Our Buying Group’s Story

Five Generations of Leadership in Industrial Distribution

When you form a business relationship with NetPlus Alliance, you’re partnering with a company that celebrates five generations of Judge/Murphy family leadership in the industrial distribution industry. It started with the inventory, expertise, and history of Buffalo’s first hardware store, Pratt & Company, which became Beals, McCarthy and Rogers.

With roots that date back to 1826, NetPlus Alliance has always relied on the long-standing relationships we have established with the great people in this industry. Our story and our longevity is a reflection of our dedication to embracing change. We are proud to introduce you to our entrepreneurial history:

  • 1826 – Pratt & Co. branch opens Buffalo’s first hardware store.
  • 1885 – The Nolan/Ward/Judge/Murphy branch establishes its roots with the founding of William Nolan Company, Machinists & Steam Fitters in Lockport, NY.
  • 1919 – Post WWI – Nolan’s nephews, Sam Sr., Ben and Will Ward inherit the business and rename – Ward Brothers Mill Supply Company.
  • 1931 – At the height of the Great Depression, the Wards boldly incorporate and launch into the future. That same year, Ward Brothers manage sales of just over $100,000 in mill supplies, piping products and machining services.
  • 1940s – World War II has created a desperate need for machinery, industrial supplies and services. Ward Brothers sales rocket as local factories demand more products.
  • 1950s through 1960s – Generation Three, Sam Ward, Jr. and his cousins, Bill Judge and Jim Judge, move into the leadership of Ward Brothers Mill Supply Co., Inc.  Inventory becomes a key to success, with Harrison Radiator Division of General Motors being a major customer.

NetPlus Alliance: Deeo roots in industrial distribution

  • 1969 – Enter Generation Four, Dan Judge, Jim’s son, after earning a degree in Industrial Distribution from Clarkson University and completing a stint as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
  • 1972 – With the purchase of the inventory and equipment of Buffalo’s Beals, McCarthy & Rogers, Ward Brothers now lays claim to 150 years of inventory and expertise in the industry.
  • 1984 – To reflect the breadth brought to the company by acquisitions over the previous decade, the name becomes Ward, Beals & McCarthy, Inc.
  • 1993 – Following the sale of Ward Beals, Dan Judge becomes the president of ID One, the first purchasing cooperative for industrial distributors.
  • 2000 – ID One is liquidated by its members.
  • 2002 – Decades of industrial distribution, buying group management and generations of experience come together as NetPlus Alliance is formed by Dan Judge.
  • 2006 – The fifth, and current, generation of NetPlus Alliance leadership enters with Jennifer Judge Murphy.
  • 2013 – On September 1, Murphy is named President of NetPlus Alliance.
  • 2016 – NetPlus Alliance and the Judge/Murphy generations celebrate their 190-year-history of industrial distribution.