For more than 67 years, Dawson Co. has represented and distributed some of the biggest and best-known names in the plumbing and HVAC industries throughout Southern California. The reasons for the company’s prolonged success in one of the nation’s largest markets are rooted in its bedrock principles of exceptional customer service and strategic financial management, according to Executive Vice President Frank Dunn. As the company looks forward to the future, it’s safe to say that those business principles will continue to be the foundation on which Dawson Co. builds its continuing success. 

Just as slow and steady wins the race, hard work and integrity have served Clark and Associates well during its 30-year history. Founded by President Gary Clark and his father in 1985, Clark attributes the company’s longevity to hard work and values. “We run our business by our value principles,” he stresses. “That includes our integrity, hard work and our dedication to our employees and customers. We have a reputation for success and winning.”

Indeed, while other companies are consolidating, Clark and Associates – referred to as “Team Clark” – is prospering with double-digit growth. Clark cites the ability of his company’s inside and outside marketing teams to work together as one of its competitive advantages. “We’ve added an entire inside sales department, which consists of three salespeople and two marketing communications people,” he says. Another competitive advantage is the synergy among the variety of industries that the company serves.

For Bailey Sales & Associates, maintaining a physical presence within the main markets its serves goes a long way toward achieving its service goals. “We are the people contractors, engineers and wholesalers call when a situation arises,” says Kevin Jones, a principal owner of the Seattle-based company.

In addition to its headquarters in Seattle, where it owns and operates a 20,000-square-foot warehouse, Bailey Sales operates satellite locations in Portland, Ore., Eugene, Ore. and Spokane, Wash. “Satellite offices allow us to provide better service to our markets,” Jones adds.

Bailey Sales & Associates is a manufacturer’s representative serving the commercial and residential markets. The company represents manufacturers of commercial and residential plumbing, heating and HVAC products and decorative plumbing fixtures, and works with wholesale distributors and others within a large geographic region that includes Washington, Oregon, Northern Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

When Frank Fein started Associated Marketing Inc. in 1981, he brought the experience he had gained during his career working for another manufacturer’s representative in the late 1970s. That know-how, combined with the experience of Fein’s business partner, helped Associated Marketing get a leg up in the Philadelphia area marketplace. In time, it also led to the company becoming one of the region’s premier representatives of both commodity and engineered products, from some of the largest brands and most respected manufacturers in the country. 

Today, Associated Marketing continues to lead the pack with a strong focus on logistics and what Fein calls the company’s “soup-to-nuts” approach to serving its customers. Thanks to this emphasis and the company’s adoption of the latest technology, Associated Marketing has positioned itself as a major player in the industry for a long time to come. 

Added Sales Co.’s business is focused on products, but its success really depends on its people, President Jim Tracey says. “We treat our employees the way we want to be treated ourselves,” he says. “In return, what we get is excellent work and loyalty.”

Based in Wood Dale, Ill., Added Sales represents 15 companies that manufacture plumbing, heating and electrical products. The company started operations in 1953, during “the infancy of the rep business in the Chicagoland area,” Tracey says. “Our company was probably the first to take plumbing into the hardware side of the business.”

Since the 1830s, railroads have been a mainstay for transport across the United States. It wasn’t until 1982 when the railroads were deregulating that rail lines could contract services from outside vendors. As a result of this action, Georgetown Rail Equipment Co. (GREX) was able to demonstrate its innovations to the industry. The privately owned research and development firm, founded in 1992, offers a range of technologies to solve railroad concerns that have existed since the industry’s infancy.

In 1990, Dr. John Young co-founded Inteplast Group Ltd. with the be­lief that the United States could still create a competitive manufacturing org­anization in spite of the long-term, general decline in its manufacturing sector. The company’s success is a product of the pursuit of integration, economies of scale, strong management and teamwork. Inteplast has es­s­entially provided a model of how future manufacturing organizations can grow in the United States.

Gardner Denver is proof that a successful company never stops trying to improve itself. Already a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of compressors, pumps and blowers and marking its 150th anniversary last year, the company has recently undertaken a massive culture shift toward leaner production and a stronger concentration on listening to the customer. Gary Gillespie, Director of Sales and Marketing for the compressor business within the Industrial Products Group, says the initiative is the passion of CEO Barry Pennypacker, who was named to the position in early 2008.

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