APR Supply Co., a third generation wholesaler, can trace its roots back to 1922. In 1934, Mark Tice began working for Lebanon Plumbing Supply Co. which was founded in 1922. Mark Tice purchased a controlling interest in 1947. In 1971, Mark’s son Randy Tice joined the industry, launching his own controls business in 1975, Environmental Equipment Engineering Co. The two companies merged in 1982 to form APR Supply Co.
As an industry pioneer in Lebanon, APR Supply Co. did not have the advantage of learning from other businesses preceding us. However, we learned quickly from our business partners the value of a strong work ethic, and that doing the right thing often comes with a price, as Darwin wrote, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change”.
Faced with “grow or die” circumstances in the early 90’s, management made a bold decision to purchase new enterprise software that was believed to offer a true competitive advantage. The software turned out to be “as good as promised” and over the next decade APR leveraged that advantage to gain market share and improve business fundamentals.
In 1996, APR Supply Co. became one of the first wholesale distributors in the industry to offer online web order entry. Customers could access APR’s website to search real time inventory availability, view purchase history, and place orders 24/7! That same year, Randy’s son-in-law, Scott Weaver, became the President of APR Supply Co.
APR is proud of its five core values: Customer, Excellence, Integrity, Respect and Results. Customer purposely comes first! By placing the customer first, APR has been able to achieve the level of success we enjoy today. Customers are serviced through over 35 branch locations, Oasis Bath and Kitchen Showrooms and a Central Distribution Center. APR’s Central Distribution Center allows us to offer next day delivery, stock significantly more SKU’s and enjoy an order accuracy rate approaching 99.7%.
APR recognizes that in order to be successful change is necessary. Management works hard to foster a corporate culture that embraces change as a competitive advantage by pioneering technological advancements. Technologies such as RF guns, EDI, integrated enterprise software, GPS tracking, voice over IP phone system, document imaging and remote network access are all examples of why APR is a market leader. Remote network access through APR’s network server enables APR employees to access the enterprise software as well as all files stored on their work PC’s anywhere there is internet access. This allows for servicing a customer with information, taking a customer’s order, working from home and communicating with peers from just about anywhere in the world.
APR’s success comes from not just relationships with customers, but relationships with vendors as well. APR was invited to join the Affiliated-Distributors buying group in 2008, which with $28 billion of collective purchasing power and 450 members is significantly larger than APR’s previous buying group. The change equates to better pricing, larger rebates, increased supplier support and additional value added programs.
In 2018, APR Supply Co. was recognized as the Supply House of the Year by the Supply House Times. The award recognized APR Supply Co. for its resilience and ability to grow and prosper during both strong and weak economic cycles.
Scott Weaver, president, identified the nurturing of a corporate culture that is customer-focused and yet comfortable with continual change as instrumental to the company’s success.Always aggressive, Mr. Weaver looks to have APR double in size every five years. He expects that to be accomplished through a combination of organic growth as well as by acquisition and new markets.