Since 1962 The Jeske Company has been there.
In 1962, Elmer Jeske purchased Action Products, a wholesale company that sold door hardware, and the foundations of The Jeske Company took root in Appleton, WI. Elmer ran the one-man show out of a small garage, shipping orders during the day and selling products at night.
Action Products began to expand, adding customers in both Illinois and Minnesota. To avoid being confused with other Action Products companies in the area, Elmer changed the company name to AP of Appleton. A few years later, the name changed again, and The Jeske Company was born. Elmer’s sons, Jim and Jay, joined the team, first in the warehouse and then as salesmen.
The company continued to grow, adding more sales and support staff. This growth brought new advances in technology and a need for more space. In Appleton, the company moved four times before settling on Capitol Drive in 1975. The Jeske Company was one of the first companies in the area to utilize mechanical order pickers and computers.
With an increasing Minnesota customer base, The Jeske Company decided to add a warehouse in Eagan, MN. This allowed the company to bring its exceptional customer service and one-day shipping to customers in Minnesota and other Midwestern states.
Elmer Jeske passed away in 1988, and Jim and Jay took over the company. Since then, the Jeske Company has continued its steady progress, and a third generation of the Jeske family joined the team.
In 2001, the company opened a distribution center in Memphis, TN, expanding The Jeske Company’s customer base into the southern United States. Over the next few years, the company moved its southern warehouse twice, settling in Southaven, MS, with extra land available for expansion opportunities.
Again, this growth meant improvements in technology at The Jeske Company, and, in 2002, the company implemented a new computer system, allowing the company to use barcodes and scanners to fulfill orders. This not only increased efficiency and reduced order errors, but it also paved the way for the company to later create its own products.
In 2006, The Jeske Company began importing its own hardware, with the goal of creating “common sense” products without sacrificing quality or pricing. The company began with cabinet hardware and builders hardware and now carries more than 3,000 SKUs of its own under the Stone Harbor Hardware and K9 Fasteners brands.
In 2009, advances in warehouse management, inventory control and shipping methods made it possible for the company to streamline its operations, and the Minnesota facility was closed. This helped The Jeske Company reduce costs and improve its customer service while reducing lead times.
In 2010, the company introduced Stone Harbor door locks, expanding its proprietary hardware offering. In November, Jim Jeske, the company’s president, passed away. Erich Russ succeeded him as president, and the company sought new opportunities for growth, doubling its revenue during a five-year period.
The Jeske Company created a commercial hardware department in 2011, and since then, the company’s commercial business has increased dramatically. This growth paved the way for additional expansion within the company.
In 2014, the sales team began to focus on developing territories in other parts of the United States. Market development managers began cultivating new territories and building relationships in different parts of the country. Under the direction of the company’s new sales manager, the sales team grew, and the business continued to thrive.
In 2015, the company saw numerous ecommerce opportunities and created a department to capitalize on this business. These new partnerships allow the company to meet consumers where they are, diversifying the business so it is not reliant upon a single marketing channel.
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