In our annual catch-up with IADA’s Jamie March, we delved deeper into the recent opening of their NDC (National Distributor Centre) and the growth of the IADA community with new manufacturer members.
What’s new? What has IADA been up to in the last 12 months?
The last 12 months have flown by. Where did 2021 go? Everything has been so positive, and IADA have continued full throttle on our journey since we last spoke to you guys at BearingNet. It has been manic, but I’m not complaining at all.
Why did you decide to open the NDC?
It is something that IADA have talked about for many years. We have been so, so, so close on occasions but never committed. We always knew the advantages that the NDC would bring to our organisation, but it was always a case of what level of financial investment would the project need, who would own the stock? Where would an NDC be situated? Are we going to supply the trade? What do we do with profits? Losses if unsuccessful and so on and so on. All these questions needed answering and we have now solved them.
IADA hasn’t changed but evolved and taken a new direction, it is a group now brimming with ambitious members, many are now second generation who want to drive IADA and our businesses to the next level. An IADA NDC offers so many solutions that not only the IADA members, but our Approved Suppliers take advantage of. We knew an NDC would make IADA so much more appealing to suppliers, new and existing as it would be the link that galvanises 26 companies and 55 branch locations and gives IADA a home. Since we announced our plans to the industry, we haven’t been proven wrong. The reaction and excitement we have seen from manufacturers have been staggering! The knowledge, the experience, the already outstanding service levels now being backed with an NDC to support anything and everything our network requires is a game-changer!
Are all IADA members using it as a joint warehouse?
Yes. If you are an IADA member, it is your stock to take when required.
How does it work logistically, is there software in place to connect all members?
We have invested heavily in our software system. Integrating 26 businesses was always a challenge but we have always managed these administration demands to make IADA integrated as one and what it is today. With the IT capabilities available to us, we have produced a portal that all members have access to so we can see live stock information at the NDC.
The software will also gather all IADA members sales information so we can use the data collected to our advantage. Like all distribution warehouses we have transportation arrangements to deliver products to the member, or their customers, directly on a same or next day service. Not only does the portal and IT system connect the members but it can now can service their customers on an even higher level with the options available from the NDC.
Is it purely warehouse space or is there an office as well?
No, it is not just a warehouse – far from it!
It has a large sales office on the downstairs floor ready to support the members, with the second floor boasting a superb meeting facility, and this space will also be the home of our IADA Academy. This spacious room has all the latest IT equipment and connectivity for video meetings and, when required, the furniture in this meeting room can be turned into a classroom in minutes allowing us to host all of our training days ‘in house’, which is another added advantage to the facility. As the NDC is so central and conveniently located close to the motorway network, the meeting facilities are available for our suppliers to use if they wish.
How big is it?
It’s just below 7,000 sqft. What’s more, when the mezzanine floor has been fitted, the air space will be turned into another large area, for even more racking and storage systems; therefore, we will be almost doubling the floor space. It is the perfect facility for IADA, and it will comfortably allow us to serve our members and our members’ customers directly, if required, as well as our national accounts as well.
The last two years have been challenging for a lot of businesses, but IADA grew in strength?
Yes, that would be a fair assessment. We have seen three members acquire businesses to increase their presence in their respective areas and four members have opened brand new branch locations as they expand their companies which automatically increases IADA’s UK coverage. Additionally, we have added three world-class manufacturers to the IADA supply portfolio and there are more on the way. So it has been a significant period for IADA!
That is exciting! Please tell us more about the new manufacturers.
The infrastructure to supply 26 member companies and their 55 branch locations throughout the UK via the NDC has really excited many manufacturers for obvious logistical reasons. In addition, the NDC has made products from our approved suppliers even easier for IADA members to buy. As the Directors of IADA fund the NDC, each member will distribute the brands, and product ranges selected to go into the NDC at every opportunity as it is an extension of their own store.
The solutions and new opportunities the NDC offers have greatly appealed to many old and new manufacturers. For example, because IADA can now share stock and distribute products easily throughout the UK, IADA have recently been appointed as the Official Exclusive Distributor of Codex MSC for the UK. Codex MSC is a new brand to IADA that will work nicely alongside what members already have access to in our portfolio. The Codex MSC range will be available from stock at the NDC to all IADA members and UK Trade when required. Conversations with other bearing and power transmission manufacturers about the opportunities that the NDC can bring are always ongoing. Since announcing our excellent facility based in Leicestershire, we have made agreements with lubrication giants Rocol and Shell to stock and distribute their products from the NDC. PPE, tools and other MRO products ranges are all on the way. It really is an exciting time at IADA.
Are you open to new members?
Always. IADA is growing quickly, and we are always interested in talking to independent MRO distributors who want to come and join our group. Every member of IADA knows that being part of our network offers a huge benefit to their business and now, with the addition of the NDC, there really is no limit to what a company can achieve by being a part of our group.
What are the plans for the next few years ahead?
To still be IADA and offer a great service to our customers. Our consistency in everything we do is the pillar to our success, so we won’t be deviating from this too much. Instead, we will be increasing brands and stock levels constantly at the NDC in order to support our members, increase our spend with IADA Approved Suppliers and further improve our service to national accounts.
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