Episode 6

The How & Why of Building a Great Strategic Narrative


President and CEO, Applicate Commerce

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Today’s guest is Andrew Walsh of Applicate Commerce.

As the president and CEO of Applicate, Andrew is at the helm of one of the biggest shifts in the company’s sixty-year history. The company—previously known as Paint Sundries Solutions—had stayed in their lane for decades as a distributor of applied architectural products.

But the rise of eCommerce started disrupting their linear supply chain, threatening the market share of brands and local retailers, and training consumers to increasingly demand more, better, faster, and cheaper.

So in 2021, they asked The Storied Future to help them craft a strategic narrative that would align their board, leadership, employees, suppliers, and customers toward an irresistible future defined by value creation, growth, and transformation.

In this episode, Chris and Andrew cover:

  • The history of Applicate Commerce, and the challenges they faced with the rise of eCommerce
  • Andrew’s experience as a teenager on the warehouse floor of Applicate that showed him the power of a cohesive narrative
  • How Applicate worked with The Storied Future to create a strategic narrative to guide them and their stakeholders as the business evolved
  • How the strategic narrative we built together is transforming their business
  • Why operating from their values is a catalyst, not a constraint, for Applicate

And much more!


Andrew’s LinkedIn

Andrew was appointed President and CEO of Applicate Commerce in January 2021, having previously served as the company’s President and COO since December of 2007. Applicate Commerce is the parent company of PSS, Paint Supply, and Applicate Services. Andrew earned a B.A. from the University of Washington and an M.B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. He first joined the company when he was sixteen years old, working as a warehouseman in its Kirkland, WA, distribution center. A few decades later, following graduate school and several years as an IT consultant with a leading firm on the East Coast, Andrew returned to Applicate Commerce in December of 2006 as Sr. Vice President and CIO.  Andrew has significant leadership experience in M&A integration, corporate change management, and continuous process improvement. He makes his home in the Seattle area with his wife, Danielle, and their four children.