Colmar Industrial Supplies LLC

(847) 419.0044
Fax: (847) 419.0066




About Us : : Because the Customer...

Dear Customer,

As a child growing up, my basement had toys on one half and tools on the other. My father had started a company that sold tools out of the back of his station wagon, and used our basement for overstock. By age 12, he had me grinding points on used taper shank drills to make up sets. He always said that by supplying used tools, he was saving customers money, and that customers were loyal to distributors that save them money. He named the company J & L Industrial Supply, using his and my mothers initials (Joel & Loraine). Eventually, I attended Texas A&M University for Industrial Distribution, hoping to someday carry on the J&L legacy.

When my father sold J&L to Kennametal, it broke my heart. I knew that the family run business was soon going to become another faceless company run by accountants and auditors. I also knew that one day I would start my own company. This company would supply quality products to customers who understand the difference between the price of a tool and the actual cost. My company may not always have the lowest price, but we will find a way to lower the costs for the customer.

J&L helped me learn that the people who actually run a company are its customers. Customers decide what a distributor must provide. If the distributor provides the tools and services that deliver value and cost reductions to the customer, the distributor will grow. The customer writes the checks that pay for wages, rent, utilities and benefits. In the 25 years I have been in the Industrial Distribution industry, I have learned to empathize with the customer. I know if I can't bring more value to my customer than the competitors, the competitors will get the orders. I need to constantly find ways to make my services more valuable than my competition because prices are usually very similar.

My first task was to come up with a name that would impact how I would run my business. Colmar Industrial Supplies is named after my two children, Mara and Collin. I used their names as a constant reminder of what motivates me the most. Along with my wife, they are what mean the most in my life. I treat my company's reputation as I would a family member, with devotion.

I then looked for knowledgeable, experienced employees to service our customers. I wouldn't settle for simple order takers, I recruited professionals. They have to provide value to the customer, bundled onto the tools we supply. If my employees cannot answer the needs of our customers, somebody else's employees will. This is not an industry where slick, fast-talking salesmen last very long.

Next, I sought out the best manufacturers of tools I could distribute. These manufacturers may not be the biggest or best-known names in the field, but their competition knows them well. They all perform well where it counts the most, on the spindle and ultimately on the bottom-line. If a manufacturer could not deliver quality products, when they are needed, at fair prices, and with good technical support, I didn't consider them for my company. It may take extra time to supply some of our products the first time around, but the overall value to the customer will sell them afterward.

Finally, the services Colmar provides make it all fit together. If coating a tool can double the life of a $50 cutter, I may supply fewer cutters, but we'll be invited to consult on the next job. If a special tool can reduce cycle times or eliminate a second operation, Colmar will be there to help design and produce it. Supplying solutions is what changes this business from a sprint into a marathon, and I want to be here for the long-haul. After all, nobody is going to buy from me because of my good-looks.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I look forward to an opportunity to service you.


Colmar Industrial Supplies, LLC