If you’ve ever been involved in a start-up from the ground up, there’s one feeling that’s pretty relatable. It’s the feeling that you’re flying 60 mph downhill in the back of a red wagon with Calvin and Hobbes at the wheel. The rocks and bumps knock you around a bit, but the excitement of reaching flat ground, even for a moment, keeps you chasing that high.
I think I can say we’ve hit flat ground, for a hot second at least. We have orders to fill and deadlines to meet, and we couldn’t be more excited about this new set of problems.
Honolulu Wood Treating: At the end of 2016, we had to push to get a truckload of GatorBar packaged up and sent on its way to the Aloha State. Honolulu Wood Treating, along with Aloha Marketing, spent the beginning of 2017 making the industry aware of the GatorBar arrival. The buzz made its way around the islands and before long, much of the container was claimed, before the shipment even landed in Honolulu. Let me say that again BEFORE the shipment landed!! With the GatorBar Product Launch on the horizon, Gary Okimoto needed to make sure he would be serviced following a successful launch. The initial PO was followed up with a second PO for an additional container.
“Hawaii is a great market for us. The corrosion problem is a real issue faced by industry professionals every day, and GatorBar can help solve this,” said Erik Kiilunen, Neuvokas CEO. “This is a great opportunity for GatorBar to develop a presence in Hawaii. We’re all working together to make this a fruitful relationship for all. It’s all hands on deck at this point!”
Kiilunen made the trip to Oahu to support HWT and Aloha Marketing at the GatorBar Product Launch in late February. Many engineers and contractors were in attendance at multiple meetings, interested in learning more about GatorBar.
Shortly thereafter, HWT made a statement. They wanted to be a priority for GatorBar, and to make sure they’d be able to service their customers’ demands, HWT committed to 12 more truckloads to round out 2017. This million dollar purchase order definitely put HWT top of mind our mind here at GatorBar!
“This is when the sales team passes the torch to the production floor,” said Matt Moyryla, Production Manager at Neuvokas. “’We need bar, you do what you need to do to produce.’ It’s time for us to make it happen. This is the good kind of pressure so we’re excited to do just that.”
Barnsco: Hawaii aside, the Continental US saw some great movement in the first quarter of 2017 as well, and we’re just as fired up about this development. Barnsco Concrete Construction Materials was founded in 1984 and is a well-established distributor with locations in Texas as well as our home state, Michigan. We first welcomed Barnsco Dallas as a distributor, followed by Barnsco Walled Lake. We shipped 450,000 linear feet of GatorBar to the Dallas location and another 450,000 feet will be on its way to Walled Lake soon.
In mid-February, Erik Kiilunen and our Texas sales force spent an afternoon at Barnsco Dallas educating their team about GatorBar. “Barnsco is a very reputable company with a vast network of loyal customers, now potential GatorBar customers,” said Larry Goldberg, Regional Sales Manager. “We’re here to support their efforts and help out where we can.”
While these developments are only baby steps in our journey towards global distribution, we’re more than happy to take a moment to celebrate our victories along the way. We’re just catching our breath, because we won’t be falling off the wagon anytime soon.