Pyramex Safety Supplies, LLC offers a full range of personal protective equipment with a focus on style, comfort, and competitive pricing. They offer eye protection, head protection, Hi-Vis work wear, gloves, earmuffs, welding protection, cooling protection, and more.
In 2018, Pyramex opened a new facility which allowed them to combine their world headquarters and their warehouse under one roof. A few months after opening, Pyramex reached out to Redwire AV to provide sound treatment for their cafeteria. While I was familiar with the project, and had seen pictures of the ceiling, I am so glad I was able to see the finished product in person. The final design is vastly different from what I had envisioned. I expected to see a typical office cafeteria with laminate tables, plastic chairs, and tile floors. What I found instead is a beautiful space that is warm, inviting, and looks as if it belongs in a magazine. There was a full kitchen, a large island, and two commercial community fridges. Katherine Slater, the interior designer, said, “We definitely didn’t want cookie-cutter commercial furniture. These [tables] were custom made by City Wood.” He brought on a welder, who made all the bases, and now they have actually formed a business together.”
It’s clear that Pyramex had a very specific vision when designing this space, and it feels more like a home than an office. Katherine said that it is their hope that Pyramex feels like one big family. One of the ways Pyramex fosters this is by hosting an Eat-A-Thon every month for breakfast and lunch. They alternate between Team Days, where a group of ten to fifteen people work together to plan a menu for that day, and days where the company provides the food. Sometimes Pyramex provides an omelet specialist who cooks omelets together, but it’s all
about bringing people together. In addition to the Eat-A-Thons once a month, Pyramex provides breakfast and lunch to the company from Thanksgiving through the New year.
Before touring the facility, I had the privilege of meeting one of the founders, Mike Slater, and saw photos from when the company began 28 years ago. He told tales from company’s early, humble beginnings, a stark contrast to their current 260,000 square foot facility. When I asked Mike to describe what it is that sets Pyramex apart from other companies, he responded, “It’s our culture. We are a faith-based organization and the culture is based on servant leadership. It’s worked very well for us.”
Janis Selvey has been in this industry since 1985, and was VP of sales for 17 years before moving over to marketing. When I asked her about the culture, she said, “We have a culture to do business--but it’s also a culture to be a family. You saw the kitchen; EATING is a big deal for us.” She spoke about the Eat-A Thon, badminton and cornhole tournaments where they compete for money prizes during work hours. “It helps keep the competitive nature going. When they play those games, the office workers will pair up with the warehouse workers. It allows you to get to know someone else in the building who isn’t from your department, so you can have those personal conversations. We work hard and play hard.”
For the first 10 to 15 years, eye-ware was their main category. Then they moved into hard hats, and created their own design called Ridgeline. It's similar to a mohawk. It’s made from a different material than most hard hats, so it's lighter, stronger, and more affordable.
In 2014, they brought in Hi-Vis apparel with ten to twelve styles, but now offer seventy-two styles. It is currently their fastest growing line. Janis explained that they started out with the basic vest, and now they offer a variety of styles, including a seven-in-one reversible parka with zip-out sleeves. “Customers know that if we are bringing in a line, then we are very methodical. It’s going to be the best quality it can possibly be, so they don’t have to be concerned about that.” Pyramex manufactures all safety glasses for Carhartt and Ducks Unlimited.
Janis said, “We build business on relationships. I have customers that I started with [17 years ago], that I still talk to once a week…. They like dealing with people that they can trust. Once people like you, they want to stay with you. We, as a company, honor that.”
Currently, if you get your orders into Pyramex by 2:30, they ship the same day. Most of their competitors do not do that. Their back orders are very small. Now that they are all under the same roof, they have room for growth. Janice said, “We are more efficient than we were before. We were good before; we are exceptional now. Customer service is not just the customer service department. It is what the warehouse does for the order, what sales does when they're talking to the customer, what operations does to get the pick tickets out, and the materials marketing creates. So it’s all rolled up into one as far as how we present ourselves to the customers and we want them to keep coming back.”
After touring the facility, it is clear to me that the relational culture, exceptional products, and efficient customer service all allow Pyramex to perform at their peak.