Wolff Bros. Supply, Inc. has grown significantly since its humble beginning. Today, Wolff Bros. Supply, Inc. serves as a premier wholesale distributor of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, DataCom, lighting, cabinets and tools for contractors and homeowners throughout Northern Ohio, operating from 12 locations in Akron, Ashland, Cleveland, Elyria, Findlay, Mansfield, Marion, Medina, Mentor, Sandusky, Toledo and Wooster.
Just last year Wolff Bros. Supply celebrated its 50th Anniversary, and recently, Wolff Bros. Supply installed 720 solar panels at its Medina location and moved its Marion location to a new, larger facility. In addition, Wolff Bros. Supply currently maintains four extensive Kitchen & Bath Showrooms in Akron, Medina, Sandusky and Toledo/Maumee. The company employs more than 275 employees.
“We were happy to be able to celebrate our 50th Anniversary due to the support of all of our customers over the years – and we are looking forward to the next 50 years,” said George Wolff, vice president of sales at Wolff Bros. Supply, Inc.
The company looks forward to serving its customers for years to come and accredits its long-time success to their support. It’s no wonder the company has grown and been so successful throughout the years – customer service is paramount at Wolff Bros. Supply.
A dream becomes reality
The history of Wolff Bros. Supply is a story worth telling. It all started when Herman Wolff married Frieda Steigler, and had four children – Harold, Wilmah, Lauretta and Norman. Working on the family farm, they were able to get through the Great Depression.
Herman Wolff passed away at the age of 60 in August 1943, leaving the two boys to take care of the family and the farm. Eventually Norman and Harold purchased the family farm from their mother, Frieda; thus began Wolff Bros. Farm. A few years later, with both brothers married and raising families, they found themselves at a crossroads and a decision had to be made – go into debt to enlarge the dairy farm operation to support two families or go into another business. The Wolffs decided on the latter.
The Wolff brothers decided to go into the contracting business, specifically the mechanical trades – HVAC, plumbing and electrical. The new company, Wolff Bros. General Contractors, had a humble beginning – with operations out of the back of an old truck.
Expanding into retail sales, the brothers started using the dairy barn and chicken coop for parts and supplies; the main floor of the barn housed the offices of Wolff Bros. General Contractors, while the hay loft was filled with product, such as tubs and toilets. The old chicken coop became a warehouse for pipe and other plumbing and electrical supplies. The business was indeed growing, and it was incorporated as Wolff Bros. Supply, Inc. in March 1965.
On the farmstead property are offices (housed in the old barn) that serve as the corporate headquarters, plus a warehouse (pictured here) and showroom.
In 1972, when the second generation of the family graduated from college, Wolff Bros. Supply, Inc. entered into the wholesale business, working to supply local contractors’ materials. After years of hard work, the company expanded, turning Harold and Norman’s dreams into reality. The old farmstead is still there, and on the property are offices (housed in the old barn) that serve at the corporate headquarters, a warehouse and showroom.
A passion to serve the customer
One may wonder how a company that started out of the back of a truck could grow into such a successful business. One of the main reasons for the company’s success is its focus on customer service. For half of a century, customers have depended on Wolff Bros. Supply, Inc.’s wealth of knowledge to always have the best equipment, parts and supplies to get the job done right the first time. The ability to provide customers with the products they need, when they need them is a main staple in Wolff Bros. Supply’s history. The company offers short lead times, high fill rates and on-time delivery.Wolff Bros. Supply, Inc. at a Glance
Akron, Ashland, Cleveland, Elyria, Findlay, Mansfield, Marion, Mentor, Sandusky, Toledo and Wooster, Ohio
The company’s mission statement reflects just how important the customer is to Wolff Bros. Supply, Inc.: “We must maintain a passion to serve the customer. Without the customer, Wolff Bros. Supply, Inc. will no longer exist. We will give the customer premium service at competitive prices.”
This mission statement is then broken down further (into the following categories), exemplifying what the company and its employees stand for:
Take Responsibility: It is every employee’s responsibility to serve the customer. When a customer contacts you with a problem, take the responsibility to make sure the problem is resolved.
Accountability: Never over-promise and under-perform. Be certain to follow through on promises you make to the customer. The sales employees must know and understand the internal schedules when making commitments to the customer.
