Minnesota Flexible Corp.’s sales and other staff are key to the company’s success. 

By Jim Harris

Minnesota Flexible Corp. (MFC) believes in putting its best foot forward when it comes to serving existing customers and attracting new business.

“Our sales staff is highly technical and very well-educated,” says Will Stewart, president of the St. Paul, Minn.-headquartered company. “They really know our products.”

Swiff TrainSwiff-Train’s family culture and strong customer and supplier relationships continue to thrive after 80 years in business.
By Jim Harris

Swiff-Train Co.’s main office in Houston was fortunate to not have sustained major damage when Hurricane Harvey swept through the region in late August. Although the facility itself was not flooded, roughly half of the company’s 200 employees were based in the path of the natural disaster.

“We had a handful of employees who had damage to their homes or vehicles, and many of them couldn’t get from their homes to the office [because of flooded roads],” CEO and President Jonathan Train says.

HOJ Engineering picHOJ Engineering’s WarehouseOS™ system improves picking and packing operations while ditching the scanner gun.
By Jim Harris

For many businesses, processing and shipping a high volume of small customer orders can prove challenging.

“The trend in the industry is toward larger volumes but in lower quantities – even to the point where you’re picking one item at a time for individual customers,” says Tim Hoj, CEO of HOJ Engineering and Sales Inc., a Salt Lake City-based material handling solutions provider. “A lot of traditional warehouse models aren’t equipped to handle that volume of orders.”

Enabling small- to medium-sized warehouses to process many small orders is what HOJ Engineering and Sales had in mind when it patented WarehouseOS (WOS) five years ago. WOS is a software platform that helps ecommerce business best manage their warehouse operations.

May Hy Distributors picMar-Hy Distributors focuses on innovation and expansion to maintain a majority share of the Pacific Northwest HVAC market.

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers

For nearly 70 years, Mar-Hy Distributors has served the Pacific Northwest with commercial and residential HVAC equipment and supplies. The family owned and operated business is led by the second generation and continues to grow and challenge itself to be better, faster and more innovative than its competitors.

“Everything related to a HVAC job you can pick up here. We are different in that we have one location in Milwaukie, Ore.,” President Jeff Schmidt says. “But it’s a business model that has served us well. In Oregon, most of the population is up and down the I-5 corridor and we do a lot of work there and to the north into Washington. We run our trucks three times a day and can put product wherever is needed, usually within 24 hours.”

Advance Components pic

Advance Components builds strong relationships with customers, suppliers and employees by understanding their needs. 

By Jim Harris

Advance Components considers itself more than a distributor. “We work with our customers to understand their needs and challenges so we can build custom solutions,” says Gary Cravens, CEO of the Carrollton, Texas-based company.

“We don’t just set up shop and then try to sell our products to whoever we can find to buy them,” he adds. “As a true channel partner, we are committed to building our business around the needs of our customers. We listen and we respond.”

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.

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