MH Equipment picMH Equipment believes in supporting its customers as well as its employees and community members.
By Jim Harris

MH Equipment offers its customers much more than just material-handling equipment. The Chillicothe, Ill.-based dealer helps large warehouse and distribution center owners be more efficient and ultimately reduce their operating costs.

“Our fleet management model is unique in the industry and is what we do best,” CEO John Wieland says. “This model has separated us from many, if not all, of our competitors and endeared us to corporations such as Anheuser-Busch and General Motors, who’ve chosen us to manage their facilities.”

Established in 1952 in Peoria, Ill., as a small Hyster forklift dealership, MH Equipment today is one of the largest and fastest-growing material-handling service providers in the United States. The company is an authorized dealer of Hyster as well as, in select areas, Yale forklift equipment. MH Equipment has 28 service branches throughout Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Eastway 12 copyEastway Supplies distributes plumbing supplies, pipes, valves and fittings and offers a builders division that installs closets and retail entrance glass.

By Russ Gager

Maintaining unique niches inside the business of distributing plumbing supplies has kept Eastway Supplies prospering for 45 years while it serves central Ohio. President Gary Glanzman attributes the company’s success to its dedication to the Columbus, Ohio, market. “We’ve got plenty of competitors that went regional or national and got sold out, but by staying local and expanding locally, I feel like that was our best bet, and that was what we did.”

One of Eastway Supplies’ niches is high-volume apartments. “You’ve got to know the marketplace and we have to know our position or our role in the marketplace,” Glanzman says. “What we are really strong with are the high-volume residences like apartments, and we do a good job with commercial pipe, valves and fittings, and plumbing fixtures for commercial buildings, schools and hospitals. We really work on knowing our place in the markeplace.”

Bell Pipe picBell Pipe & Supply’s experienced employees and smart technology investments have made it a leading distributor in southern California.

By Tim O’Connor

Strong competition in the industrial piping supply market has left little room for direct growth the past several years, so Bell Pipe & Supply is taking a different path to differentiate itself to customers. The company is investing in its own technology capabilities to become more efficient and reducing the cost of inventory through supplier relationships so its buying can remain competitive. “Growth is important, but it’s not all-driving for us,” President and CEO Franklin Bell says. “It’s more the quality and customer service we give to the customer.”

norco picNorco follows an operating philosophy that upholds high-quality customer service and highly-motivated employees.

By Tim O’Connor

Larger companies often inquire about buying Norco Inc. But the family owned welding, safety, janitorial, medical equipment and gas supplier believes it can better operate as an independent business with a focus on its customers and employees.

Owner Jim Kissler has long thought about how he could better establish the company’s value and set it up to grow as a very long term independent organization. In 2015, he took that step by shifting one-third of Norco ownership to the employees.  “The reaction from employees has been  extremely positive. It’s a very big bonus program with a fantastic long term component,” Executive Vice President Robert Mohr Gerry says.

Kimball MidwestKimball Midwest’s ownership is concerned about serving customers and cultivating employees over short-term profits.

By Tim O’Connor

Customer demands are always evolving, and suppliers must constantly work to keep up. That’s especially true for businesses that provide the everyday tools and equipment companies need to keep their business running. “[Customers are] pressured to do more and it’s imperative we partner with them to help them be more efficient in what they do,” says Chas McCurdy, vice president of Kimball Midwest, a supplier of maintenance, repair and operations products.

The trend in distribution today is toward just in time delivery. Kimball Midwest prides itself on having a large inventory with an emphasis on, “if you want it, we have it.” “We definitely are setting the pace and leading the industry in service rate and fulfillment rate,” McCurdy says.

Erb Co. picErb Co. has supplied western New York with plumbing and HVAC equipment for four generations.

By Chris Petersen

There are a lot of ways to measure success, but for Buffalo, N.Y.-based Erb Co., the fact that it has thrived for four generations and more than 100 years is the best measure of its success. As Vice President of Sales Gary Bosley explains, the longevity of Erb Co. stands as testament to its ability to service customers with plumbing and HVAC distribution throughout western New York and gives those customers peace of mind that they will be dealing with a distributor that is going to be around for the long haul.

Founded by George Erb in the early years of the 20th century, Erb Co. initially provided irrigation supplies for local farmers. Over the years, the company’s product mix has evolved to include one of the broadest arrays of plumbing and HVAC equipment in the industry, from some of the most well-known manufacturers. The company has developed a strong base of loyal customers in the residential and commercial construction sectors, and the company says nothing is more valuable to Erb Co. than the strong bond it has developed with those customers. “The philosophy of Erb Company boils down to the importance of the quality of the relationship that is forged when doing business with valued customers,” the company says.

CCOM GroupCCOM Group and its affiliates are proud of the level of HVAC and building system expertise they can offer to customers.
By Wholesale and Distribution Staff 

Colonial Commercial (CCOM Group) is more than just a wholesale distribution company. Through its affiliates, Universal Supply Group, RAL Supply, American Universal Supply, and S&A Supply, the Hawthorne, N.J.-based company serves as a full service technical supply house covering all of New Jersey, The Hudson Valley, Long Island, and Metro NY, as well as the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. 

“We have all the complexity of a traditional wholesaler, including traditional ‘over the counter’ business, but we also provide plan and spec support, building automation and control panel fabrication. This combination of product and industry expertise allows us to provide a unique solution in the residential, commercial and industrial marketplaces,” CEO Pete Gasiewicz says. 

Regal PlasticsRegal Plastics’ triple-pronged business approach keeps it ahead of its competition.

By Jim Harris

Regal Plastics’ ability to offer distribution, retail and fabrication services under one roof is its biggest market differentiator.

The Irving, Texas-based company considers itself “three businesses in one,” with each aspect of its operation serving a different client base and offering different services. “Our competitors don’t do that – they have chosen to go one way or the other, but we choose to do all three,” Vice President and General Manager Wayne Gono says.

Regal Plastics’ business-to-business distribution operation offers plastic sheets, rods and tubes to customers in the industrial, construction and other markets. Customers include manufacturers that use the plastics supplied by the company as raw material for their own products. “The plastics market is very diversified – there’s hardly a industry that doesn’t use plastic,” he adds.

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