Chadwell Supply Inc.
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Maggie McPherson
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
The Chadwell brothers have spent decades working in various segments of the construction industry. In the early 1970s, David, Jim and Larry Chadwell were working as builders in Tampa, Florida. When the construction market bottomed out, they knew they needed to build a steady stream of income for their family and colleagues. “We didn’t have a single house to build,” David explains. “I visited a maintenance business in Houston and returned with an idea. What if we thought in terms of construction maintenance, rather than new construction?”
“We established Chadwell Supply Inc., then known as Chad Supply, in 1975,” says David, principal and one of the founders of Chad Supply. “We built and ran that company up until 1998, when we sold the company to Hughes Supply,” he continues. “That was again bought out by Home Depot in 2006. In 2008, in the depths of our recent depression, we re-entered the apartment maintenance supply business, starting it up again with the help of our sons, our friends and our customers.”
“It began with a dream, a plan, a great team, and a leap of faith in deciding to reenter the market,” explains David. “Taking that risk allowed us to open within 4 months. We weren’t even sure who was going to show up on our first day; however, we knew God was in control and that He was the master in bringing the right people to reignite the engine.”
“The first years were hard,” he continues. “Our economy was collapsing, apartments were going under, financial institutions were closing down, unemployment was rampant and just as it seemed like the whole world was collapsing all around us, but we were still growing. That invisible hand was with us guiding us along.”
“We all believed that relationships mattered and we were committed to providing our customers experiences so radically different from our competitors that they would not only keep coming back but that they would begin to tell the world about us,” adds David. “That is what we strive for daily.”
Serving a distinct market
“We sell almost exclusively to the apartment market,” says David. “Look around an apartment and anything that breaks, we sell. The only exceptions are drywall and lumber, although we do work with a few contractors doing renovations and new construction of apartment complexes. Our target market is primarily the apartment industry and that includes management companies and independent owners.”
Chadwell Supply has built a one-stop shop for apartment property managers by providing everything they need for maintenance – all in one place. With an inventory of more than 7,000 products, Chadwell Supply ensures customers find exactly what they need with a knowledgeable staff as well as an outside sales force with years of experience. The company’s tagline says it succinctly: “Your Order, Our Truck, Next Day!” Property owners can purchase appliances, such as refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers, as well as doors, flooring solutions, pool supplies, plumbing, electrical and HVAC materials, paint, locks, hardware, landscaping products and more. This broad inventory is available both through physical locations and via Chadwell Supply’s website.
Chadwell Supply currently serves customers from eight branch locations, concentrated heavily in the Southeast. “We have a location in Columbus, Ohio, one in Dallas, one in Houston and the others in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas,” David elaborates. The company employs 300 people across all locations and team members strive to provide industry-specific expertise and a high level of customer service.
The driving force behind Chadwell Supply’s consistent growth has been catering to the needs of customers. No matter what the construction market looks like outside, property managers and contractors can find what they are looking for inside to maintain existing properties.
While opening a business in the midst of a severe recession may sound like a bad idea, the Chadwell family had the foresight to cater to the correct market. While new construction slowed in many communities, property owners held off on new facilities and renovated existing buildings instead. As apartment complex managers worked to rejuvenate existing properties, Chadwell Supply was right there every step of the way to make materials more accessible and the process more efficient.
“We started out at the bottom, but we’ve done pretty well,” says David. “During low points in the construction industry, we have been able to stabilize our family business. This sector keeps going whether construction is booming or busting.” And no matter what the market is doing, Chadwell Supply maintains a strong dedication to service and quality.
“I take pride in our ability to satisfy the needs of our customers while providing a livelihood for our employees,” David adds. While much about the industry has changed over the years, specifically technology, Chadwell Supply adheres to the same customer-centric principles upon which it was founded. As the business enters a new chapter, David and his brothers are passing on these values to their sons.
A new generation is taking on more responsibility at the company and will eventually take over operations completely. With years of experience in the supply sector of the apartment industry, the Chadwell cousins will build on the company’s solid foundation in the years to come.
With a strong product line, lasting relationships with manufacturers and customers, and unbeatable service, Chadwell Supply Inc. continues to serve as a trusted supplier for apartment owners, property managers and contractors throughout the country.
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