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Gesco Group: Striving to stay a step ahead

The following is the 13th installment in a series highlighting the 14 distributors that constitute Bravo Services, a group comprising many of the top flooring wholesalers in the country. Here we focus on Gesco.

 January 8/15, 2018, Volume 33, Issue 15

 

Founded in 1938 by George Shnier, the Canadian flooring distributor was run by the Shnier family until 2007 when it was sold to a private equity firm and senior management. Between 2007 and 2017 (it was sold again in 2013), Gesco added to its management team, upgraded and consolidated facilities and systems, established offices in Shanghai and Seattle, opened a corporate commercial division (D9) and acquired two companies (Tierra Sol and Savoia Canada) while continuing to diversify and improve operating performance.

Today the Gesco Group of Companies (as it is officially known) remains one of North America’s leading flooring and wall covering solutions providers with multiple yet separate operating divisions. Shnier is the flooring distributor piece of the equation. The company’s mission is to stay “a step ahead” of the competition, always striving to be more innovative and flexible and generally easier to do business with.

Gesco executives believe its future will mirror its 80-year past, growing organically and strategically in Canada and the U.S. as it adapts to a multi-generational customer base. Today the company shops globally across 12 countries, including China, Italy, Austria, Mexico and the U.S.

The single-most important factor contributing to Gesco’s longevity and success is its workforce, which entails 330 associates, according to Ed duDomaine, president and CEO. “They are the ones who have helped lead and support change. They have established, served and protected our caring culture and continuously achieved while ensuring every undertaking remains moral, legal and ethical.”

Through the years, Gesco’s approach has remained steadfast—to always be responsibly owned, professionally managed and capably operated while preserving the company’s character and integrity.

Going above and beyond
Shnier, the oldest of Gesco’s operating companies, is Canada’s leading national flooring distributor and solutions company.

Shnier boasts more than 500,000 square feet of warehouse space across Canada—equal to nine football fields. Its fully automated facility features advanced, integrated real-time warehouse management systems that allow it to handle 100 million-plus pounds of freight while receiving over 5,000 trailer loads of goods per year.

Nuts & bolts
Geographic coverage: All of Canada. Corporate headquarters are in Brampton, Ontario, with regional facilities in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Dartmouth.

Brands: Armstrong, Casa Roma, Aspecta by Metroflor, Wicanders, Laurentian, Lexmark Stonepeak.

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B.R. Funsten: Single-source solutions provider

December 18/25, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 14

The following is the 12th installment in a series highlighting the 14 distributors that constitute Bravo Services, a group comprising many of the top flooring wholesalers in the country. Here we focus on B.R. Funsten.

 

Founded in San Francisco in 1956 by Benjamin Reed Funsten, The B.R. Funsten & Co. has successfully grown into one of the largest flooring wholesalers in the nation. The Manteca, Calif.-based flooring wholesaler is the parent company of the Tom Duffy Co. and Commercial Solutions; together the group provides the most comprehensive group of products and services across all flooring channels throughout California, Nevada and Arizona.

B.R. Funsten started primarily as the Armstrong distributor for northern California and northern Nevada, and Armstrong remains its premier supplier. Then, 20 years ago, Funsten purchased the Tom Duffy Co., a flooring installation supplies operation. Since then the wholesaler has expanded throughout California, Nevada, and Arizona with 28 branches.

According to Anne Funsten, president, B.R. Funsten’s competitive advantage stems from the depth and breadth of its diversified portfolio, which has expanded over the years to encompass all aspects of flooring. “Whether you are tearing up an old floor, prepping to install a new floor or selecting your finished floor, we have a solution for you. We work with the best manufacturers from all aspects of the flooring industry—Armstrong, Roppe, Ardex, Burke, Diamatic, Bostic and Mapei. We are a single-source supplier for the retailers.”

Going above and beyond
As with any industry, a big challenge is staying on the cutting edge of technology. B.R. Funsten made the decision to convert its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) capabilities to Kerridge Commercial Solution’s K8 distribution management system. K8 provides automation that ensures distributors can maximize their warehouse efficiency without compromising accuracy. The software automates processes such as goods receipt, replenishment, stock movement and stock counts.

Nuts & bolts
Geographic coverage: California, Arizona and Nevada
Brands: Ardex, Armstrong, Bostic, Burke, HF Design, Independence Hardwood, Kahrs, Mapei, Quick-Step, Roppe, Schluter, Sika, TEC, The Mission Collection,  USG, XL Brands

 

For more information on B.R. Funsten, call 800.479.5671 or visit brfunsten.com. For more information on Bravo Services, contact John Carney at 214.215.2880 or visit bravoservices.com.