Two small businesses are teaming up to help each other during these uncertain times. “These are unprecedented times and we have to get creative to keep all of our people working” Ian Gilbert, Managing Partner of Frederick Supply (Calibration Services) replied. Many of the customers they count on or call on, are sidelined or working remotely due to the pandemic.
Following weeks of unreturned calls and slower traffic, Gilbert sat down with the Managing Partner of Cal Gas Warehouse, Craig Hill. The two businesses are suite-mates and don’t necessarily compete but a large portion of their customer base overlaps. “The guys on the other side of the building are great at what they do and we will do whatever it takes to help each other succeed.” Hill said. Out of the meeting came the agreement that traditional methods weren’t going to cut it. “There will be a series of things we are going to partner on, to see if we can make some noise, while things are quiet” he continued.
Frederick Supply Calibration Services, a division of Frederick (Safety) Supply calibrates certain portable 4-gas monitors (gas detection units). They are giving away an RKI GX-2012 ($995 value) in September and all one needs to do to enter, is calibrate an existing monitor, a service that has to be done regularly, regardless of who owns one. They are giving contest entrants a break, at $75, to entice new customers to enter.
Cal Gas Warehouse sells industrial gases and accessories. A Frederick Supply calibration customer would still need to buy bump gas from a company like Cal Gas Warehouse. The two, are calling on the same people, for different reasons. They are now comparing notes and directing qualified customers to each other when they find customers that are active and busy. Mr. Hill emphasized that “both businesses are needed, ALL of the time. Industry regulations require that most gas detection units are calibrated monthly and bump tested before each use. If our customers are working, they need either Frederick Supply Calibration Services and/or Cal Gas Warehouse to stay in compliance with OSHA and MOSHA.”
Mr. Gilbert said “It only makes sense to combine forces and share information. We promote each other on social media platforms and elsewhere. Cal Gas Warehouse is happy to promote our contest or whatever we may be doing and we are happy to direct new customers to them for calibration gas, bump gas, or other needs.” The two of them saw what other companies were doing and didn’t necessarily agree with their approach. Many of the larger competitors are struggling, laying people off or they are slashing prices to entice traffic. “That approach to us, is a short term solution to a long term issue. Neither of us want to give indication to existing or potential new customers that we are desperate, or about to close, because we are not. Selling items or services below cost may get a company a brief infusion of cash but it doesn’t pay the bills long term, cover payroll or help to bring a laid off employee back to work. It buys one a month or two and when reality catches up to that approach, everyone is out of a job. Frederick Supply CS and Cal Gas Warehouse are in it for the long haul and are relying on a long term plan and we WILL keep working.” Mr. Hill said.
The contest is a very small example of what they have planned. They weren’t willing to divulge future roll-outs, but almost in unison, both said “stay tuned!” Mr. Hill ended by stating “Cal Gas Warehouse is a great value and offers exclusive services and extras, that nobody at present, can match. We have the best manufacturer in the world behind us, in Portagas/Praxair. We have been able to gain the trust of small businesses, fortune 500 companies and Government, because of the complete package that we provide.”
Mr. Gilbert added “customers take great comfort in knowing they can get someone on the phone or even drop by and get resolution quickly. That’s getting more and more difficult to find. We have the luxury of both sides of the building being cross-trained. We know enough about each other’s business to cover for each other when unforeseen things arise. Everyone plans for weddings, newborns, illness etc., but I am not sure, if they are being honest, they planned for this.”
Bringing their ideas and teams together and helping each other’s business will not only help them sustain, but grow, during this time. We got the sense from sitting down with them, and the energy that both had, they will do just that.
Company Name: Frederick Supply
Contact Person: Craig Hill
Email: Send Email
Phone: (301) 698-2509
Address:520 E South St
State: MD 21701
Country: United States