Accuracy: Do it right the first time. Everyone’s job at Wolff Bros Supply, Inc. is important. Take your job seriously. Take pride in what you do and do it right. In order to compete in today’s marketplace, Wolff Bros. Supply, Inc. must be a safe, high quality, low cost producer. The cost of receiving, storing, shipping and processing orders and credits has to be done as economically as possible.
Safety: The safety and health of our employees is our first concern. Everyone must strive for a safe, healthy and injury-free workplace. Employees, as a condition of employment, need to make their own safety and the safety of their co-workers a priority. All safety incidents or concerns must be reported immediately to management so corrective action can be taken.
Productivity: We must have high productivity from each employee. This can be accomplished by: training employees on proper procedure so that transactions can flow through smoothly; the proper use of technology and other tools to allow employees to be more productive; the maintenance of a good work environment.
Trade Professionals & Homeowners Too
Besides offering a full line of HVAC, electrical and plumbing supplies to trade professionals, Wolff Bros. Supply also has kitchen, bath and lighting showrooms for the consumer to peruse when they are in the market to remodel. The company has four showrooms, offering a selection of cabinetry, counter tops, closet systems, lighting and plumbing fixtures. Featured brands include Kohler, Moen, Brizo, Dura Supreme Cabinetry, Medallion, Cambria and more. For the HVACR trade professional, Wolff Bros. Supply offers products from American Standard, ClimateMaster, Advanced Distributor Products (ADP), Honeywell, AprilAire, Diversitech HVAC Products and many more. There are too many manufacturers to list here. To see a complete list of companies and products available go to: http://bit.ly/2eVQMm1.
Training Seminars Offered
Also for trade professionals, the company offers training seminars. Contractors can take courses at various company locations. Some of the courses that contractors can sign up for are: Light Commercial Service Training; Foundation/Rooftop Unit; Electrical License Renewal Course; Gray Metal Duct Design Training; and Furnace Training. Class descriptions can be found at http://bit.ly/2dPzB7V.
Wolff Bros. Supply is very proactive about aiding their dealers with training technicians for the future. One of the more unique courses offered is not for the current trade professional, but for the person who is interested in having a career in the HVAC industry. The course is titled “So You Want To Be A HVAC Service Tech?” and is taught by Ken Shvorob, HVAC product manager and trainer at Wolff Bros. Supply.
This is a five-day course and covers:
Day 1: Basic electricity; introduction to the American Standard Line; control wiring
Day 2: Furnace tear-down; getting acquainted with parts; troubleshooting “Live Trainers”
Day 3: Installation of HVAC equipment on site; evacuation and charging
Day 4: Finalizing install and start-up procedures; refrigerant circuit troubleshooting; heat pump service
Day 5: Customer relations; EPA test out
More information on this course can be found at http://bit.ly/2dPzB7V.
As you have read in this trade magazine and many others in the industry, you know that the industry as a whole is at a crossroads to find talented individuals to replace all the baby boomers that are retiring. It’s truly impressive that Wolff Bros. Supply is offering a five-day course for people that have an interest in learning about the HVACR industry. Now that is a prime example of a company taking action to help solve an issue affecting the entire industry, thus, putting the customer – in this case primarily contractors – first, as the company has always done and continues to do.Best Practices
Employee training: At Wolff Bros. Supply, Inc. employees are experts. The entire team is skilled and ready to answer any product questions that contractors and consumers may have, helping the customer make an informed decision about what product is best for a specific application.
Community involvement: Philanthropy at Wolff Bros. Supply, Inc. is important. Recently the company decided to sponsor a room in the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland. The Room Sponsorship Program provides individuals, corporations and foundations the opportunity to positively influence the lives of families during a time of anxiety and uncertainty through the support of one of the 37 guest rooms.
Customers of Wolff Bros. Supply, Inc. wanting to participate in the sponsorship were asked to collect tabs from beverages and food containers and bring them to the nearest Wolff Bros. Supply location and place them in the container provided. The recycled tabs help support families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland. Customers could also buy an item on the “WISH LIST” posted at all company locations. The list included house needs, kitchen items, recreation items, etc.
Proceeds from recycling pull-tabs benefit families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland. These funds allow the House to help celebrate children’s birthdays, Mother’s Day, etc., send families to the zoo or local museums, give a family cab fare to the airport, purchase groceries and baby supplies, and help offset the cost of housing families at the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland.