Most businesses don't last more than a year or two. Only a small percentage make it a decade or more. The Madison Electric Co. is one of the rare ones that can claim a century of longevity.
The Warren-based firm is one of Michigan’s largest wholesale distributors of electrical, automation, HVAC, PVF, plumbing, water management and network communication systems and components. The family business is still run by the children of the two brothers who founded it in 1914.
"We understand we have a responsibility to maintain this," says Brett Schneider, president of Madison Electric Co
. and the great-grandson of one of the founding partners.
Eight members of the family currently work at Madison Electric Co., including a fifth-generation member who recently graduated from Western Michigan University. The rest break down to three members of the third generation and four members of the fourth generation.
"The biggest thing is if you're not a working part of the company (as a family member) then you don’t have a say," Schneider says. He adds, "All of us who have been here started at the ground floor and learned every aspect of the business. However long it takes us to learn it is how long it takes us to learn it."
Madison Electric Co. currently employs 115 people after hiring seven new staff. The new hires include two inside sales professionals and five warehouse workers. The company is currently expanding into the pipe-valve-fitting market and is in the midst of upgrading its software system.
"It should give us the capacity to grow and give faster service to our existing customers," Schneider says.
Source: Brett Schneider, president of Madison Electric Co.
Writer: Jon Zemke
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