Throughout time, WELD Specialty’s goal has remained unchanged.
In order to accomplish that goal, we have continued to broaden our vision in the industry.
With a history of expansion, innovation, and dedication to customer satisfaction, WELD is currently Wisconsin's largest independent welding equipment and gas distributor. Our sales force has well over 250 years of experience in the fabrication industry. Our company has focused on growth through customer service, innovative cost saving programs and the best products in the industry.
WELD Specialty Supply Corp. was founded in Grafton, WI, by two businessmen; Mr. Paul Sullivan and Mr. Jim Schmeling. They began by focusing on large manufacturers and soon realized that they needed a larger facility.
Operations moved to the Milwaukee location on 107th and Brown Deer Road. This allowed better access to the firm’s customer base. Throughout the '80s and early '90s, the main customer base was comprised of automotive-related manufacturers and automated, high volume manufacturers.
Having built the business to be an integral part of the Southeastern Wisconsin’s welding market, Sullivan and Schmeling felt it was time to sell it. The success of the business was realized by its employees, and three of them, John Dunfee, Doug Campbell and Scott St.Peter, bought it from the original two owners. Having three owners allowed for equal allocation of duties and best use of the owners' talents. With finances, sales and stock carefully being managed by one of the three owners, Weld Specialty continued to prosper.
An expansion of the physical facilities to 16,000 square feet occurred in order to handle the new sales volume that was experienced during the first four years of the new owners' management.
The three owners kept expanding their vision of what the company could be and the decision was made to enter into the industrial gas business and serve a larger spectrum of customers. Two additional owners were brought on, Bob Lang and Joe Cappozzo, who had many years of experience in the gas and welding distributor business.
The first important step in order to enter the gas business was to select a bulk gas supplier. WELD Specialty selected Air Liquide America—the world's largest producer of gases.
It was time to expand once again. A new branch facility in Kaukauna, Wisconsin opened in April 2003. This location serves all WELD’s customers in northeast Wisconsin and is a complete welding distribution center.
In order to accommodate this new expansion, several key moves were made:
Because of the progress that resulted we were able to place our first bulk tanks at customer sites.
As the business continued to expand, WELD started up its new cylinder filling plant in Milwaukee to provide faster, more efficient customer service.
Our Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) system proved valuable as several large volume customers signed onwith the security of knowing they would not run out of product and would be supplied with the best possible answers to help them get a competitive edge in their respective industry.
Several high profile welding equipment manufacturers were added to our line-up.
In April a new large branch store in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin was opened to serve in East Central Wisconsin. Later in the year the Milwaukee facility was expanded significantly, with the addition of a new warehouse, greater cylinder filling capabilities, and a renovated distribution center.
A fourth location was opened in Waukesha, Wisconsin to serve Milwaukee’s western and southwestern counties. To more precisely describe the company’s core offerings, our name changed to WELD Specialty Gas & Equipment, Inc.
In addition to our store locations in Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Kaukauna and Waukesha, WELD Specialty Gas & Equipment has a select group of dealers in our marketing areas to assist us in making our welding supplies available to our customers.
WELD Specialty Gas & Equipment is a significant part of the nation’s largest welding distributor cooperative--the IWDC (Independent Welding Distributor Cooperative). Headquartered in Indianapolis, it has been in operation since the 1970’s and is made up of 150 of the nation’s best distributors with over 650 locations in North America accounting for over two billion dollars in sales.
The IWDC gives us the ability to customize service and supply levels nationally for our customers. Bulk gases, cylinder gases, all types of welding consumables, and safety supplies are available on a nationwide basis because of our strong relationship with the IWDC.
This buying power enables us to help your business lower supply costs, even if your company does not have a national presence, or operates autonomously. The same programs we can use on a national basis are available to you locally such as our Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) system.