The Changing Role of the Master Distributor

A brief Q & A with MDM Magazine

Recently, members of the DWC leadership team were interviewed by Modern Distribution Management (MDM) on the topic of how the landscape of master distribution is changing. We were honored to have DWC included among the three companies that contributed to the discussion (the other two companies were a personal protective equipment supplier and a HVAC master distributor). The topics examined got us thinking about the current state of master distribution and how companies like DWC are evolving to serve the needs of our customers.

The following are a few excerpts from our interview with MODERN DISTRIBUTION MAGAZINE. If you’re a subscriber, you can read the full feature story in the February 25 edition of MDM premium.

MDM: As a Master Distributor, what are the most important benefits that DWC provides in today’s marketplace?

DWC: DWC gives electrical wholesalers a strategic partner to help manage their wire & cable lines and maximize their profitability from these products. Master distributors offer supply chain solutions that help electrical distributors win more bids/business by empowering them with the right wire & cable products in the right place, at the right time. DWC’s warehouse space becomes an extension of their own available wire & cable inventory.

In addition, we provide a host of value-added services that help our customers serve their customers better. Services like dying, striping, twisting, bundling, 24-hour emergency services and cable management save end users time and money. In most cases, services like these are exclusively found through master distributors.

MDM: How would you characterize the health of your industry? What’s been DWC’s response to change?

DWC: Demand for wire & cable ebbs and flows with the various markets that our customers ultimately serve (Industrial, Commercial, Residential, Utility, etc.). We stay current on pertinent market drivers and really take the time to listen to our customers to best anticipate their needs and serve them. Like a lot of businesses, we’ve become much more data-driven which allows us to react faster and more strategically to bring more value to our electrical distributor partners.

MDM: What technology have you put in place within the last two years to better serve customers and compete?

DWC: DWC was the first company in our space to really utilize digital tools back in the 2000s. We’ve always been a leader in technology deployment and having a modern approach to helping our customers succeed.

We’ve recently deployed a new state-of-the-art ERP system to maximize our ability to manage all aspects of our business. DWC has also implemented analytics tools that are tied into this ERP that enable us to get better visibility and improve our ability to anticipate our customer’s needs. In addition, we have a computerized, “smart” inventory management system to track everything that comes in or goes out of our distribution centers.


MDM: Are there any outside influences within the last five years that have affected how you go to market?

DWC: We are strongly influenced by our customers and how they want to transact. DWC has the agility to adjust what we do to more effectively serve them. Our customers are our biggest outside influence, although we tend to view them as partners, not “outsiders”.

Another external source of influence is the tech industry. We study a lot of Silicon Valley startups and tech companies for their methodologies and what they do from a company culture standpoint. There are some innovative companies out there that are doing things differently. If it makes sense for our own service delivery, we apply some of those methodologies to our own business. We study and learn from innovative companies that are passionate about serving their customers.

Once again, the complete feature article can be accessed through a premium subscription to MODERN DISTRIBUTION MANAGEMENT.