Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - 27
The general manager of each of Holston Gases' locations maintains a charitable fund to allocate to different
community organizations. "It's at the discretion of the
manager to choose a cause that will have the most
impact in that community," President and CEO Robert
Anders says. "We are very proud of how philanthropic
our managers are in their individual markets."
Holston Gas offices support organizations include
the United Way and Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well
as numerous local groups. "We give our managers
as many opportunities to make an impact in the local
community as we can," he adds.
and manufacturers. "We try to focus on having open and fair
relationships with our suppliers, and want to make sure we surround ourselves with manufacturers who, like us, are focused
on what's in the long-term best interest of both companies as
well as the end customer," Anders says.
The metal fabrication market is the company's largest customer base. One of the largest categories within that market
served by the company is automotive manufacturing. The Knoxville, Tenn.-headquartered company has locations in southern states that include Kentucky, South Carolina and Alabama,
where several major automotive manufacturers have plants.
"The south is where much of the expansion of the auto man-
ufacturing industry has been happening, and many of the suppliers who serve manufacturers are now down here as well,"
Anders says. "Automotive manufacturing is a huge part of our
Holston Gases repackages, sells and delivers gases in liquid
form as well as in high-pressure cylinders. The company in
2013 moved its headquarters into a 20-acre site that includes
a 25,600-square-foot fill plant, a 3,200-square-foot retail propane building and a 17,600-square-foot work and storage areas.
"Smaller companies have to rely on manufacturers to deliver products, but they charge more to do that," Anders says.
"Over the past few years, we've developed our own fleet of
tractor trailers that pick up products at the plant and bring
them back to our facility, which creates efficiency and cost
savings in the long-term."
The company's investment in its facilities and fleet demonstrates its corporate focus on financial responsibility and debt
management. "We work very hard on maintaining healthy
gross margins, and are very disciplined in managing our operating expenses so our cash flow is strong," he adds. "We have always thrived, even in a down economy, because we have the financial strength to expand while others are cutting back."
Holston Gases believes in taking care of its employees.
The average tenure of its employees is 14 to 15 years.
Winter 2018 www.wdimagazine.com