Distribution Talk
Distribution Talk
Nov 25, 2020
Ed Flemmons on distributor buying groups, finance, and fostering relationships
Play • 36 min

“You just have to play the niche and work with what you can and take the good with the bad.” Ed Flemmons 

Ed Flemmons takes poolside particulars seriously. As president of Pool Contractors Supply, Inc. headquartered in Memphis, TN, he maintains a firm grip on the company’s financials as well as its future. 

Not one to lounge around, Ed’s responsibilities extend to his buying group, where he heads the largest cooperative of independent pool and spa distributors in North America. Jason and Ed discuss changes to the industry (hint: the faces are getting younger); and promoting value at both ends of the supply chain.

“There's a variety of components that add value to the distribution chain.” Ed works every component, twice. First, from his post as president of both PCS, Inc., the family business he married into over thirty years ago. Second, on behalf of WINDO Group, Inc, the Wholesale Independent National Distributors Organization of which he is also president. Each position benefits significantly from his master’s degree in finance - an ace in the hole where bankers are concerned. 

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Distribution Talk is produced by The Distribution Team, a consulting services firm dedicated to helping wholesale distribution clients remove barriers to profitability, generate wealth and achieve personal goals.   

http://www.distributionteam.com

This episode was edited & mixed by The Creative Impostor Studios. 

Connect with Jason Bader on LinkedIn.

Connect with Ed Flemmons on LinkedIn.

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Ultimately, Ed says real satisfaction comes from fostering relationships, whether with contractor clients, manufacturers, or group members. “I'm generally concerned about our group members, and I think that shows to them too. It's something that I just take personally because I feel like I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure everybody's successful and make sure the group’s successful.” 

Family businesses like PCS often stand (or fall) on the relationships forged between generations. With his brother-in-law’s recent retirement, Ed found himself a new partner: his nephew. “I had to back off and do some real soul searching because anytime I'm in a partnership, I want somebody that is the polar opposite of myself.” 

The “opposites” idea didn’t go precisely according to Ed’s plan, however. “It's difficult when you...we didn't get to choose each other; we were family first and business partner second.” The pair have since settled into their complimentary C-suite roles, underscoring Ed’s commitment to strengthening relationships across the board.

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