What is Liberty Supply
Liberty Supply is a B2B distributor focused on maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) needs of hydronic and steam systems that heat and cool commercial facilities.
The current landscape
COVID has had a systemic impact on supply chains across industries. The Global Pandemic didn't ruin supply chains. Rather, it exposed the Achilles heel of a universally adopted "Just In Time" manufacturing and stocking strategy. As seen across industries in both business and personal lives, the pain is real. The delays are real. The need for creative strategies to resolve supply chain issues is imperative. In few industries is this more imperative than the "needs business" of commercial HVAC repair and replacement. Building infrastructure health and uptime doesn't care about supply chain issues. Distributors must take an approach to supply chain management that rivals the innovation brought to the United States by the "Just In Time" strategy. Liberty Supply has crafted a playbook to resolve pain in the supply chain and keep buildings running. Digital Transformation is the other sweeping industry change. The convergence of mechanical and technical disciplines with IIoT (the "Industrial Internet of Things") is starting to see adoption. New technologies are furthering progression toward far more efficient buildings and making predictive maintenance a reality. Connected equipment that communicates with the cloud to store and analyze data across a global array of deployments is a fundamental change. Machine learning is used to better understand failure cycles and proactively inform building stakeholders and technicians of problems with critical infrastructure before they occur. Historically, a reactive approach to maintenance and repair was the standard operating procedure. Today, connected equipment allows a proactive approach to be taken. Routine maintenance can be scheduled based on environmental conditions, asset utilization, and failure potential. With this, technicians have a much better understanding of what needs to be done before they enter a job site.
Origin of Liberty Supply
Liberty Supply was founded in 2021 by a group of industry experts who left management roles at their former employer to form a growth-minded, customer-centric organization based on five core principles and three foundational pillars of knowledge, communication, and speed. The team sought to build an environment where the sweeping changes in commercial HVAC could be addressed through innovation. Liberty Supply has a clear long-term vision of how distributors must evolve to differentiate themselves and provide value to customers.
Liberty Supply's approach
As the landscape for distributors continues to change, so too must their approach. Liberty Supply's CEO has a background in software engineering. Much of how the company thinks about solutions is informed by this experience. Liberty Supply has built redundancies into its supply chain so that product availability is not relegated to a single source. The company has created reporting tools and processes around lead times and promise dates to proactively inform customers of order statuses. Account representatives have mapped customers' facilities and created custom product catalogs to reduce purchasing friction. And continuing education among the team has been elevated to a tier 1 objective. Fundamentally, Liberty Supply's approach to problem-solving focuses on people and technology.
During a period of digital transformation, conventional wisdom has shifted focus away from people to technology and automation. Liberty Supply’s approach starts with people. The Company's customer-first approach is not simply a platitude. Liberty Supply literally starts with customers first. Understanding the needs of customers on a human level through 1:1 customer engagement, curiosity, humility, and intent builds a concrete understanding of the problems they face. From there, the team works backward to develop solutions. Liberty Supply’s customer-first approach builds lasting relationships on a foundation of trust. A foundation that is strengthened by our depth of knowledge around the product offering, clear communication during the lifecycle of transactions, and quick responses to customer inquiries - speed.
"Liberty Supply’s customer-first approach is rooted in first principles thinking."
By starting with customers, the team does not predicate solutions on fixed sets of assumptions. This first-principles thinking modeled by Liberty Supply encourages a culture of innovation.
Starting with customers provides a clear understanding of the problems faced. With this understanding, the team is positioned to question foundational assumptions that cannot be deduced or misguided by other assumptions.
Absent conventional assumptions, the team collaborates on solutions that will differentiate the customer experience. This allows the company to think in terms that don't mirror the competition, thereby differentiating Liberty Supply.
Shaping these solutions involves the team breaking down broad-based problems into incremental units of accomplishment. Each of these units has definitive acceptance criteria and can be driven from start to finish in a short timeframe. When completed, they are composed to create solutions that drive value.
Using technology to assist customers
At Liberty Supply, technology is not used to supplant human beings. It is used to enable them. This clear recognition of the role that technology plays is fundamental to Liberty Supply's growth plan. Computers rely on the quality of inputs to determine the quality of outputs. By starting from a customer-first approach, Liberty Supply increases the quality of inputs, thereby increasing the quality of outputs. This maximizes technology’s ability to identify patterns, confirm assumptions, and reveal meaningful insights. Questions such as how a particular customer’s problems align with or contrast those faced by their cohorts can be answered by analyzing high-quality normalized data sets at scale. Understanding the proper role of technology, combined with a customer-first approach, puts human beings in a position to ask questions and derive strategic insights.
