For Werner Electric Supply Co. – a distributor of quality electrical, lighting, datacom, pneumatic, safety and automation solutions – the future is so bright it has to wear shades. The company thrives by providing customers with quality electrical products and services.

Werner Electric Supply operates 11 well-stocked locations across Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In addition, nearly 40 engineers and product specialists provide services such as technical support, training, energy audits, inventory management and lighting design. The company serves industrial, contractor, OEM and other markets.

As a top supplier of critical materials, Tioga Pipe Inc. thrives on providing great service.

“We are known around the globe for providing mission-critical materials to our customers,” says COO Jack Stuart. “Our objective is to meet the needs of our customers with precision processes, quality products and the world’s greatest employees.”  

The Neustadt family has been in the business of providing the means for home temperature control for more than a century, and as the market has evolved over time, the Neustadts have had the foresight to adapt along with it. “I think the previous generations were very forward-thinking,” President Paul Neustadt says of his kin. 

Founded by John Neustadt in 1907, Downers Grove, Ill.-based Neuco Inc. began by selling hay, coal and grain on the west side of Chicago and transitioned into only coal sales and delivery in the 1920s. Neuco predicted the demise of the coal industry for residential heating after the Great Depression and World War II and again diversified into the heating installation and fuel oil business. 

National Tube Supply’s (NTS) focus on customer service helps distinguish it from many of its peers. “We never approach a customer and say, ‘We’re National Tube and this is what we do,’” says Terry Flanary, vice president of sales for the company. “We ask, ‘What do you do, and how can we help you?’”

The ways in which the company helps its customers include maintaining a large inventory in four facilities and providing shipping service through a truck and driver leasing agreement with Ryder and other transportation providers. 

You can’t have a more low-tech distribution system than two burly men delivering tires — two under each arm — to customers using the New York City subway system.

But that was back in 1919. Ninety-five years later, that same family owned and operated company, Max Finkelstein Inc., still runs its wholesale tire distribution business out of the same small storefront in Astoria, Queens — but now it has 11 distribution centers all over the northeastern United States and a computerized warehouse management system that tracks inventory in all of them.

Hyspeco is more than a simple distributor. In its strictest terms, a distributor stocks products and ships them out when requested. But Hyspeco doesn’t operate off rigid definitions. Instead the company is a dynamic products and services supplier able to design valuable solutions for its customers’ needs. 

How did GVH Distribution grow from $3 million in annual revenue 20 years ago to more than $100 million last year? 

“We came up with a unique approach,” President Joe Schmidt says. “I have always believed in complete transparency so we offered what we call cost-plus. We communicate with our customers our actual costs and then on top of that agree and negotiate the cost-plus in advance. This had never been done in our industry and it’s been wildly successful.” GVH Distribution is also growing because it “offers top-level customer service, unique packaging supply solutions and it helps generate more business for our customers,” Schmidt adds.

The ENPAC Group’s industrial distributor customers look to it to provide high-quality products that not only meet their own high standards, but also those of the hundreds of companies around the world that ultimately use the products. “Our distributors expect product quality, but they define overall quality based on service,” says Brian Walters, vice president of sales and marketing for the Eastlake, Ohio-based manufacturing holding company. “Our distributors are pushing us to ship things faster and hit their shipping targets on time every time.”

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