"D&H historically has a saying, 'We decline to participate in any economic downturn," says Dan. "When the economy gets difficult it often creates opportunities for D&H."
Opportunities indeed. The $2 billion distribution power, which added $25 million in new credit lines in the midst of the current economic crises, has delivered steady and consistent double digit sales growth for the last eight years. That includes the dot.com meltdown that resulted in dramatic downsizing at competitors.
Dan and Michael, who took the helm of the the 90-year-old, employee-owned, family-run business on May 1, are making sure that D&H continues that impressive double digit sales streak. So far, the brother team has done just that. For the first six months of D&H's fiscal year ended Oct. 31, the distributor delivered record double digit sales growth. And those sales have not come at the expense of profitability, says Michael.
By all accounts, the two brothers, the third generation of Schwabs making their mark in the intensely competitive distribution business, have brought a steady and firm hand to the business by embracing the D&H legacy of providing a personal touch to both VARs and vendors used to high sales rep turnover and constantly shifting playbooks at larger distributors.
Dan and Michael, who constantly bat ideas back and forth shouting loudly between their side by side offices, have split the duties of the top job. Dan, the more outgoing of the two, is focused on sales and marketing, while Michael, a supply chain and numbers whiz, is responsible for'finance and logistics. "Neither of our golf games has gotten any better," says Michael. "We are both quite busy. It would seem almost impossible either one of us could do the entire job."
So what will D&H look like in a decade or two under the two brother's steady hand? "Our goal is to continue to build a company that we can be proud of," says Dan. "We may sell different products, channels and geographies, but the core will always be the same: Everyone at D&H loves what they do. It's not just a job. It's our passion. That will always be the same."