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On Distribution Talk, we dive into the stories, struggles and solutions from interesting characters who have chosen to make a career in the distribution industry. My goal is to entertain, educate and inspire you through these brief conversations.  Thank you for visiting.  If you like what you hear, come visit us often. -Jason

Oct 7, 2020

“I learned early on just being nice and kind to the customer can go a long way.” ~Dale Hahs

Dale Hahs has initiated dozens of innovations throughout his career at AIS Industrial & Construction Supply in Denver - from system upgrades to expanded product lines.

And while technology has allowed him to implement cool features such as 360º virtual warehouse views, Dale attributes his company’s success to strong customer relationships and peer networks. Jason chats with Dale about responding to the marketplace during COVID-19 and collaborating with Affiliated Distributors.

“It's nice because we are so diverse and we sell into so many different marketplaces that when one thing is down, we can look at other avenues where we can sell that same product to a different vertical.”

That’s the case with AIS’ foray into eBay, a marketplace that has served the company well, especially during the pandemic. With eBay, AIS has found a way to move closeout items, overstock, and niche products. The endeavor allows AIS to gather instant feedback which doesn’t happen on their general eComm site.

That line of communication sits well with Dale, who believes that customer kindness promotes customer loyalty. To that end, when his customers began clamoring for hard hats, gloves, and vests AIS responded quickly, adding safety supplies to their extensive inventory of industrial and construction goods. “It’s probably the fastest-growing category of anything that we sell.”


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.

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

Connect with Jason Bader on LinkedIn.

Connect with Dale Hahs on LinkedIn.


Pivoting to new product lines or managing sales expectations are daunting tasks even without a pandemic adding pressure to every decision. In times like these, Dale’s grateful for the camaraderie and peer knowledge he’s benefited from as a member of Affiliated Distributors. He credits the network for creating an arena where peers can support and challenge each other, where they can innovate and educate together.

Dale urges others to get off the sidelines to reap maximum rewards of membership in groups like AD. “The best way that I learned was being able to be part of the executive committee,” Dale says of his stint as chairman of the network.

These days, Dale’s excited to watch his son work his way through the ranks at AIS. Eventually, he says, things will open up enough for father and son to attend AD events, reestablishing in real life those peer relationships that make a career in distribution so rewarding.