Centon Sales Corp. has been dedicated to serving manufacturers, wholesale customers and contractors since it opened its doors in 1992. 

The Mississauga, Ontario-based company represents several manufacturers of plumbing products serving the residential, retail and commercial sectors. Centon Sales’ territory includes Toronto as well as the central Ontario municipalities of Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Oshawa, Peterborough, Belleville, Barrie, Bracebridge, Parry Sound, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay and Sudbury. 

For more than 50 years, electrical distributors in the Northeast have come to rely on Joseph E. Biben Sales Corp. to supply the crucial equipment and components they need to keep power flowing in the region. President Gene Biben says longevity is evidence of the company’s hard work and dedication to serving its customers with the best selection of electrical distribution components from the best and most popular manufacturers in the industry. 

From its headquarters in Philadelphia, Joseph E. Biben Sales serves numerous electrical distribution companies. Biben says the company’s competition in the region is strong and getting stronger all the time. Although consolidation means there are fewer players in the region as time goes on, it also means that those players are becoming more formidable. 

ROI Marketing is investing in improvements that will allow it to enhance not only its own operations, but also its customers’ capabilities. The company’s goals for 2016 include setting up a regular weekly training session for contractors, builders and engineers who use and install the products ROI provides to wholesale distributors. 

The company is a manufacturer’s representative for decorative kitchen and bath products, plumbing fixtures and heating and air conditioning products. ROI serves a territory that includes Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Products represented by the company are used in residential, commercial and industrial applications.

Rich-Tomkins Company’s sales staff members are like athletes: They receive coaching to achieve their highest possible level of performance. “What sets us apart is our professional sales organization – we have brought in third-party professional sales coaches who work with our staff,” President Stew Chaffee says. 

The coaches offer sales staff members regular continuing education programs that enhance their skills and work with them to ensure they have the right aptitude for the job. “Statistics show that 55 percent of people in sales shouldn’t be,” he adds. “We screen hard to make sure the aptitude is there for sales, and train our salespeople on the back-end before sending them out.”

In the complicated, ever-evolving world of electronic technology, an OEM that is trying to build an electronic device sometimes has trouble locating a supplier for its components. Similarly, companies that manufacture electromechanical or electronic components have difficulty knowing what components are being sought by OEMs. Bringing the two together with product expertise and market knowledge are the manufacturer’s representatives of O’Donnell Associates North.

“Our primary job is to help the manufacturer create demand in the marketplace for their products,” President Mark Conley explains. “We do that primarily by calling on the engineering community to understand what our customers are building, and then offer products that match what they need for their product. We match up the manufacturer with the customer and are extremely involved throughout that process.

At Northwinds Corp., every employee strives to do the right thing for clients. “We walk our talk,” the company says. “We always do what we say we’re going to do. That’s an important thing for us.”

Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, the company represents manufacturers in the electrical industry, including General Electric Co.’s Lighting Division, The Eden Corp. and Lennox International Inc. Northwinds Corp. started operations in the 1990s as a service provider for Affiliated Distributors.

The company followed that path for 11 years. “In 2007, we changed our format to become a traditional sales agency, and the rest is history,” it says.

With fewer people pursing vocational careers, trades-oriented businesses such as MJM Associates Inc. are putting a premium on recruiting capable employees. “One of the biggest challenges we have are the lack of qualified people entering the industry,” says Cam Marklowitz, president of sales and marketing for MJM Associates, a company that represents manufacturers in the plumbing, heating, ventilation, refrigeration and air conditioning industries.

A lack of knowledgeable, skilled workers could hinder MJM Associates’ ability to grow and provide a high level of service for its wholesaler and contractor customers. This is why the company is assisting trade schools in recruiting high school students. MJM Associates employees travel to vocational schools to lead training classes and Marklowitz serves in an advisory board at a community trade school near the company’s headquarters in Centennial, Colo.

Founded by Roy Hollabaugh Sr. in 1945 in Portland, Ore., Hollabaugh Brothers & Associates (HBA) is today a fourth-generation family business. The company’s aim is to be the top manufacturer’s representative in the plumbing and HVAC wholesale industry in the Pacific Northwest through superior marketing, sales, service and product knowledge.

“Each generation of family leadership has made the commitment to strengthen and improve upon the great opportunity of Hollabaugh Brothers & Associates,” President Chad Hollabaugh says. “We’ve made the commitment to a smooth transition from one generation to the next, and we always recognize that long-term relationships are built on trust.  Trust is a major foundation block that is crucial to a strong family business.”

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