Month: August 2019

COE Distributing Celebrates
6th Consecutive Year on Inc. 5000 List

Smock, PA For Immediate Release

COE Distributing, a nationwide wholesale distributor of office furniture, has earned the position of 4450 on the 2019 Inc. 5000 List. While this is an accomplishment in itself, this will be COE’s 6th consecutive year on the list, which only a mere three percent of companies actually do. Making the list gets harder each year, and out of the tens of thousands of companies that have applied to the Inc. 5000 over the years, only a fraction has made the list more than once.

Every year, Inc. recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in America. Companies that generally make the list, on average, have grown six-fold since 2015, all during a time when the economy grew 12 percent. It is recognized as a true accomplishment, that most businesses can only dream of.

J.D. Ewing, President, and CEO of the company recognized all COE team members and thanked each one for the role they play every day in making awards like this possible. The entire team enjoyed pizza, cake, and balloons in celebration of the accomplishment.

He pointed out that there are many new faces at COE, and that we have immensely grown since last year. The growth is something that is not slowing down, as the company is opening up its third distribution center in Houston, Texas this fall, and is expecting to bring on 15 new team members.

Along with all the team members, who work hard every day to better the company, the customers and vendors also play a huge part in COE’s growth and success. They have all been supportive through the years, and COE would not be where it is today without them.

With all the new team members coming on board in the next couple of months, the opening of our Houston Distribution Center, and the continued support from all, Ewing is already anticipating to make the Inc. 5000 again next year.
“I expect to be back here for our seventh year in a row and reduce that number to two percent,” Ewing said. “And I continue to be grateful for our awesome and dedicated employees, tremendous customers, and supportive vendor partners.”

About COE: COE Distributing is the nation’s largest furniture only wholesale distributor. A third-generation, family-owned company, that started as a typewriter repair and office supply store in the late 1940s, by Clara L. Ewing in Hopwood, PA. Today, COE remains a family-owned corporation, specializing in wholesale distribution of office furniture and accessories. With over 120 years of combined office furniture experience, the owners at COE are committed and dedicated to making the customer’s buying experience at COE positive, and they make it their goal to be a recognized leader in the wholesale office furniture industry. To achieve this goal, COE team members are trained to provide accurate information and are encouraged to always take the extra step to ensure the customers are satisfied. By continually improving each day, COE is able to provide quality products as well as accurate information through technology and superior service. Creativity and innovation are encouraged from team members and rewarded by the implementation of ideas as well as company-wide recognition. COE’s values are to maintain a work environment where people enjoy coming to work, to exceed our customers’ expectations, and to be profitable and results-oriented.

C-O-E logo on conference room whiteboard

Starting as a small typewriter repair and office supply store in the late 1940s, no one could have envisioned the growth that this third-generation, family-owned company would see. 79 years later, COE Distributing is the nation’s largest wholesale distributor of office furniture. With its own private label product OfficeSource, COE has forward-thinking products that are great for any work environment. From the high-end executive office to a small office tucked in the corner of a home, OfficeSource provides modern, sleek, comfortable, and efficient furniture options that will meet any budget.

With a 270,000 sq. ft. warehouse space, located in Smock, PA, which just underwent a massive expansion in the last year, to another 180,000 sq. ft distribution center in Charlotte, NC, COE has always been a company of continuous growth, looking to satisfy its nationwide customer base. However, COE has not stopped at two distribution centers. A third location is opening in Houston, Texas in October. With this new 250,000 sq. ft

Along with the growth in distribution centers, COE is also welcoming many new team members to the company. The company has increased its workforce by 49 employees in the last two years, going from 59 team members to 108. Just in the last year, they have added 30 new faces.

Ewing contributes much of the growth in team members to the company’s employee engagement programs. At COE, team members participate in quarterly book clubs. All the books read, are ones that Ewing himself and the leadership team have read through and believe in. Some of these books include “Becoming Your Best,” by Steven Shallenberger, “The Ideal Team Player,” by Patrick Lencioni, and “Scaling Up,” by Verne Harnish, which is the newest one the team is reading, and is one that the Executive Team has been working through for the last couple of years.

From these books, Ewing has gathered many effective practices that have been implemented and proven successful at COE, including the Start, Stop, Continue Employee Survey and hiring team members that are humble, hungry and smart both in life and at work.

Along with the book club, COE also offers an Employee of the Quarter Recognition Program and the new Rising Stars Program, where four team members are chosen through an interview process, to work alongside the Executive Team and Managers/Supervisors within a year’s period, to set them up for the next level of leadership. Within this program, they are able to spend time one-on-one with the Executive Team, travel to see customers and other distribution centers, work their way through webinars, help the leadership team find solutions to areas of improvement, and so much more. This program has already shown great success, with our current four rising stars taking immense pride in what they are doing.

 

 

Because Ewing believes that people are the difference makers, and contributes much of COE’s success to his humble, hungry and smart team members, outside organizations have taken notice. The Pittsburgh Penguins have recently named COE as their first-ever Proud Employee Engagement Partner. After realizing that COE and the Pittsburgh Penguins share similar values and employee engagement opportunities, the partnership easily became something that both organizations were excited to roll out.

The partnership will enhance employee engagement efforts at COE, with Penguins experiences, will provide opportunities to continue learning and growing in the company’s core values, will connect COE employees to the passion of the Penguins, and will promote a culture of winning and innovation. The Warrior Helmet Program, which was created based off of the Penguins’ locker room ritual, of a teammate passing the helmet off each game to another player who did something impactful during the game, is something COE is excited to implement into the company, to recognize the dedicated employees, who strive to be their best every day.

Due to COE’s continuous hard work, growth, and innovation, the company has not only been recognized by outside organizations like the Penguins, but has also received many high honors and awards. COE has made the Inc. 5000 list for six consecutive years, has received the Smart 50 Award six times, and has also received the Pittsburgh Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies and Largest Private Companies in the Pittsburgh Region Awards multiple times. Ewing has also been an Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist. As you can see, both COE and Ewing have been busy, and both are not slowing down anytime soon!

And while Ewing, COE and its team members are hard at work every day, they all still find time to give back and serve the community through things such as an employee matching fund at the Community Foundation of Fayette County, as well as volunteering time on numerous Fayette County non-profit boards. COE also participates in internship programs, community events that benefit local people and/or organizations, sends Christmas gifts to families in need, and has a big role in Pennsylvania’s Challenge Program, which recognizes high school students in multiple areas and helps prepare them for their future careers. Most recently, COE has become involved with the Greater Houston Partnership, which will help connect our company with Houston and will give our team members opportunities to learn and grow more in the community down in Texas.

Being around since the 1940s, COE has seen immense growth and opportunities. Ewing attributes the company’s success to the team members, the customers, and the vendors, saying that without them, COE would not be where it is today. With 108 team members and three distribution centers, the company is already a force to be reckoned with and isn’t going