This Wholesaler Of The Year reaches out to customers in various ways.

F.W. Webb Co. has always been Internet savvy, being one of the industry’s pioneers when it introduced Webb Connect in 1994.

With Webb Connect, contractors can shop for products, check pricing, place an order and download specs directly from Connect’s Web site 24/7.

The Webb Connect site is currently undergoing a revamp as are all the Web sites for the company’s many divisions.

“Many have their own distinct look,” says Chip Slattery, database marketing coordinator. “We’re planning to have a much more up-to-date look and a more unified look for all the sites so that people know that F.W. Webb is clearly behind these separate compa-nies.”

Slattery also gave us a rundown on what any company with a Web site has to do these days in the Age of Google to be recognized by the powerful search engine. Many sites will also take on some of the attributes any Web shopper takes for granted these days, such as easier navigation and a helpful list of ancillary products that might help complete the job.

Of course, the word “Web” is another useful word to highlight many of the other ways Webb reaches out to provide service to its contractors:
  • Open concept counter. These areas are featured in every Webb location and let contractors gather items as easily as they buy groceries. Some recent developments are more seasonal promotions throughout the year.

  • Dealer’s Choice. Contractors can turn over their inventory headaches to a company that knows more than a little about properly handling the chore. The Dealer’s Choice program includes taking care of the paperwork and delivering material daily to the contractor’s office or to his delivery vehicle.

  • Vendor-managed inventory. VMI offers storeroom solutions and is easy to implement. Webb will modernize and organize your storeroom, lower inventory investment, and free up warehouse space. The company will automate your stockroom with a bar code system improving timeliness, employee effectiveness, accuracy and speed of delivery.

  • Pure Pro. Webb invested in its own private label four years ago when it brought out a line of bath and kitchen faucets called Pure Pro. Pure Pro now includes a line of heating products, parts, related chemicals and tools. For example, the Plug n’ Go indirect water heater includes a Taco 007 circulator, preplumbed and wired to control. The piping contractors need to install the heater, which is also already factory-installed with 3/4-inch sweat unions. The Plug n’ Go includes a 1/4-inch turn drain.

  • Education and training. The company’s headquarters in Bedford, Mass., includes the Roger W. Pope Education Center, one of the most spacious and well-equipped facilities of its kind we’ve seen in our travels. Branches are also key educational resources for Webb customers. Most of the branches will have local reps come in to explain new products.

  • Webb Expo. There are actually two of these. The expo held in Barre, Vt., is the largest and oldest, started in 1993. The other expo is held in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.