Rosen Plumbing Supply Co. knows that its customers have no shortage of options when it comes to procuring plumbing and heating supplies. The Tacoma, Wash.-based company distinguishes itself from big-box stores and other distributors by being the most knowledgeable in its region and meeting its clients’ needs. 

“I think we have a cohesive team that really understands that the customer is the key, and customer service is how we will separate ourselves from the competition,” Managing Partner Adam Rosen says. “Everyone can buy the same items and at the same price, so what we try to do is be the best at service. We’re big enough to buy correctly, but small enough to react quickly, which is a good combination that has served us well.”

For one of its customers – a large mechanical contractor – the company developed a staging process that involves separating and staging pipes and other plumbing supplies for multistory office and residential projects by floor and by room. “We worked together with our customer to build a delivery system that allows them to work and receive materials more efficiently,” he adds. 

Like many tables across the country, dik Bolger’s table is covered with college brochures, jewelry catalogs or healthcare information packets. The difference is that the marketing materials on Bolger’s table aren’t delivered in the deluge of daily mail, but are his own products. 

Bolger is the owner and CEO of Bolger Vision Beyond Print, a Minneapolis company that is one of the major players in printing and customized technology services. As he thumbs through the finished products, Bolger is not just reading the information; he’s checking the image quality and feeling the texture of each page. It’s a sensation that cannot be replicated by a smart phone or a tweet, and one that continues to make print a viable part of the digital future. “Print has an intrusive quality that makes it a critical part of any marketing campaign,” Bolger says.

A network of independent distributors and manufacturers of construction and industrial products, AD strives to facilitate growth for its members and suppliers. The organization helps independent distributors to compete against national and international chains, and it works with manufacturers so they can build and protect their brands, introduce new products and diversify their channel strategy.

AD includes more than 550 independently owned members, spanning 3,605 locations, seven industries and three countries. Together, they have collective annual sales in excess of $31 billion. The organization’s member distributors may be independent, but they are also the independent market leaders within their local communities. 

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