In the words of own.. Rod Steier..
Welcome to the “Get to Know Your Board of Directors!”
My thought is that the desire was for us to explain why Sphere 1 has been a great thing and to characterize how we’ve monetized membership. But people that know me realize that asking me to do what is expected is often a fool’s errand.
Yes, Sphere 1 has helped Duo-Fast Northeast grow. We were a “nail and staple house” prior to our joining, and we are still primarily a “nail and staple house” post engagement. We do carry power tools now, certainly not to the degree that many members feature power tools, but we do sell them. And prior to Sphere 1, our bulk screw business was totally focused on woodworking screws, and now our greater dollars are more structural screws. I don’t pretend to be an expert on vast areas of products within our industry. Since Sphere 1 has vetted suppliers, I shouldn’t have to worry about the quality, or terms of any product from one of our suppliers.
Showroom at Duo-Fast Northeast / New Hampshire Tool
Duo-Fast Northeast’s team that have been with us for 20+ years. Not pictured: Linda Beaulieu, John Mello, Bill Devereaux.
Certainly, part of the key to Sphere 1 is the deepening of relationships with suppliers. At our May meetings we meet with key decision makers within our vendors, in actuality I already had strong relationships with the folks in the staple and nail world, but expanding beyond our little world was largely accomplished at our May meetings.
But the real value to Sphere 1 is the people you get to know and learn from. We purchased New Hampshire Tool from Craig Cole who sat on the Air Fastening Committee with me. Unfortunately, Craig died a few years after we purchased them from cancer, but that purchase and the friendship I had with Craig is vital to our ongoing growth.
Steier Family working at DFNE
My Dad used to say, “Don’t be afraid to listen to people smarter than you,” which generally meant that I should listen to him. But within Sphere 1 there are so many people with specific knowledge on products and markets from whom anyone would learn so much. We were dipping our toes into the e-commerce world when I started talking with some of the people within Sphere 1 that are much more familiar with that platform than me. I learned from other people’s mistakes and successes – so I didn’t need to repeat the costly mistakes.
My participation in the Air Fastener Committee helped me better understand trends within the industry; warnings on what products/suppliers to stay away from, and probably most importantly close friendships that have stood the test of time (and retirement.)
I could go on for a very long-time thanking people within Sphere 1 that have helped me to become a smarter and therefore better leader, but unless your name is on that list, you probably don’t want to read it, and for those that have been so incredibly helpful, thank you. Your sharing of your knowledge is very much appreciated, and I will reciprocate in any possible way.
Distribution sales, in many ways today, is like entering the Octagon. You need friends to come through as a winner. Sphere 1 helps supply the relationship so we can all win. Simple as that.