Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - 47
www.swiff-train.com / Headquarters: Houston / Employees: 200 / Specialty: Full-line flooring distributor
/ Jonathan Train, CEO and president: "A family-like atmosphere is the essence of our company."
Swiff-Train's flooring distribution business serves
2,000 customers in Texas and Oklahoma.
Swiff-Train's family culture and strong customer and supplier relationships continue
to thrive after 80 years in business. BY JIM HARRIS
wiff-Train Co.'s main office
in Houston was fortunate to not
have sustained major damage
when Hurricane Harvey swept through
the region in late August. Although the facility itself was not flooded, roughly half
of the company's 200 employees were
based in the path of the natural disaster.
"We had a handful of employees who
had damage to their homes or vehicles,
and many of them couldn't get from their
homes to the office [because of flooded
roads]," CEO and President Jonathan
The Houston office shut its doors for
four business days during the disaster.
When it reopened August 31st, it was with
a partial staff that included employees
from Swiff-Train's seven other offices,
which include six locations in Texas and
one in Oklahoma City.
After two days with a partial staff,
most employees returned to work, with
many taking on extra shifts or working
overtime to help the company make up
for the time it lost. The Houston distribution center handles roughly 70 percent of the company's total sales volume, Train says.
In addition to returning to their work
duties, many Swiff-Train employees
also pitched in to help their fellow staff
members who suffered losses from the
storm. "I'm proud of the dedication of
our people, especially after [Hurricane
Harvey] and seeing what they've done
to help each other and their neighborhoods," he adds.
The dedication shown by Swiff-Train
employees during the hurricane reflects
the company's overall culture. "A family-like atmosphere is the essence of our
company," Train says. "We have a commitment and loyalty to our people.
"The tightness our employees have
and their willingness to help each other
out is what stands out for me the most,"
he adds. "We enjoy coming to work and
doing our best day in and day out."
DOING WHAT'S BEST
Swiff-Train's family culture extends back
to 1937, when Joseph Swiff and his son-inlaw Herbert Train founded the company
in Corpus Christi, Texas. The company
processed damaged or loose cotton until
World War II, when it expanded into exporting and importing steel and agricultural products.
In 1959, Swiff-Train began serving
central and south Texas with flooring
and countertop surfacing products, and
in time the success of those sides of the
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