Global Industrial is ready to take over the medium-sized business market by offering brand name and private-label industrial supplies at a competitive price.
By Stephanie Crets
Global Industrial has prided itself on being an industry leader in providing private-label and brand name industrial equipment and supplies to businesses throughout North America for more than 60 years. The company carries about 1.5 million industrial, material-handling and business products and continuously increases its product offerings to meet the diverse and changing needs of its customers.
The company is in a unique position to service the small- to medium-sized business, for which it can bring to market better products at better prices. Global Industrial also has relationships with more than 2,700 key vendors and suppliers such as 3M and Rubbermaid. “Besides getting good prices, we were an early e-commerce adopter and have a great website, as well as a growing salesforce with veterans with a lot of expertise,” Vice President of Vendor Relations Marty Rossman says. “Mix all that together for medium-size customers and they get those value-added services without extra costs.”
Global Industrial distributes products throughout the lower 48 states, as well as Canada and Mexico. Because of the variety of products the company offers, it even gets requests from businesses in the Middle East and Africa.
Because of its excellent network of carriers and its new 350,000-square-foot warehouse in Las Vegas, the company is able to ship 80 percent of products on the same day they’re ordered. “Once the traffic comes to us, we can prove the value we provide,” Head of Sales Mike Haskins says. “People are willing to come to us from those distances, which demonstrates the value in what we provide. If you’re going to come that far to it, think of the value it has here.”
Global Industrial prides itself on not only offering a wide variety of products, but also brands – from name brands customers recognize to its own private-label products. The company can satisfy a customer’s brand affinity to a Rubbermaid trash container, for example, but if a customer doesn’t care about a brand name, it can save money with the option of ordering a Global Industrial trash container.
“Our prices are more competitive and our products are highly engineered,” Haskins says. “We don’t import products or manufacture products based on low quality. It’s looking at better value but quality that’s at or above branded quality. I think offering these options has contributed significantly to our growth. We can offer everything quickly and economically. And if brand isn’t critical to you, we can provide you more value as well. It makes us a really good choice.”
Global Industrial continues on track for significant growth, having shown revenue growth increases for 26 consecutive quarters. “Considering the industry the last few years, the sheer pace of our growth has been noteworthy,” Rossman says. This creates both challenges and opportunities for the company.
“Everyone has to work on all cylinders to serve all customers,” Head of Marketing Ashar Mairaj says. “They believe in you and you have to deliver on that promise. We had to develop a balance of seamless processes as we grow, so the customers are not affected by our added growth of offerings and revenue.”
Upgrading legacy systems is just one component of keeping up with the growth. The company recently employed a program where customers can now send text messages to their customer service representatives with any questions or issues with their orders rather than chatting on the website. Additionally, its warehouses have been revamped with the latest technology that allows customers to have complete visibility of their products’ data within 15 minutes of it being in inventory or shipped.
“The communication channel is constantly evolving,” Mairaj adds. “All the resources we are bringing forward customers know about and are able to communicate effectively with us. People can communicate in real time with us, but we’re enhancing the chat channel, too. We have a huge focus on logistics right now with our stocking, same-day shipment and almost-same-day delivery. We’re giving you real-time visibility into that. We want to get to 99 percent on all levels.”
With its significantly growing revenue, Global Industrial also doubled its salesforce in the last three-and-a-half years and increased its product line from 450,000 SKUS to just under 1.5 million. “Our challenge and opportunity is that we’re a company that 10 years ago was a fraction of what it is today from revenue, logistics and staffing point of view,” Haskins explains. “Going forward, our customers continue to like what we do. They see value in who we are. We need to get more people to know who we are and, like many companies, there are probably thousands of people who think of us many different ways. We’re more dynamic, customer centric and our footprint has increased.
“We’re really about getting more people to understand who we are, what we do and the value we can help deliver to the market. I see it as a horizontal continuum with hundreds of thousands of distributors and all offer a distinctive value, but the mid-size market segment is open. We’re not limited by the infrastructure of some of the bigger companies; we are more resource-rich than small, local vertical distributors. We want to take advantage of that while the opportunity is in front of us, grabbing market share from both ends of that continuum.”