Although many aren’t familiar with the name “Affiliated Distributors,” this organization plays a major role – behind the scenes – when it comes to buying industrial supplies from independent distributors like IBT Industrial Solutions. Our partnership with Affiliated Distributors (AD) allows us to continue providing our customers with the best solutions to keep production rates high and costs low.
- See why AD Chose IBT as “Member of the Year” for 2016
Who Is Affiliated Distributors (AD)?
AD is the largest contractor and industrial products wholesale buying group in North America. Founded in 1981, it provides independent distributors and industrial product manufacturers with support and resources to accelerate growth. Today, Affiliated Distributors has annual sales of over $34 billion—and more than 580+ independently owned members across 7 industries and 3 countries.
AD is made up of a community of entrepreneurs, striving to help people succeed in their local marketplace. Our businesses share common goals of keeping up with industry trends and building relationships, and therefore have seen that “together” – as they say – really is better. Because of our relationship with Affiliated Distributors, our customers can always count on better services, pricing and product selection.
How Does AD Enhance Your Buying Experience?
You get better pricing and buying power
Affiliated Distributors is a dynamic, $34 billion buying group that has the power to command the best pricing and rebates in the industry, through its high-volume purchases. So when you go to your local industrial supplier (like IBT) to buy bearings, gearboxes, belting, or safety supplies, you know you’re getting competitive pricing.
You get to keep your local, friendly service provider—who already knows your business
Even though you’re enjoying some of the best pricing in the industry (thanks to AD’s significant buying power), you still get to keep your favorite local IBT technician—who’s been visiting your plant for years, and already knows your business, inside and out.
It’s like having thousands of specialists, ready to solve your toughest operational problems
When you experience downtime, sluggish productivity, or constant repairs and breakdowns, IBT can solve it with our own team of 400+ people—or call on the other 60,000 employees in the Affiliated Distributors network to quickly identify the best, most cost-effective solution for your specific challenge.
“It’s the brain power of many, versus the brain power of one,” said Tom Blue, Vice President of Member Relations and Marketing for the Industrial Division of AD. “IBT and AD working together helps customers be more productive. Plus, you get better attention and more timely support from manufacturers and suppliers when there is an issue—because of our collective scale and buying power.”
It covers 7 important industrial areas
AD has comprehensive products and services from suppliers in 7 different vertical markets, including:
- Bearings and power transmission
- Building materials
- Pipes, valves, and fittings
- General industrial (incl. safety)
It covers facilities all across the U.S.
Even though you may work with IBT locally, you get the benefit of AD’s wide geographical presence throughout North America—3,837 locations across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. So no matter where your plant is located, you can still realize the benefits of Affiliated Distributors.
You get all the industry’s best practices and technology
Through its partnership with Affiliated Distributors, IBT has access to the engineers and product specialists at 580 other member locations, across 7 different industries. Our customers always get the benefit of hearing about industry best practices and new equipment through regular education, informational programs and networking meetings.
“Each of AD’s 7 industrial verticals has network meetings every year to share knowledge, best practices, problem-solving situations, ideas, and solutions,” said Gary Porter, the Safety and Warehouse Equipment Group Director at IBT. “You get the benefit of all that cutting-edge knowledge and technology, which can be a real competitive advantage.”
More product choices—right in your neighborhood
Independent industrial distributors, like IBT, play an important role in the health of local manufacturers and warehouses—by supplying parts from many different suppliers on short notice. (For example, IBT offers over 1 million different industrial product SKU’s, with many items in-stock at our 36 local stocking locations across the Midwest.)
It helps your local, independent industrial distributor be stronger and healthier
Affiliated Distributors helps independent distributors stay more profitable and strong, leaving them less vulnerable to acquisition by a “big box chain.” That means you get to continue receiving all the inventory and service provided by your local distributor.
“Our customers today require a wide variety of complex service solutions,” said Jeff Cloud, the Vice President of Marketing for IBT. “Historically, independent distributors are better equipped to handle those highly technical requests. AD helps to make sure that the independent channel continues to thrive, so that customers aren’t left with only the price-focused, big-box distributors that have little (or no) expertise in solving problems and developing custom solutions.”