Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - 25
www.holstongases.com / Projected 2017 revenue: In excess of $100 million / HQ: Knoxville, Tenn. / Employees: 350 / Specialty: Gas distribution /
Robert Anders, president and CEO: "The longevity of our employees is what I think we're proudest of."
Holston offers welding and industrial gases, as well as medical,
specialty and laboratory gases, beverage CO2 and propane.
Large and Local
Giving local control to its offices and maintaining a positive bottom line continue
to drive Holston Gases' success after 60 years in business. BY JIM HARRIS
any distributors or other
companies with multiple locations across several states consolidate their sales, accounts receivable or
other operation functions within a single
site. That's one way to operate. Holston
Gases, however, prefers to have personnel
in its 26 locations conduct their business
on the local level.
"We have resisted the temptation to
centralize functions," President and
CEO Robert Anders says. "Being decentralized has driven the decision-making
and the management of all functions of
our operation to the local level."
Holston Gases has locations in six
states and sells products daily into 11
states. The company's products include
welding and industrial gases, as well as
medical, specialty and laboratory gases,
beverage CO2 and propane. Holston is
also a full-line welding supply company
and carries safety and industrial supplies.
Each of the company's locations is led
by a general manager who oversees all of
the administrative functions of his or her
branch. "This gives us someone who has
their finger on the pulse of the market
who can make decisions quickly, instead
of relying on someone who is 300 miles
away," he adds.
Instead of making decisions for each
of its locations, Holston Gases supports
them in other substantial ways. "We have
the capabilities and the assets of a large
regional supplier with a small company
focus. There's very few situations where
we don't have the assets to meet our customers' needs, but we do everything with
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