Grove Madsen to benefit from Codale acquisition |

Grove Madsen to benefit from Codale acquisition

Duane Johnson
Grove Madsen Industries' reno branch manager Jeff Heinzen at the company facility.

In its 35 years in business, Grove Madsen Industries (GMI) has garnered a lot of business in Nevada.

The company, which has a sister branch in Las Vegas, serves as a distributor of electrical supplies and equipment for area electrical contractors and utility companies in many areas around the Silver State.

But, as Jeff Heinzen, Reno branch manager for GMI admits for the success in building a stable business, it’s still a relatively small operation with limited operational capabilities.

But GMI got a needed shot in the arm after it was acquired by Salt Lake City-based Codale Electric Supply. The company, renamed Grove Madsen Industries, a Division of Codale, will still operate independently, but now will have numerous resources supplied by the parent now at its disposal.

“It will be a great benefit to our customers because we’re now a bigger company and we’ll have more buying power, so we’ll be able to offer more competitive pricing and we’ll have more inventory,” Heinzen said.

One of the first things Codale will do is reconfigure Grove Madsen’s racking system at the 56,000-square-foot distribution center on East 6th Street in Reno, doubling its capacity.

A computer program also will be installed this summer that features a bar coded system that allows operations to run more efficiently.

“Before (the acquisition) it’s usually been a guy looking at a piece of paper and pulling it off the shelve,” Heinzen said. “The new system is bar coded, which makes it faster and easier to identify and pull products to make deliveries.”

Codale previously was a competitor of GMI, particularly in the mining territories in northeast Nevada. It had been an independent company before being acquired in 2012 by Sonepar USA, a global electrical distributor whose parent is headquartered in Paris, France.

Sonepar, which has distribution coverage all over the United States, saw its acquisition of Codale and subsequently GMI as a way to tap into the market.

“We competed with Codale for years, but we now supplement their territory,” Heinzen said. “There was no Sonepar coverage in northern Nevada, so this filled that hole for them.”

Heinzen says GMI has a fleet of three trucks, but the acquisition also provides them access to a larger fleet.

Codale has 13 distribution center locations throughout Utah and parts of Wyoming.

“We’re going to increase our routes we’ll have more people in more trucks making deliveries,” Heinzen said. “Another big thing is they’re going to run a nightly transfer truck from their warehouse in Salt Lake City, so we’ll have a truck show up every morning from their Salt Lake warehouse,”

GMI was started in 1981, by Mike Madsen and Jack Grove and had a facility just off of Packer Way in Sparks. Shortly thereafter, Vicki Combs approached the pair about starting a branch in Las Vegas.

Combs still heads up the Las Vegas branch, while Grove left the company in 1989.

GMI has partnered with major electrical manufacturers such as Rockwell Automation/Allen-Bradley, Eaton Power Distribution, and Hoffman. Codale has relationships with numerous electrical manufacturers around the country, adding to GMI’s product line. It also will introduce Grove Madsen to products that it didn’t previously stock.

“Our line card of products is two pages, Codale’s line card is five pages,” Heinzen said. “They also serve different markets that we previously didn’t do. We’ll be getting into datacomm and lighting market, so the product line will definitely expand.”

Over its history, GMI has been involved in many projects around the northern Nevada region, including the mining, government, entertainment, and distribution center markets. They’ve been a part of several developments at the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Center, industrial centers in Stead as well as some of the numerous building projects at the University of Nevada, Reno. They also were involved in the construction of Aces Ballpark (now Greater Nevada Field).

The Las Vegas division has been involved in several of the major hotel-casino projects in the southern region.

The company has moved twice in its history, first to a location on Greg Street in Sparks in 1986 before relocating to its current building on East 6th Street.

“Logistically this is a great space for us,” Heinzen said. “Within two minutes we’re headed north, south, east or west on I-80 or 395 freeway. We may outgrow this building someday, but for now we really like it.”

In addition to its distribution services, GMI offers electrical system training and technical seminars for those who work in the industry at its locations in Reno and Las Vegas, as well as in rural areas of Nevada.

GMI has approximately 42 employees, including 18 in Reno, and more staff will be added with the acquisition.

Heinzen added that the partnership should bring new opportunities for the company and its current employees. But at the same time it won’t stray far from its Nevada roots especially with all the new development in the area.

“It will be something new for us,” he said. “But it’s an exciting time to be in northern Nevada.”


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