In 2000, French Gerleman first opened the doors to our Washington, Missouri, branch to support the growing regional market. We began with just one employee, occupying only half the building we continue to operate from today.
Twenty years later our on-site staff has tripled, not including our outside sales and product management team. Our physical footprint has grown too – we now occupy the entire building and offer a more robust inventory of the products on which our customers have come to rely. Most notably though, we have grown to become a trusted partner for automation, electrical supply, datacom, power transmission, and safety products in the local manufacturing and contractor community.
Support for Manufacturers in Washington, Missouri
Over the last 20 years, and the course of French Gerleman’s nearly 100-year history, we have gotten to know the needs of manufacturers quite well, helping them incorporate new products and technologies to run their production efficiently. Our team knows that a primary concern for our manufacturing customers is downtime. It can be crippling and costly, so we work to ensure that the industrial customers we serve in the Washington region have access to the parts and supplies they need.
The French Gerleman Washington branch features a robust stock of the items most important to keep our customers’ operations running, including a wide stock of fuses, electrical components and automation products supported by product specialists in our core divisions including lighting, drives, PLCs, switchgear and mechanical power transmission. We’re a go-to resource for our customers’ immediate needs. And with trucks arriving daily from French Gerleman’s St. Louis headquarters, customers have access to all the inventory across our entire network.
Through our Stock Optimization Program, we also offer vendor managed inventory (VMI) services to help customers have the appropriate on-site stock of the components needed for their facility.
Another differentiating factor is the volume of in-house maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) expertise at our Washington branch. Boasting a staff that includes former electricians, our team can provide support and knowledge customers might not be able to get from other providers, who rely on manufacturer specialists.
Finally, customers have come to expect industry-leading service from French Gerleman, and we pride ourselves on delivering it. We’re always committed to being there for our customers when they need us – and that’s not always an 8 to 5 proposition. It’s not unheard of for us to be on-site after hours to accept a shipment of a much-needed part for a customer or make a 3 a.m. drive to support a customer. Customers can always count on us. That’s the kind of trust solid relationships are built on.
Support for Washington-Area Contractors
In recent years, the power and automation systems in industrial facilities have grown more sophisticated. That increased complexity has driven many manufacturers to rely on outside contractors as a secondary maintenance team for lighting and power upgrades.
As this trend has gained momentum in the Washington market, we’ve developed critical relationships with contractors to support their work in manufacturing facilities. We understand the contracting business, and we can seamlessly integrate with contractors when manufacturers rely on outsourced support for their maintenance needs.
As manufacturing continues to grow in Washington, French Gerleman also supports the contracting community with their new construction projects. Whether building from the ground-up or expanding an existing facility, our experience in construction offers contractors an enhanced level of service and expertise as they embark on their new projects.
Finally, as the area grows, French Gerleman is well positioned to serve contractors on all types of commercial and residential projects. From our local inventory, we can provide incoming residential electrical service components up to 200 amps, and incoming for commercial customers up to 400 amps. Plus, contractors are able to take advantage of the full line of products and stock of inventory available in Washington or through daily delivery from St. Louis.
A Legacy of Service to the Community
French Gerleman’s success in Washington (and all of our locations) is directly correlated to our commitment to being a part of the community we’re serving. We hire locally, ensuring that the people representing our company have a vested interest in the place they live and work. This practice provides opportunity and helps contribute to our local economy.
We’re longstanding members of the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce and active supporters of the local United Way. We feel that this is the way community is built, so we’re always here to lend a hand or support a worthy cause.
French Gerleman’s Future in Washington
Looking ahead, we recognize that the equipment our customers rely on to do their work will continue to get more sophisticated and complex. As a critical partner in our customers’ business continuity, we continue to expand our inventory of available parts and products to solidify our position as a trusted, reliable resource. We look also forward to growing our team in the coming year, adding to our group of motivated, service-oriented professionals who are willing to go above and beyond to meet customers’ needs.
We thank that Washington community for all of the support over the last twenty years and look forward to the next twenty years – and beyond!