Grant Cockshott

Welders Supplies Limited

The IWDC, to us, is firstly a marketing organization, and secondly a purchasing organization. As the number of independents continues to shrink, the importance of networking, building alliances among vendors and other members, and sharing best practices has brought the greatest returns on our original investment. The IWDC is one my competitive advantages.

Value in IWDC membership for my company is defined by two things: personal growth and commercial benefit. 


  1. Commercially, we have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years because we have better purchasing power, which was originally the only benefit we thought the IWDC would give us. Over time, the best benefits have actually been: meeting vendors that we never knew were options to us, having relationship power with vendors other than just price (delivery, compliance, quality, stock, access, etc.), and learning through other programs the IWDC offers, like training on specialty gases and operations. 
  2. We find personal value in the leadership and growth opportunities I and others from my company have enjoyed by volunteering for committees and the Board. Also, the other members we have met over the years have become friends and colleagues and have provided significant strategic and technical help by sharing information and ideas. The personal value portion of the IWDC equation has become the most important to us, and it has had the most lasting impact.


As our industry consolidates, the IWDC has evolved from a purchasing group (the Forty Thieves) to a strategic marketing group. The Independent distributor of gases and welding products that fails to leverage relationships with others just like it by not becoming an active Member of the IWDC is putting its long-term survival and net worth at great risk.

The IWDC Cooperative is similar to thousands of other cooperatives around North America: it’s a body of like-minded organizations that pool their resources of money, ideas, energy, labour, and enthusiasm to achieve a specific outcome. Our co-op is designed to ensure the long-term survival and success of its members.

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