Eastern Wholesale Fence Co: Innovation & Commitment to Quality
Why Eastern Fence is "the best in the business."
Eastern Wholesale Fence Co. of Medford, New York, was founded in 1971 as a wholesaler and supplier of fence and related products, primarily pre-built wood fence sections and chain link gates. As other product categories entered the marketplace, the company added to its lines. In 1996 the company began fabricating its own PVC fence line and, as second-generation C.E.O./C.F.O. Peter Williams, Jr., points out, the “timing must have been right.”
PVC has a strong presence in the marketplaces Eastern Wholesale Fence serves, and the company has become a leader in the industry. Today the company produces Illusions PVC fencing and EverStrong Profiles in its state of the art extrusion plant. All vinyl products are made with 100% virgin vinyl and meet or exceed ASTM F964 specifications. Eastern Wholesale Fence also continues to produce custom white cedar and western red cedar sections, a full line of wood fence, chain-link, ornamental aluminum and steel, welded mesh, guide rail and post and rail.
Williams points out that from the beginning, the goal was to provide “exceptional service.” Shortly after he joined the business twenty years ago, Williams said, “We went through a major re-organization to one location to better focus on best practices.”
When the company moved into fabricating its own fence line, “the goal was to have a large array [of materials] easily and quickly available.” Williams said Eastern Wholesale Fence had to make sure it could successfully compete with other PVC fabricators. The company’s website promises that customers who order stock materials by 5 p.m. will have delivery the next day (within the standard delivery area). Sometimes, says Williams, that’s more efficient than even the customer can accommodate! It does, however, mean that customers in that area do not have to stock materials themselves.
Availability, however, is only one side of the service equation for Eastern Wholesale Fence. Quality is the other. And so in the last decade the company expanded its operation to include its own extrusion plant. The plant features the most technologically advanced extruding systems in the industry, some of the most seasoned people in extrusion worldwide, and a complete quality control lab which is unparalleled in the industry. Using advanced chemistry and state of the art proprietary tooling and manufacturing equipment, all of the polyvinyl components that go into EverStrong Profiles are constructed of scientifically formulated 100% virgin coextruded PVC compounds.
Williams is the current chair of the Vinyl Manufacturers Association (VMA) Steering Committee and a division of AFA. VMA is finalizing its standards and accreditation program, which it expects to “roll out” in 2014. Williams speaks for everyone who worked on the project, describing it as a “tremendous” accomplishment.
The accreditation program for vinyl fence, deck and railing products will verify to customers (which include distributors, contractors, code officials, consumers, and specifiers, among others) that the products of VMA accredited companies meet or exceed industry standards and are made through a quality process. The accreditation program requirements draw heavily on established industry standards and also references fence, deck and railing standards developed by VMA that will be approved through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The project is a big step forward for the industry and a welcome one for companies like Eastern Wholesale Fence whose goal has been consistent, quality products.
Succeeding in a recession
Fencepost asked Williams how the company successfully weathered the recent economic recession. Like most other companies, he said, “We learned to do a lot more with a lot less. We ran tighter as everyone did.”
Importantly, Williams continued, the company was also able to retain its innovative edge, developing and introducing the Grand Illusions line. Grand Illusions Color Vinyl Fence and Woodgrain Vinyl fence offers 35 colors and five wood grains, offering customers seemingly unlimited design options to match or coordinate with siding, trim, windows and more. The company is also prepared to fulfill requests for curved fence panels or rails, special sizes, custom or curved rail gates or other custom styles.
What’s ahead? Williams says the company plans to continue with innovative products and extending its reach around the country, growing the number of distributors who carry its products. The goal, he says, is to “do what we do best and let other distributors do the same.”
For its commitment to customer service and innovation, Eastern Wholesale Fence Co. is someone you should know.