Curt Towne

Depke Gases & Welding Supplies, Inc.
The IWDC to me means opportunity. At its most basic, it means we have the opportunity to compete cost-wise against any company in our industry. Historically, this was far from true for a company like us with three locations and 24 employees. There were many times where we had to walk away from larger accounts. Often, the nationals used their size to negotiate off-the-book pricing and then passed those dollars on to the end-users. As a small independent, our margins were being squeezed to nothing, but by being a member of the IWDC we have gained the opportunity to compete and make money.
The value the IWDC brings is immense. The IWDC helps keep Depke Gases & Welding Supplies competitive, compliant, and connected. And to be successful, all of these traits are essential. With the supply deals that are cut by our highly professional staff, all IWDC members operate on an even if not better cost position than any of the major competitors. There are joint programs with other industry groups, as well as our own training seminars to address the ever-changing world of DOT, FDA and OSHA compliance. Lastly, it is wonderful that I have the opportunity to discuss business issues and concepts with others who live the same lives in our unique industry. I have picked up many ideas at various meetings over the years that have brought further success to my company. There is no other group in the Gases and Welding Industry that brings the same breadth of value. I believe the perception of the IWDC in the industry is that we are a class act and a significant force. I believe many manufacturers have sought the IWDC because its make-up is of people who are passionate and loyal to what they believe in. Certainly, these are the kind of people any manufacturer would want selling their product. I believe that in our ever more impersonal world, the opposite has been true of other major players.
The IWDC has been a critical part of our success over the 20+ years that we have been involved. I do not believe an equal organization exists, and Depke will proudly continue to support the Co-op for years to come.
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