Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - 65

MONTANA

	 The	attention	Montana	gives	its	customers	through	its	value-added	offerings	is	an	
extension	 of	 the	 customer-focused	 philosophy	 the	 company	 has	 always	 adhered	
to.	Muhlrad	is	proud	of	how	her	company	
provides	 the	 same	 level	 of	 service	 to	 any	
customer,	 regardless	 of	 their	 size.	 "I	 treat	
everyone	equally,"	she	says.	"Just	because	
one	 customer's	 order	 has	 five	 less	 zeros	
behind	 it	 doesn't	 matter,	 that	 customer	
receives	the	same	level	of	attention	as	any	
other	customer."
	 Montana's	 services	 go	 beyond	 the	 job	
site.	 The	 company	 hosts	 lunchtime	 sessions	once	a	month	at	its	Long	Island	City	
facility	 that	 familiarize	 customers	 with	
equipment	 such	 as	 fiber	 fusion	 tools.	 Clients	 can	 demo	 equipment	 and	 learn	 directly	 from	 a	 manufacturing	 representative.	"We	try	to	make	sure	we	have	training	
where	 people	 can	 come	 in	 and	 do	 lunchand-learns,"	Muhlrad	says.

LETTING GO
Muhlrad	 has	 long	 considered	 herself	 a	
hands-on	 owner.	 She's	 active	 with	 employees	 and	 customers,	 and	 has	 been	
known	 to	 jump	 in	 a	 vehicle	 and	 drive	 an	
order	 to	 a	 job	 site	 herself.	 But	 in	 taking	
on	a	whole	new	suite	of	services,	Muhlrad	
needed	to	rely	more	on	her	team.	
	 The	result	was	that	employees	stepped	
up	 and	 were	 able	 to	 provide	 Montana's	
customers	 with	 the	 same	 level	 of	 service	
and	support	that	they	had	come	to	expect	
from	the	company.	
	 The	 result	 is	 that	 Muhlrad	 now	 has	
more	freedom	to	manage	Montana's	rapid	
growth	and	plan	for	the	future	of	the	company.	"I'm	trying	to	use	the	time	right	now	
when	I	don't	have	to	do	the	day-to-day	stuff	
to	plan	for	our	future,"	she	says.
	 Of	 course,	 leaving	 more	 of	 the	 day-today	 tasks	 to	 employees	 means	 Montana	
must	 hire	 more	 people	 to	 shoulder	 that	

responsibility.	 Muhlrad	 says	 she	 looks	 for	
self-starters	who	know	how	to	create	a	lot	
from	 a	 little:	 People	 who	 have	 gumption	
rather	than	advanced	degrees.	
	 They	 don't	 even	 necessarily	 need	 construction	 experience.	 Muhlrad	 has	 had	
success	in	hiring	people	from	the	retail	industry	who	understand	the	importance	of	
customer	service.	"I	am	trying	to	look	outside	our	industry	to	find	people	who	have	
unique	backgrounds	and	experiences,"	she	
explains.	"Having	a	new	energy	or	a	new	set	
of	eyes	is	very	helpful,	too."
The	 addition	 of	 value-added	 services	
and	new	employees	has	helped	Montana	
sail	into	a	more	open	market,	but	Muhlrad	believes	it	is	the	company's	reputation	
for	 quality	 and	 reliability	 that	 truly	 sets	 it	
apart.	"We've	been	in	business	20	years	so	
we	 have	 a	 lot	 of	 history	 with	 our	 vendors	
and	customers,	and	that	differentiates	us,"	
Muhlrad	says.	q

	

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018

Table of Contents
Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - Cover1
Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - Cover2
Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - 1
Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - Table of Contents
Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - 3
Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - 4
Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - 5
Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - 6
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Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - Cover3
Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - Cover4
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