New innovation center to be built by Winsupply

Winsupply’s new facility in Moraine is aimed at fostering innovation at its nearly 600 locations nationwide, and will most directly benefit a local subsidiary that will move there, officials said.

The Richard W. Schwartz Center for Innovation will be located at the corner of Kettering Boulevard and Big Hill Road in Moraine, and serve as a local training facility for Winsupply Support Services employees from two adjacent campus buildings.

Naming of new 28,000-square-foot facility is a tribute to well-known Dayton businessman and philanthropist Richard Schwartz, Winsupply’s chairman and its former president and CEO.

Winsupply shares risk and equity with partner companies — 600 of them — in 45 states. It has 6,800 employees nationwide, including more than 400 throughout the Dayton area, 275 of them at its Moraine campus.

One of the Dayton-area’s largest businesses, employers and fastest-growing companies, Winsupply is in the business of construction wholesaling, every day supplying thousands of different products to contractors and installers nationwide.

That means “everything from faucets to furnaces, pipes to pumps and lighting to landscape irrigation," according to John McKenzie, president of Winsupply Inc. and its Support Services Group.

“Some call us a $4 billion wholesaler, but we’re not,” McKenzie said. “Instead, we’re a collection of about 600 independent wholesaling locations in 45 states across the U.S. We’re a collection of 600 separate companies each one run by a local entrepreneur that altogether produced nearly $4 billion dollars in revenues last year.”

Winsupply’s Support Services Campus consists of three buildings at 3110 Kettering Blvd, 3176 Kettering Blvd. (Wilcon Construction) and at 3131 South Dixie Drive. The Richard W. Schwartz Center for Innovation will be its fourth.

The company’s Support Services team delivers “high-quality, low-cost, back-office services that the local companies need every day,” things like payroll and accounting, marketing and training, sourcing and logistics. e-commerce and IT, he said.

“Because of the help we provide here in Moraine, the local companies have a lot more time to create sales and serve their customers,” he said.

The company has had a Moraine presence since 1989, Schwartz said. It broke ground on the project Wednesday. Construction is expected to start in the next 30 days and be completed by next summer, he said.

Constructing the new building is not about Winsupply adding more space, but rather about its commitment to innovation, McKenzie said.

“For the first time in our 64-year history, we will finally have a dedicated facility that gives people from our support services team the chance to work side-by-side with one of the local companies, Winsupply of Dayton," he said.

Once the new building, plumbing supply house Winsupply of Dayton, which is owned by Jeff Williams, will move its entire operation from its location four miles away near downtown Dayton to the Moraine site, McKenzie said.

That will allow Williams and his company to continue to serve their residential and commercial plumbing customers, but with a full-service counter, much larger offices, more warehouse space and outdoor storage, he said.

“In addition to that, Jeff’s company will also become Winsupply’s primary location for training new employees and testing new innovations that help all local companies,” McKenzie said. “For the first time, our Support Services team will get to do daily research and development inside a local company and then get feedback on the fly from Jeff and his employees as they serve customers every day.”

That means Winsupply’s Support Services team will be able to experiment, test, to fail and experiment again before rolling out its new processes, new software and new services that benefit all its local companies nationwide, McKenzie said.

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