PPAI 100 is built different.

One aim of PPAI, the industry’s largest nonprofit association, is to create a roadmap for what our industry and its companies can look like. A list that ranks companies by their revenue alone doesn’t accomplish that; what company isn’t already interested in increasing revenue?

Created with a criterion that weighs nine specific factors that contribute to overall industry leadership, PPAI 100 does something unique: It allows firms that do not necessarily produce the highest revenue numbers to make the list, and in some cases, rank fairly high.

The wellbeing of our industry in the future comes down to all companies pushing forward together in some amount of strategic alignment – not the largest players fighting for every last dollar.

The inaugural list brought plenty of evidence of this dynamic.

Maple Ridge Farms, a company with a 2022 revenue of $11.2 million amid an industry with billion-dollar suppliers, made PPAI 100, coming in at No. 46. It overcame larger companies that did not make the list by investing time, money and efforts specifically into responsibility, professional development and the practices that would lead to industry faith, as evidenced by its A+ SAGE Rating.

“Being a small-to-mid-size company means that we can easily and quickly analyze our differentiating factors – as an employer and as a trusted supplier partner – and strategically apply them with a genuine heart, to everyday solutions,” says Jodie Schillinger, CAS, executive vice president at Maple Ridge Farms.

       READ MORE: See the full PPAI 100 rankings.

On a similar note, Hirsch, a company with a 2022 revenue of $44 million ranked No. 12 on the list, perhaps a surprising ranking to some, considering a number of suppliers more than doubled their size in terms of revenue. On the grounds of 2022 sales only, Hirsch would rank 39th among suppliers that made this list.

For Peter Hirsch, president of the Texas-based company, the high placement is recognition for all the things Hirsch strives to handle with care.

“The PPAI 100 is groundbreaking, as it levels the playing field for suppliers and distributors of all sizes, unlike the lists solely based on revenue that consistently award large and deep pocketed organizations,” Hirsch says. “Based on revenue alone, our company might score lower but was propelled by the other metrics – revenue growth, ratings, industry professional development, innovation and more. Our staff is thrilled, as this recognizes all departments of our business, not just sales.”

More than two dozen suppliers ranked higher than they would have on revenue alone. The trend also holds true on the distributor side of PPAI 100, which is set to be released by PPAI Media on June 27.

Six suppliers with under $20 million in 2022 revenue made PPAI 100:

“What matters is that, as an industry, we are gaining a new perspective, and sometimes as they say in the world of hiking, we need to turn the map to gain new insight,” Schillinger says. “PPAI did just that.”