"To our knowledge, this was the first and only plumbing Drive-Thru, and the three full time employees staffing it manage over 100 orders per day," noted Masters Supply president David Wachtel.
"Time is one of the pivotal elements customers monitor, and when they call an order to the Drive-Thru
, in five minutes or less, they are on their way back to the job," explained Wachtel
"Some orders are loaded while the customer waits in his
We are always looking for ways to make it easy for customers to buy from us.
Regardless of the industry, people want convenience -- and they don't mind driving further for that convenience."
According to Wachtel
, the success of Masters Supply's Drive-Thru revolves around employee buy-in.
David W. Wachtel became president, John L. Burke was named chief financial officer and John A. Bowling was appointed vice president-purchasing.
is a product of promotion from within.
started as a truck driver in the early 1980s, set up operations when Masters Supply
made acquisitions in Lexington and Danville, introduced the Drive-Thru
, and is developing the company's fifth branch, to be opened in Shelbyville, Ky., in January 2007.
is always hands on, helping at the counter, delivering a rush order and directly involved in job quotes.
Branch management philosophy
Each of Masters Supply's
four locations employs a branch manager, all of whom are given significant responsibility for running their operations.
"Our branch managers are all local members of the community in which they serve, an important factor in working with both customers who identify with one of their own," said Wachtel
explained, to best serve both customers and Masters Supply
, teamwork is essential between outside and inside sales staff.
So they've initiated various motivational tactics to strengthen that teamwork.
"We started a contest from within between sales teams and the branches," he
"If a loyal customer has work beyond our traditional territory, Masters Supply
still delivers to the jobsite," noted Wachtel
The company subscribes to the philosophy of central distribution, with inventory being distributed from Louisville every evening.
"By running our trucks to the branches each evening, the transferred material is at each branch when it opens for business the following morning," Wachtel
Supply has experienced double digit growth every year since 1994," noted Wachtel
described, the construction market in Kentucky is fairly consistent, which means that although they do not typically experience booms that sometimes occur in other markets, they don't suffer from the busts either.
"Being as diversified in product offering as we are has helped tremendously," he
"When residential sales decline, industrial sales seem to increase.
When housing starts slow, remodeling increases, so diversification works."
said it is his mission -- and that of everyone at Masters Supply
-- to carry on the tradition started by Carl Zoeller.
"We have a strategic plan for growth scheduled through 2012," Wachtel