Getting to know Midwest Wheel
John Minor, president and COO
Please briefly describe the history of Midwest Wheel.
Midwest Wheel has been serving the Midwestern marketplace for more than a century, and has been a distributor of trucking products for more than 35 years. We still specialize in areas that where common back in the day, for example, wheel end and suspension or everything attached to the undercarriage, but over time we developed a customer-driven distribution system that gave us room to grow. We’ve added products that our current customers were buying someplace else. Today, Midwest Wheel has several types of customers that we market to separately and share all of the services amongst them. We use the same delivery system, warehouse, inside and outside sales teams to service all markets. We have basically two major customer types sharing all we have to offer. Midwest Wheel buys from 270 Vendors and has more than 50,000 SKU’s in stock. We offer approximately 80 percent of products directly to all branches and the rest is cross-docked and distributed out of our main warehouse.
Please briefly describe your company’s distribution structure: What do you sell, who are your vendors, who are your customers, etc.?
We sell everything but some collision/crash parts and engines. We have products in stock for all other aspects of a Class 6-8 truck.
What separates Midwest Wheel from competitors in its marketplace?
Our distribution system.
How do you believe customers perceive your business?
We think customers view us as a complete supplier enabling them to reduce their supplier base.
How and why have your customers stayed loyal for 100+ years?
Consistency in our business practice and our long term family of employees.
What is one thing most customers/suppliers don’t know about Midwest Wheel that would surprise/impress them?
We are constantly working on communicating what Midwest Wheel is to our customers, stay tuned!!
What are the pros and cons of working for a family-owned business?
I think the biggest pros and cons of working for a family company are not the same everywhere. Building a company is bigger than family, it is all about the support and succession that drive family held businesses.
What makes Midwest Wheel a great place to work?
Everyone owns a piece of the action. We have stability and a great team of veterans and newer team members stepping up every day. It becomes contagious.
How vital is it to have quality employees entering your business from younger generations, and how are you trying to recruit these younger professionals?
The younger generation is the future. Everyone knows that. I think they want to be a part of something successful and if you show them and are excited about them they will be interested.
Do you feel Midwest Wheel is in the position to change with the times? If so, how?
We are constantly changing and developing new ideas, campaigns, continually trying to improve our services. I believe we are driven in all areas to growth and success for all team members.
Do you have any advice for the next generation, as they work in this industry?
This industry is as good as the people that are in it. My advice would be to do better than you ever thought you could do. It will pay off in any industry you chose.
What are your goals for the long-term future of Midwest Wheel?
Growth and opportunities. Develop a leading company that our team can say, “This is a great company I work for and I make it better every day”.
Why did Midwest Wheel join GenNext? How can GenNext help Midwest Wheel’ employees?
Simple. GenNext is our future.
Are there any industry leaders that have influenced you/mentored you? Who were they and how has their knowledge assisted you?
I/we owe a lot to our past, I would miss somebody by starting to names people that influenced me. So many great people and companies!