By Heidi J. Ellsworth.
Here at RoofersCoffeeShop® (RCS), we live and breathe roofing every day. It is an amazing job to be able to report on the people and companies that make our industry great. There are so many companies that have a rich culture and a historic story to tell. One of those companies is Appleton Supply.
Founded in 1918 by Frank Gabriel as Appleton Roofing and Hardware Company, it has stood the test of time. When customers in Appleton, Wisconsin think of commitment, quality, service and affordability they think Appleton Supply. It was incorporated in 1923 as Appleton Hardware Company and then again in 1932 as Appleton Supply Company which has held now for close to 90 years.
Helen Fowler, daughter of founder Frank Gabriel, became President of Appleton Supply in 1950. An original woman in roofing, she helped to set the standard in the metal building products industry for all others to follow. In fact, in 1970 Helen’s children purchased Appleton Supply and continued the history of providing valued, tried and true methods of doing business which they knew made for a good product.
In 1984 Appleton was purchased by Sell Even Building Products and then was acquired in 1998 by Gibraltar Steel. In the same corporate offices and manufacturing facility since 1993, Appleton has held true to their core value of being fair with customers and doing whatever it takes to help them succeed.
We thought we would visit with current Appleton Supply employees and get a feel for how much they love this 100 plus year-old business. In talking to John Briese who is a territory sales manager, he said, “I enjoy the family atmosphere with my co-workers at Appleton Supply. We are a tight knit group and genuinely care about each other at work and outside of work as well. I very much enjoy working with my customers. We have the best distributors in the industry, and I enjoy going to work and interacting with them.”
When asked, “What are you most excited about for the future of Appleton Supply?” he replied, “We have a great team in place and a clear vision for what the future can look like. We all share a vision and common path for success and should have little opposition for achieving it.”
Tara Bennin, Director of Business Development and Strategy for Gibraltar Retail shared, “I really enjoy the team mentality. Everyone works very well together, and everyone’s thoughts and ideas are included. I always enjoy when we can help someone out. I love to get feedback from the customers telling us that they really appreciate the quick response and how we were able to get them taken care of much quicker than they thought we would be able too. “
And looking to the future she said, “I am very excited to watch Appleton Supply continue to grow and improve. With the improvements that are being made it is going to make Appleton Supply more efficient and overall a better company. I really enjoy being part of team!”
Appleton Supply Company is dedicated to improvement. They have continued to reduce waste in addition to improving business processes to be more environmentally friendly. Their collaboration with both vendors and customers is well known and as Bennin noted a highlight to employees and customers alike.
Kevin Hershner also a Territory Sales Manager noted, “I worked for Appleton as a Territory Sales Rep for 9 years, left for 4, and am now back as of June 1st. Coming from a large company, I really appreciate the “family atmosphere” at Appleton and the “Can Do” attitude that exists. It is cliché, but it really is a TEAM effort every day. Appleton Supply puts the customer first, and it is noticed out in the field. We are in a growth mode and as a Sales Rep, I can’t help but feel excited about that.”
In fact, his best customer story was, “I have only been back for a little over a month, but my best customer story so far came from a branch manager in Louisville Kentucky with whom I have a great relationship. He said “The best thing about this COVID situation is that Reps aren’t allowed in the showroom, so I don’t have to lie about being on a conference call, or that I am tied up, but if you and ASC are able to help me get product – you’re welcome anytime!”
Appleton products are part of the Construction Solutions that are making a difference in roofing.
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