A. O. Smith named Ferguson’s Vendor of the Year 2017


12/21/2017
Ferguson Vendor of the Year 2017

Milwaukee, Wisc. — For a company driven by the value of providing superior customer service, it is an honor that Ferguson, A. O. Smith’s largest wholesale distributor, named A. O. Smith the 2017 Residential Trade Plumbing Vendor of the Year.

The award is based on multiple criteria, including overall sales performance, channel marketing engagement and execution. 

“This award is a reminder that we have a great team,” said Norm Christner, national account manager for Ferguson. “Earning this award is just a byproduct of our team’s hard work. It is nice to be recognized.”

The A. O. Smith team was recognized in front of 200 of its peers at Ferguson’s Vendor Summit in October 2017, a conference of its top-level vendors. Within the residential trade business category, A. O. Smith won against the 150 other eligible vendors. 

“The positive results that allowed us to win this award confirm that we are working on the right things with the customer,” reflected Rick Hawk, vice president of national account sales. 

Norm also believes the company truly was able to stand out from the crowd because of its focus on responsive and superior customer service, citing how several departments work together to fulfill orders successfully. 

In the last year, A. O. Smith saw double-digit growth in Ferguson. Residential tank water heater sales were up 14 percent; commercial water heaters were up 13 percent; and tankless water heaters grew over 100 percent. The significant growth of the tankless water heaters was a result of greater alignment within Ferguson’s key markets, as well as other company initiatives focusing on territory and plumbing sales representatives and Process Excellence Process (PEP).  

“Ferguson is a very dynamic company with many opportunities to grow our business together,” explained Hawk. “As long as we continue to execute on our growth strategy, we will continue to have excellent results.”

Ferguson is the largest whole distributor of commercial and residential plumbing supplies and the second largest distributor of waterworks products in the United States with a focus on vendor relations. The A. O. Smith and State brands account for the majority of Ferguson’s hot water business. As a platinum member of Ferguson’s Team Rewards, A. O. Smith has access to special promotional opportunities that help increase brand awareness and sales, as well as special customer events that help foster relationships.

“At Ferguson, our history of success is due in large part to the value we place on our vendor relationships,” according to its website. “When vendors partner with Ferguson, we go the extra mile to make sure that there is growth for all parties involved.”

The team is already said to be on track to set new records with Ferguson this fiscal year, according to Christner. 

“Receiving this award is gratifying, but the teamwork from the organization that made this award possible is very motivating,” said Hawk. “Winning is contagious in a very positive way.”