Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Business

March 16, 2014

Bursting at the seams: Maple Grove expands

Galveston distributor expanding to handle booming business.

(Continued)

And its inventory has grown by about 25 percent in the last five years, Stroud added.

“If we don’t have to send backorders, it helps our freight,” she explained. On average, the company filled 98 percent of its orders without back-ordering items, she said — a feat she and Finley are proud of.

The industry average, according to Finley, is about 92 percent.

Several local repair shops have dealt with Maple Grove for years. Two in Logansport praised the variety of parts available through Maple Grove’s catalog.

“Basically their service is as good as anybody else,” said Kim Costello, owner of Peck’s Sales and Service. “They have a real good fill rate.”

Costello has been buying parts from Maple Grove since around 1989, he said. “If somebody’s got a good fill rate, I try to stay with them.”

Arone’s Hardware mechanic John Hettinger, formerly maintenance supervisor at France Park, said he’s been buying from Maple Grove for at least the last seven years.

“Instead of going back to dealers, they can get a lot of stuff and a lot of stuff’s cheaper,” Hettinger said. Their variety is also greater than another company he deals with regularly, he added.

On occasion, he’ll suggest that clients purchase parts themselves through Maple Grove’s retail counter if it’s convenient for them.

The vast majority of Maple Grove’s business — 92 percent — is with wholesale customers. Stroud sent out 2,540 invitations to its existing wholesale dealers for the company’s annual open house this month, including a growing contingent of Internet-only retailers.

“It used to be about 50-50,” Finley said of the split between wholesale and retail business.

However, the company still operates its retail counter in the iconic red barn for those who choose to buy parts themselves.

“Honestly the best thing for us would be to shut the retail down ... but I’d probably get shot,” he added with a grin. “Everybody relies on us.”

Sarah Einselen is news editor at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at sarah.einselen@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5151. Twitter: @PharosSME.

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