Wholesale & Distribution International - Spring 2016 - 60


GORDON FLESCH CO.
Hardware is still the bulk of Gordon Flesch Co.'s
business, but the company is in a transition.

ther, the company's namesake, was inspired to start his own company after
seeing 3M's then-revolutionary Thermofax technology, an early photocopying device. Gordon Flesch borrowed
$10,000 from his father-in-law to buy a
warehouse and made a deal with 3M to
distribute Thermofax machines.
Xerox was the dominant copier company in the market during Gordon
Flesch Co.'s early years. Then Savin

bus, Ohio, staking its territory around
the Great Lakes region.
With its movement toward IT solution, Patrick Flesch says his family's
company is again ready to grow its
market share. "We're in full expansion
growth mode," he says. "We're evaluating where to go next [and] acquisition
opportunities."
Gordon Flesch Co. is divided into two
territories. The western region includes

"We've been able to... take that
IT headache off the business
owner's plate."
came along with its liquid toner technology and Gordon Flesch Co. saw the
potential. The company began selling
Savin products and the business took
off. By 1979, Gordon Flesch Co. was
opening offices in Chicago and Colum60 www.wdimagazine.com Spring 2016

the headquarters in Madison and offices in Appleton, Wis., and Chicagoland.
The eastern region includes Columbus,
Indianapolis and Milwaukee, managed
by Mark Flesch, vice president of sales
- Eastern Region.

The company remains family owned,
with Patrick and Mark Flesch representing the third generation of family
leadership.
"It's very humbling," Patrick Flesch
stresses. "I truly consider every day I
come to work a real privilege." Flesch
adds that there is pressure to remain
profitable and keep the livelihoods of
Gordon Flesch Co.'s 600 employees
intact. To do so, he says he's willing to
take on any role.
The company also operates the Gordon Flesch Charitable Foundation, an
organization made up entirely of Gordon Flesch Co. employees. The foundation has donated more than $1 million
to community groups since 2001.

MAKING A TRANSITION
Hardware is still Gordon Flesch Co.'s
primary business, but the company's
biggest growth area is coming from
its IT services business, according to
Flesch. Customers are turning to Gor-


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wholesale & Distribution International - Spring 2016

Contents
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