Case Studies

Seven D Wholesale

Celebrating Over 50 Years of Top-quality Service

The DeGol family knows when to seize an opportunity. Bruno and Lena DeGol saw an opening in the market in 1950 and purchased a small masonry block plant in Gallitzin, Penn. The duo gradually expanded the business into a full-service lumber and building materials retailer, continually growing the focus to cover everything from carpet installation to truss and window manufacturing to develop the DeGol Organization. Today, the retail sales of building materials have been scaled back to allow the DeGol Organization to focus on Seven D Wholesale (SDW), a building materials wholesale operation.

“I have to give credit to my parents for having such amazing foresight and vision,” admits Don DeGol Sr., chairman of the DeGol Organization. “When we only had the masonry block plant, they saw that we were basically done once we delivered an order, but the lumber supply trucks kept making deliveries throughout the project.”

Bruno and Lena expanded on the masonry block plant into a total lumber retail store under the name of DeGol Brothers Lumber in 1959. The retail operation ultimately laid the foundation for growth into the wholesale building materials market.

The DeGol family launched SDW in 1972 to bridge the supply gap and provide continuous and regular service to the communities between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, with the first location and lumberyard located in Gallitzin, Penn.

The seven D’s of SDW consist of Bruno and Lena and their five children: Denny, Gloria, Dave, Bruno Jr. and Don Sr. The siblings remain equal partners in all of the DeGol Organization’s companies, as each spent their teenage years helping out wherever needed, sweeping floors and loading trucks. The siblings split the roles as follows: Bruno Jr., CEO of the DeGol Organization; Denny, COO of the DeGol Organization; Dave, president of DeGol Carpet; and Gloria, a managing member of the DeGol Organization.

These days SDW continues to serve as the wholesale liaison for lumberyards and specialty stores, in need of full truckloads and carloads of commodities and other building products. Along with the company’s experience, SDW’s geographical focus has expanded greatly over the years.

The team’s distribution centers are located in Newmanstown, Gallitzin and Scranton, Penn., as well as Deerfield Beach, Fla.; Rocky Hill, Conn.; and Greenville, S.C. Roof shingles, insulation, engineered wood products, as well as lumber and plywood products make up the primary product focus of SDW’s inventory. However, it is the company’s complete commitment to quality products that sets SDW apart from competitors.

Quality First and Foremost

“When we make the decision to pick up a manufacturer’s line, we don’t skimp; we pick the whole line up,” asserts Don Sr. “It’s the only way we can really take care of our customer.” In practical terms, SDW’s complete commitment means its five locations maintain inventories that are comprehensive in size and scope. It may seem excessive, but SDW aims to avoid special orders at all costs in the belief that customers should be able to place orders with confidence that SDW will be able to deliver.

SDW employs over 250 professionals by Don Sr.’s estimates, which also includes the employees of SDW’s window and truss manufacturing divisions. Bruno Jr. launched the truss manufacturing division in 1990 as a way of extending SDW’s focus in serving the manufactured housing industry. The window manufacturing division followed in 1994. The window division expanded quickly, forcing the team to relocate from the original 18,000-square foot location to a new 100,000-square foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in 2005.

The window and door division produced over 100,000 units in 2000 alone. Today the division produces a full line of vinyl windows, patio doors, sliding rails, casements, awnings and custom architectural components. The roof truss division now designs and manufactures steel roof truss systems to better serve commercial customers.

Taking Calculated Risks

Change came once again in 2007 when SDW made the unlikely move away from the lumber and panel commodity markets. “It was a tough decision made by the family, but Denny made a really strong case for us to reduce our inventory of lumber and plywood products just as the housing bubble began to burst,” admits Bruno Jr.

Instead, SDW shifted its resources to expand its inventory of high-end and hard-to-find roofing products. The move ultimately paid off and the roofing product market has since grown steadily every year even as new residential construction activity decreased, as homeowners opt to invest in the roof already above their heads.

Similarly, the DeGols saw an opportunity to expand the company’s flooring supply operations and launched DeGol Carpet. Under Dave’s direction, the spinoff emerged as one of the Northeast’s premier suppliers and installers of flooring products. One of the division’s highlights is the awarding of the contract to install flooring as part of the $93 million renovation of Pennsylvania State University’s Beaver Stadium. Like SDW, DeGol Carpet strives to commit wholeheartedly to every product it represents, working toward creating long-term mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers and clients.

“We built our company on trust, honest and open conversation, because we want our customers and vendors to feel that we not only provide a superior service, but that we’re always going to be there for them,” asserts Don Sr.

Don Sr. stepped into the role of chairman in 2010 to make way for the third generation of DeGol family members to eventually take the helm. Wherever the next opportunity arises, Seven D Wholesale and the DeGol Organization as a whole are poised to find continued success in the years to come by capitalizing on over 50 years of industry experience and an ingrained dedication to the customer’s needs.

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Spring 2018



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