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D&H Distributing Launches Yearlong Centennial Countdown Celebration

D&H Distributing has a year of events, trainings and promotions planned as it counts down toward its 100th year in business.

Although 2017 has just begun, D&H Distributing is already counting down to next year, its 100th year in business.

In preparation for that milestone, D&H kicked off a yearlong ’Centennial Countdown,’ which the company will celebrate throughout 2017 with employee celebrations and customer events, trainings and promotions.

This week D&H kicked off the first of the festivities, launching a new website and video messages from Co-Presidents Dan and Michael Schwab addressing the company’s resellers, dealers and manufacturing partners throughout North America.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Partners Applaud D&H’s New Push Into Cloud Services ]

’This is a very rejuvenating year for us. … Heading into our 99th year has really allowed us to take a step back and go, ’How do we paint a picture for the future?’ … What are the things that got us here and how do we continue to invest in those things?’ ’ Dan Schwab said in an interview with CRN.

The Harrisburg, Pa.-based distributor was founded in 1918 by the Schwab brothers’ grandfather, David Schwab, as a small tire retreading company, Schwab said. Although his family’s company has made many necessary adjustments to remain competitive over the years, it has always remained focused on keeping a foundation of thoughtful product expansion and customer focus, he said.

D&H’s focus on its customers is one of the reasons the distributor has gained a reputation as a preferred partner for customers like Ben Johnson, CEO of Griffin Ga.-based Liberty Technology.

Johnson said D&H’s practice of dedicating a representative to each of its clients is one reason he enjoys working with the distributor.

With other distribution partners, Johnson said he felt like he was ’kicked around from one rep team to another. … It was like getting remarried and divorced four times a year,’ he said.

But, since partnering with D&H, Liberty Technology hasn’t switched reps at all. Johnson said that connection has allowed him to create a working relationship with D&H that feels personal and helps him get business done comfortably.

Creating a relationship with partners is an important part of D&H’s foundation, according to Schwab. D&H has always been focused on delivering personal attention to its customers by giving each one a dedicated service rep and focusing on driving customer success by carefully choosing the products it carries, he said.

’We don’t carry everyone, so we want the partners we have to win,’ he said, noting that D&H always tries to choose product lines with the potential services, solutions and applications in mind so everyone involved can make a higher margin.

The formula is simple, he said: ’If they are not successful, we are not successful.’

As D&H looks ahead, Schwab said the distributor will continue its focus on partners and customers.

The distributor will build on the services it offers its reseller customers by expanding on initiatives like the pre-sales support programs it launched last year, growing education opportunities with new events and online webinars, and continuing its expansion into new technologies, he said.

’We want to keep our eyes on what’s around the corner. Today, we are focused on the Internet of Things and what it means from a consumer standpoint. … We see a huge opportunity in device as a service. We are taking that foundational customer service model and helping our customers and our manufacturers move on the opportunity,’ Schwab said.

’That is why D&H has lasted as long as they have,’ said Liberty Technology's Johnson. ’They haven’t been afraid to go into new markets. … The diversity, the ability to pivot and stay agile and successfully enter new markets is the key to their longevity.’

A timeline of those new markets includes selling the first color TVs in the 1950s, the first home PCs in the 1980s and now focusing on the cloud and the Internet of Things.

’Like Gretzky said, we will continue to look where the puck is going to be,’ Schwab said.

’As we move into the next century we are focused on having the strongest foundation possible to support an even larger organization, but we are not going to expand at the expense of that foundation,’ he said.

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