With roots dating back to the 1920’s, APR Supply Co. has grown into a full service distributor of plumbing, HVAC and hydronics products, with over 32 locations across Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A third generation family business with corporate offices and central distribution in Lebanon, PA, APR Supply Co. was one of the first in the industry to launch a successful e-commerce website providing real-time inventory availability and 24/7 purchasing to customers. As a market leader, APR’s success is driven by their commitment to grow, change with the times and live out their core values – Customer, Excellence, Integrity, Respect and Results. In the last 20 years, the company has doubled in size every 5 years.
APR Supply Co. is intentional in its efforts to develop people and to promote from within whenever possible. This principle is demonstrated by the career history of current Executive VP of Sales & Purchasing, Terry Ludwig. Terry began with the company over 24 years ago working in the warehouse and, through a series of promotions, worked his way to Purchasing Manager, then Sales Manager and eventually the position he currently holds on the Executive Leadership Team.
It was in his role as Sales Manager with APR that Terry began a coaching relationship with Roger North of North Group Consultants. Roger was familiar with the company as he had assisted in developing their organizational structure and leadership approaches throughout the company’s growth. Actually, it was Roger who recommended Terry be elevated to the sales management position. As a leadership coach, Roger was tasked with helping Terry develop and refine his leadership skills, helping him get the best out of his team.
In the beginning of the coaching relationship, Roger worked to develop trust and respect with Terry, by both affirming and challenging him, and helping to develop his ability to become a more introspective and self-aware leader. As the relationship deepened, Roger encouraged Terry to confront uncomfortable situations, ask the hard questions, listen well and “enter the danger” (Lencioni, 2009) with his team.
A key ingredient for a successful coaching relationship is a willingness to learn. As Terry states, “You can be coached only if you want to be coached.” Leaders at all levels can benefit from this time set aside to work on themselves and develop their leadership abilities which, in turn, impacts those they interact with every day.
Terry has grown as an individual and as a leader through his sustained relationship with Roger. Coaching has provided a level of accountability for personal development, and a better understanding of emotional intelligence and self-awareness.
Over the duration of the coaching relationship, Terry’s sales staff has grown from less than 12 sales professionals to more than 30. In order to lead these professionals well, Terry and Roger developed a Regional Sales Manager position which is now populated by four mature and effective sales leaders.
In his current position as Executive VP of Sales & Purchasing, Terry oversees the purchasing and pricing functions at APR in addition to his role of leading the sales staff. Terry’s executive and leadership growth has been central to the growth of APR as they pursue their mission, grow their employees and serve their customers with excellence.