Frank Lowe Delivers More than a Sale: They Deliver a Partnership

April 10, 2024

A premier supplier of products used for window, door, and glass fabrication, Frank Lowe is also known for going above and beyond helping customers. In fact, they’ll help a customer with just about any aspect of their business, whether it’s making a process more efficient or someone’s job easier.

“We go beyond the sale,” says Randy Cohen, VP of Sales and Marketing. “If someone calls asking for window gaskets or setting blocks, we ask what they’re currently using, any issues they’re having, and what challenge they’re trying to solve. Then we provide recommendations for improving their process and final product.”

Employees empowered to respond – fast

This customer-centric focus begins with each employee’s first day on the job. Orientation includes communicating job expectations, the company’s five core values, and how to live them: Can-do Spirit, Positive Attitude, Selfless, Initiative, and Dedication to Customer Service.

Everyone on the Frank Lowe team is empowered to make decisions that put the customer and their needs first. If a call comes in at 3:00 PM for example, and the team member has an hour to solve it, then he or she does whatever it takes to get it done.

“If it means driving to the airport to ensure a product gets on a plane to the West Coast, because the customer ran out of stock and needs the product by the third shift, then that’s what we do – and have done,” says Cohen.

Cross-training improves efficiencies and problem solving

The Frank Lowe management team has been cross-training employees across the company for several years. To learn about roles and responsibilities for duties outside their normal job scope, employees swap positions – and are then then trained to perform those roles, just in case.

“Cross-training ensures we have backups for everything,” says Cohen. Machine operators, for example, learn more than one trade; people in accounting or other back-office functions learn about shipping or purchasing.

Cross-training also means that when a problem needs to be solved quickly, multiple people can jump in to help – because they have a vested interest and knowledge in more than one job.

The company’s core values played a big role during the pandemic. Cohen heard, for example, that other companies had trouble with people not wanting to come to work because of fear or wanting to work at home.

“That didn’t happen at Frank Lowe,” Cohen says. “Everyone on the team showed up to work and did what needed to be done. Everyone had positive attitude.”

Consistent growth since 1975

The proof of the company’s customer- and employee-centric approach is seen in its consistent growth. Since 1975, when Ira Warren (former CEO and now Chairman) purchased the company, Frank Lowe has expanded its footprint – from the original 1,400 square feet to 6,900 in the mid-1980s to over 44,000 square feet in 2004.

In 2008, the company purchased land and built its present day, state-of-the-art facility that includes 50,000 sq. feet of warehouse and production and 10,000 sq. feet for office space.

As Ira Warren’s nephew, CEO Brian Atkin shares similar family values. “The one thing that was instilled in me,” he says, “is that if you take care of your customers and your people, everything will fall into place. ‘Get people what they need, when they need it,’ is more than a slogan for us, it’s a lifestyle. We take care of our people and they in turn take of care of us.”

Due to its investment in people, the plant, and inventory, the company is prepared for recession – industry or global. The management team is talking to customers to learn how they can provide additional services or products, as well as improving efficiencies and continuing with employee cross-training.

Frank Lowe has always carried a large inventory, and will continue to do so, in order to deliver product with two-to-three week lead times versus the industry standard 9 to 12 weeks.

Sums up Cohen, “If you’re not working with Frank Lowe, you may think you’re happy with your current supplier. But once you work with us, you’ll understand what true customer service means.”