what truly matters, bringing value to our customers.

Q: With economic and geopolitical factors influencing the electrical distribution supply chain, how is DWC managing through these challenges?

A. Planning, data, and relationships. The disruptions in the supply chain demand that we make plans further and further out in the future. Coupled with copper, and aluminum pricing fluctuations, that very planning requires precise data analysis. Gathering high-quality input from multiple sources seems to be the way to triangulate the best possible decisions. The best way that I’ve found to get that information is by building trusting relationships with others internally and externally in our business.

Q: You joined the company as CEO in 2019, shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic shook up the market. What did you learn about DWC during the rollercoaster ride that has been the past two and a half years?

A. Market disruptions are a certainty, they will happen again. Hopefully, next time when the markets get “shook up”, it won’t be an earthquake of biblical proportions like COVID.  What I have learned throughout these unprecedented times is DWC is focused and focus matters!  Our sales team called and kept calling on our customers, even when there was little business to be had in 2020. We kept caring! Our entire organization was and still is focused on our customer’s experience. We were able to minimize distractions and focus on supporting our customers. Lots of companies say that few actually do it. I really feel that our actions in 2020 are paying off in 2022!

 

Have a question for Travis? Leave it in the comments below.