Murray Hill & New Providence, New Jersey, U.S., December 01, 2014 – A format change created greater interaction between distributor members and vendors at this year’s Linde Distributor Association (LDA) annual meeting held in Miami, Florida, leading to a much more productive meeting.
LDA, established in 1993, enables its independent gases and equipment distributor members to leverage their purchasing power to achieve volume discounts and earn rebates from equipment suppliers. The annual meeting provides the opportunity for LDA members to share ideas for business improvement and to network with preferred vendors.
“We listened and they responded to make the meeting one of the most effective we’ve had in the 21-year history of the association,” said Mark Falconer, LDA co-chairman and president of Minneapolis Oxygen Company, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “All participants agreed at last year’s meeting that increased interaction would greatly improve the effectiveness of the meeting. So, that’s what we gave them.”
The agenda for the two and a half day meeting was a significant departure from previous meetings. Vendors were given podium time to provide their profiles and to present their various services, product lines and rebate programs; they also introduced special sales available only to meeting attendees. The new format also included an extended trade-show-style event that gave vendors and distributors more time for face-to-face meetings. “The feedback after the meeting was very positive,” Falconer said.
Terry Hall, LDA co-chairman and Linde distributor consultant, said, “The new format created an atmosphere that enhanced the all-important networking activities of the association. I think everyone who attended thought the new format provided a greater opportunity to exchange information and ideas that will have a positive impact on their businesses.”
Attendees at the meeting were also introduced to the new and vastly improved version of its website, www.ldabuy.com. “Our members were the impetus for the upgrade,” said Jim Lisiecki, Distributor Program manager for Linde LLC, which provides the LDA with administrative support, participates in vendor selection and programs, manages committees and provides guidance on best practices and changing trends in the industry.“They wanted a web site that gave them more control of content and enhance their ability to increase transactions and to grow their business.” The new site has a vastly improved Directory of members, a completely revamped Buyers’ Guide, and a clearing house for distributors who wish to sell used equipment or overstocked accessories to other member distributors – among other improvements.
Vendor of the Year
Based on service, delivery and sales communication, Weldcote Metals, of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, was chosen Vendor of the Year. Weldcote Metals, a VOY winner for the second time, is a wholesaler of welding supplies selling only to distributors throughout the U.S. and various parts of the world. In receiving the award, Bill Roland, president and CEO, said, “We pride ourselves in our attention to customers. We strive to understand their requirements and satisfy them through a variety of products that stand out for their quality and reliability. I think this award indicates we’re accomplishing our mission for LDA members. I and all Weldcote Metals employees are proud to receive this recognition”
Since its inception in 1993, LDA has enabled independent distributors to leverage the purchasing power of an association to achieve volume discounts and earn rebates. Linde LLC provides the LDA with administrative support, participates in vendor selection and programs, manages committees and provides guidance on best practices and changing trends in the industry.
LDA has 70 member companies who have over 400 retail locations throughout the U.S. Combined, LDA members have made over $1 billion in annual purchases and have earned some $27 million in rebates since the group was established. Products purchased include welding and cutting equipment, consumables, and gas containment and handling equipment.
This year’s LDA meeting was sponsored by preferred vendors CK Worldwide, Chart Industries, Cryovation, Cyl-Tec, Direct Wire & Cable, Dynaflux, Flame Technologies, Gas Innovations, H & H Sales, Hougen Manufacturing, Hypertherm, Metabo, Norris Cylinders, Norton Abrasives, ORS Nasco, Ratermann Manufacturing, Safe-T-Cart, Miller-Smith Equipment, John Tillman Company, Label Solutions, Victor Technologies, Washington Alloys, Weldcote Metals, Weldcraft, Worthington Industries, 3M Hornell, American Torch Tip Company, ArcOne, ACE - Associated Equipment Corp., United Abrasives/Sait and Welding Material Sales.
Linde LLC is a member of The Linde Group. In the 2013 financial year, The Linde Group generated revenue of $23.1 billion (EUR 16.655 bn), making it the largest gases and engineering company in the world with approximately 63,500 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The company is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.