A customer story
A critical aspect of Liberty Supply's strategy is being proactive. Recently, a mechanical contractor ordered a gate valve to replace a failing one. It was a large valve, so the supply was thin. When Liberty Supply received the valve to ship out to the customer, it had been damaged in transit. The team communicated this to the customer, assuring him that Liberty Supply would exhaust all options to get him the product by the promised delivery date. The management team got directly in touch with the valve manufacturer's factory operations. The factory overnighted a replacement valve that same day so that Liberty Supply could meet the promised delivery date. The next day, Liberty Supply received the valve and a member of the team drove the product to the customer's job site to deliver on that promise. The mechanical contractor was floored. Liberty Supply has earned their business, and more importantly, their trust and respect. Customers understand that mistakes happen. Liberty Supply makes sure that when they do, swift action is taken to correct the problem.
Meet the team
In any small business - startup or long-standing - the business is the team. This is especially true of a distributor. There is no significant IP. Liberty Supply is not Disney. Liberty Supply is Laura Eck, marketing manager. Liberty Supply is Josh Redding, sales engineer. Liberty supply is Olivia Bontems, account manager. Liberty Supply is the team. Work is part of life, not separate from it. When the majority of a person's waking hours are spent away from loved ones, the work must be worth it. The environment must challenge each team member to grow and derive personal fulfillment. This approach to Liberty Supply's culture has resulted in a very close-knit team. A team built on trust that holds each other accountable and pushes each other to always be improving. Liberty Supply's team is made of eleven people. Below is an overview of the leadership team. John Dugan, CEO - Vision John has a background in software engineering, operations, and marketing. He thrives in leadership roles. John’s vision for any business revolves around its people and what they can accomplish as a team. By building a culture of collaboration and execution rooted in unwavering principles, John facilitates his team in doing their best work. John’s core competencies of business strategy and software engineering allows him to leverage technology to accelerate human endeavors. He has the vision of where a company can go and the ability to chart a course to get there. During his eight-month tenure as Chief Operating Officer for State Supply, and in the midst of a global pandemic, John led the company to seven consecutive months of year-over-year sales growth, achieving five consecutive all-time records. In his last active month of April 2021, John led the team at State Supply to achieve total revenue of $1.27 million, 77% year-over-year growth. John is responsible for taking State Supply from a lifestyle business generating revenue of $7 million per year in 2007, to a high-performance growth business with a $17 million revenue annualized run rate in 2021.
Patrick Carder, CRO - Sales Patrick is an experienced sales executive who cut his teeth in the B2B marketspace. He worked his way up from an entry-level inside sales representative to Director of Sales at Wurth over the course of 15 years. During this period, Patrick was a key participant and leader in a high revenue growth culture that drove revenues from $30 million to $130 million during his tenure. Patrick honed the skills necessary to deliver on strategic goals by utilizing data analytics to execute growth strategies. His leadership at Wurth resulted in a minimum of 10% growth in sales year after year. Through relationship-oriented leadership, Patrick champions his team and pushes them to succeed. He identified and onboarded key talent into the organization which was critical in the consistent growth. He created strategic sales verticals within the core business, resulting in new revenue channels and regional development. His skills in building and maintaining customer and supplier relationships consistently drive sales. During his time as Director of Sales at State Supply, Patrick rebuilt the sales team and led them to increase year-over-year sales from -21.16% at the height of the pandemic to +76.96% in April of 2021. Bob Mellema, CFO - Finance Bob brings three decades of experience providing financial guidance and management. He is a leader whose day-to-day behavior models servant leadership and integrity. His financial management skills include long-range financial planning and projections, financial/operational reporting and analysis, process improvement, and cash flow modeling. Bob is committed to driving profitable bottom-line results while supporting executive-level goals and the organization's overall growth. Beyond his financial expertise, Bob has a broad knowledge and understanding of business disciplines, including human resources, facilities, risk management, and administrative support functions. Peter Canale, Director of IT - ERP & Integrations Peter has been a leader in Information Technology for more than two decades. His proven track record of defining, building, and optimizing best-in-class IT infrastructures has reduced costs, improved efficiencies, and supported the organizational goals of several companies. Peter is ITIL Foundations Certified and a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. His knowledge of and ability to implement and customize ERP systems, such as SAP Business One, has led to increased revenue, growth, and improved operational processes
Check them out: https://libertysupply.com/