M&M Supply

On Christmas Eve 2007, approximately a month after Randy Trachtenberg purchased M&M Supply, he was approached by a salesperson who told him he needed a check made out to a furniture store near one of the company’s stores in Oklahoma City, Okla. 

“I told him ‘I’m not going to buy your wife a new dresser,’” Trachtenberg says. “He responded by telling me he needed the money for two new mattresses and box springs he wanted delivered to one of our customers on a drilling rig.”

After hearing this, Trachtenberg approved the purchase and made sure the beds were delivered that day, ensuring a comfortable holiday for a few of the employees of one of his company’s customers.

This is just one example of the lengths M&M Supply will go to for the sake of its customers’ needs. “If our customers need a part today, that’s when they’ll get it,” he adds. “We go above and beyond for them.”

M&M Supply stocks more than 40,000 items in 12 locations, each located conveniently close to major customers involved in oil and gas exploration in North Texas, the Texas Panhandle, Southern Kansas and throughout Oklahoma. 

The wide range of items stocked by the company include pipe, valves, flanges, fittings, hardware and tools, controls, down hole pumps and MRO items. M&M Supply delivers the majority of its items using its fleet of 80 trucks. 

The company’s service level and regional focus distinguish it from many of its larger competitors. “Our best salespeople are the national supply chains,” Trachtenberg says. “What we see happening is that national supply houses make huge commitments and offer rebates to major industry players, but when it comes to field-level service, they can’t deliver.

“We are very light on our feet, and believe taking care of our customers is our top priority,” he adds. “We do not  make idle promises – we get material to them where and when they need it.”

M&M Supply’s vendors play a critical role in ensuring that the company continuously meets its customers’ needs. Several of the company’s vendor relationships were facilitated through its affiliation with AD (Affiliated Distributors), a national buying and marketing cooperative.

“Our relationship with our vendors is one of the most important things we have,” Trachtenberg says. “Maintaining great partnerships with our vendors enables us to get the best possible pricing and on-time delivery from them, which in turn makes us more successful with our customers.”

Positive Changes

The McCasland family founded the company in 1948 to supply materials for their own oil and gas exploration activities. M&M Supply quickly picked up its first outside customer, located across the street: “a small oil service company called Halliburton,” Trachtenberg says.

The company over the next three decades steadily grew its customer base until the McCaslands sold it to Trachtenberg, who previously worked for a family owned oilfield supplier that specialized in reconditioned valves used in oil and gas and other pipeline applications. One change Trachtenberg immediately made to the company’s offerings was to carry larger-diameter valves and fittings, a move that allowed M&M to begin working with pipeline and midstream energy companies. Halliburton remains one of the company’s largest accounts.

Under Trachtenberg’s ownership, the company also moved away from its previous practice of stocking products specific to regional drilling rigs. “The heavy concentration of business with the local drilling industry required heavy inventory,” he adds. “As rigs moved out of the area, that material became obsolete. In 2008, we essentially stopped servicing drilling rigs, diversifying our inventory.”

The company in recent years also adjusted its approach to inventory in an effort to control costs. Materials deemed by the company to be slow movers have been redistributed from each of its 12 locations to a central warehouse in Oklahoma City, where they are inventoried and made available to each location.

These changes, as well as the company’s increasing diversification into other industries, helped increase its revenue from $35 million in 2006 to a peak of in excess of $85 million in 2014. Although the national decline in gas prices has impacted M&M’s revenues since then, “we have maintained a nice profit margin when the rest of the industry took it pretty hard,” Trachtenberg says.

Within the past year, the company has added larger fittings to its offerings and started to target industrial and mechanical engineering firms. M&M Supply is also now supplying Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. “We moved a little outside of the oil and gas industry while adding new accounts,” he adds. 

M&M Supply within the past year has also shifted from sourcing domestic materials to importing goods, as its clients are looking to reduce their costs. The company is involved in imported container loads as well as acquiring imported goods from on-shore sources. 

Future Opportunities

Trachenberg credits his management team and staff with the company’s success. “There’s essentially a group of six of us who run the business and make the majority of the decisions, and we have 12 guys who do a great job at the store level,” he says. “I feel that for as many people as we have in the company, we do very well having a flat management staff.”

M&M Supply continues to seek new markets and opportunities while investing in its operations. The company recently upgraded its Microsoft Navision ERP software and started rolling out warehouse management and automatic barcoding systems across its locations. All of the company’s locations are anticipated to be fully functional with WMS systems by the end of the year. 

“This is probably an ideal time for us to make an acquisition, as some of our competitors are smaller guys having a hard time in the current market,” Trachtenberg says. “We’re always looking to grow, but don’t want to get too far from home. We want to remain a regional player.” 

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