By Mark Inboden
I’m pleased to introduce another Colorado company and valuable UCEC vendor, Royal Supply Company, Inc. Based out of Commerce City, Royal Supply was founded in 1963 by former United States Air Force Mechanic Virgil Flanders. This early version of the company was known as Denver’s “Rivet House” because they were a supplier of surplus aircraft parts.
Today, Royal Supply is a wholesale fastener distributor specializing in automotive and industrial service and supply. Products include hydraulic hose fittings, made in the USA terminals and high-speed cutting tools, among thousands of others.
In 1983, Philip “Bob” Rowland purchased Royal Supply and went into business with his son Ken and daughter in-law Karen. Ken and Karen’s son (also named Ken) told me that the eldest Rowland established the principle by which he and his family would operate Royal Supply: “To provide the best possible service and top-quality products at a fair price.”
Royal Supply moved several times in its history as the product line expanded. They are now located in a 13,000 square-foot warehouse in Commerce City stocked with 30,000 different items. The company works across the western U.S. with a sales force based in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming and Montana. Customers are located everywhere—from Florida to Hawaii.
Ken Rowland, Jr., is Vice President of Royal Supply. He grew up with the company, taking on a summer job when he was just 10 years old. Since then, he’s held almost every position as Royal Supply grew and expanded.
“It’s a true family business,” Ken said. “Our customers and employees are very loyal. We treat them the way we want to be treated.”
This view of customer service is very similar to UCEC’s. “The majority of people usually know what they want or they are close,” Ken said. “They might not know the exact part, so we ask them questions. Often, fasteners are used in critical locations, so we want to make sure the right part is chosen for the job.”
Customers of Royal Supply include government agencies, manufacturers, trucking companies, organizations who do heavy machinery maintenance and even mechanics who run small shops. Ken told me with a laugh that the only “fastener” they don’t carry is the common nail.
Our relationship with Royal Supply goes back about five years. We tend to order their products ahead of time due to our project planning and forecasting. But if we need something at the last minute, they help us out, no questions asked. Our two companies work very well together, and I look forward to being a part of their success in the future.
Mark is the CEO and President of UCEC.