Affiliated Distributors

Founded in 1981, Affiliated Distributors is North America’s No. 1 distributor network. AD’s mission is to increase the market share of its affiliate members (distributors) and preferred supplier partners (manufacturers).

AD’s growth and success as an organization are attributed to the democratic structure of its affiliate networks and committees. These networks provide leadership and guidance to AD management and serve as a forum for affiliated executives to share any successes, challenges and best practices in their respective local markets.

AD calls itself The Marketing Group and is dedicated to providing marketing leadership to affiliate members and preferred supplier partners. By sponsoring programs and events to stimulate sales and marketing excellence, as well as by encouraging closer working relationships between affiliate members and preferred suppliers, AD ensures success for everyone involved.



For independent distributors, AD serves as the solution – and levels the playing field – during a period of increasing industry concentration. AD is comprised of five separate divisions:

  • The Electrical Supply Division (founded in 1981);
  • The Industrial Supply Division (founded in 1994);
  • The Industrial Pipe, Valve and Fittings Division;
  • The Plumbing Division (founded in 2001); and
  • The HVAC Division (founded in 2006).

Selective and specific membership criteria help AD remain committed to offering its preferred suppliers a broad North American advantage.

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AD welcomes independent, entrepreneurial Affiliates that are:

  • Leaders in their local and/or regional trading areas;
  • Professionally managed;
  • Locally owned;
  • Marketing oriented; and
  • Financially strong.

AD affiliates serve a broad range of industries and are able to provide customers with competitive solutions fully supported by a multi-billion-dollar enterprise.

In honour of its 30th anniversary, AD created this animated video to help folks understand the organization’s heritage. AD was created to protect strong local independents and proud manufacturers from the negative impacts of national chains.