Allied Supply Co.

Allied Supply Allied Supply has bested its national competitors with its work.
By Alan Dorich

After more than 80 years, Allied Supply Co. has created a pleasant environment for its employees. “People enjoy coming to work here,” President and CEO Tom Homan says.

“We go to great lengths to make sure that they’re comfortable and their surroundings are comfortable.”

Based in Dayton, Ohio, Allied Supply specializes in the wholesale distribution of HVACR products, including air filtration products, ductless mini-splits, building controls, chemicals, and A/C and refrigeration compressors. Homan’s grandfather, John L. Homan, started the firm in 1935.

He previously worked for Frigidaire. “He had the foresight to anticipate that the refrigeration and air conditioning business would be big someday,” the younger Homan says, noting that his grandfather initially opened a service company.

After selling the service business, Homan founded what became Allied Supply. Today, the company has six locations in the state of Ohio and focuses on four core businesses, Tom Homan says. Allied Supply box

“We constantly refer to these to keep ourselves focused,” he says, adding that the company is a leader in its niches. “We’re in the air filtration business, the controls business, the HVACR parts equipment business and the refrigeration business.”

Homan takes pride in the national awards Allied Supply won last year from three major suppliers. “Very few of these are handed out on a national basis,” he says, noting that these included Emerson’s highest-level award for double-digit sales growth across all product categories, and an award for double-digit growth of the Copeland product line.

Allied Supply also bested 60 competitors to win the Pinnacle Award and Quota Achievement Award from Camfil. Mitsubishi also named Allied Supply as the Diamond Partner of the Year for Central USA, and placed it in its Millionaires Club, based on the largest percentage of sales growth in the United States.

Good People

Homan joined Allied Supply 48 years ago, sweeping floors and unloading trucks in its warehouse. “The culture of my family has been to work in the business,” he says, adding that he later held roles in sales and worked as a division manager before taking his current role in 2004.

Allied Supply owes its success to its staff, Homan says. “We’ve had really good people,” he says, noting that the company has had more than 12 people retire after over 40 years with the company. “Our average employee has been here 15 years.”

The company has kept them loyal, Homan says, through its comfortable environment and benefits such as pay above the industry average and a profit sharing program. “These people get a nice check when they retire,” he says.

But finding new, qualified employees has recently become more difficult for Allied Supply. “We have good paying jobs that we can’t fill,” Homan admits, adding that less young people have entered the industry.

“We didn’t have that problem filling jobs in the past,” he says. “The HVACR industry needs to do a better job selling itself as a whole.”

Allied Supply has coped by hiring a corporate recruiter. “That’s all that person does – recruit for us,” he says, noting that the recruiter networks with universities, trade schools and career centers to find new associates. “That’s how we’re trying to address that.”

Growing The Footprint

Allied Supply invested in its locations over the past decade. “We have remodeled and renovated them to current industry standards,” Homan says. “We did everything from painting to parking lots to computer systems.”

This also included the addition of energy efficient lighting and remodeling all of the company’s showrooms. “We’ve also added meeting rooms for key strategic meetings in four locations,” he says.

Allied Supply also demolished old buildings to gain more space. “In Lima, Ohio, we tore down the apartment building next to us,” he recalls, noting that this allowed the company to add 5,000 square feet to its footprint.

‘Darned Solid’

Homan is proud of Allied Supply and its longevity. “The people that came before me set some protocols and procedures that we still follow,” he says, noting that these include methods for invoicing and inventory management. “[Those] were pretty darned solid.”

The company will carry those forward as it continues to grow. “[We’ll have] the speed of service and inventory that service contractors need, and good inside sales support,” Homan asserts.

 

A Team Approach

Allied Supply forms strong relationships with its supplier partners by holding annual strategy meetings with them. “We also attend their national sales meetings,” President and CEO Tom Homan says, noting that it takes a “team approach” in these initiatives.

The company manages this by having multiple associates attend the meetings. That way, “It’s not just the owner having the relationships with the suppliers,” he says.

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