KNOXVILLE, TN -- Braxton-Bragg is planning a year-long celebration to commemorate 25 years of providing quality tooling and supplies to the stone and tile industries. Founded in 1994 by Doug Slocum and partner Ron Weiler, Braxton-Bragg has grown from a start-up to a national distributor with international ties.
“We are not just celebrating our business, but we are honoring staff, clients and suppliers who have contributed to our longevity and continued success,” said CEO, Rick Stimac. “We are commemorating those 25 years with charitable giving, employee recognition, product launches and special events.”
Starting in January, Braxton-Bragg’s employees will support local charities and organizations through money or volunteer effort. With two or three a month for the whole year, that will equal a good deed for every year Braxton-Bragg has been in business.
“We’re putting up a calendar of events each month that we’re going to be doing, and our people will have input to say what they want us to do, things that they might be behind already that we can support and add more things,” said Stimac. “I’m pretty excited about being able to give back to the community that way.”
Braxton-Bragg will also host two events in 2019, with the exact dates to be announced soon. The first will be a Partners in Excellence event, in which Braxton-Bragg will host customers and suppliers in the company’s hometown of Knoxville, TN. Customers and supplier partners will enjoy a golf outing, dinner, networking and a chance to hear some market intel from Braxton-Bragg’s professional staff.
That staff will take center stage at another event, this one focused on Braxton-Bragg’s team of employees. Stimac said that event will take place in the summer and will celebrate employee longevity, from five to 25 years. One employee, Jack Harrison, has been with Braxton-Bragg all 25 years.
“There’s a lot of tenure here at Braxton-Bragg,” said Stimac. “We want to recognize them for their time and commitment to the company.”
In honor of the 25th anniversary, Braxton-Bragg will be rolling out a new logo, along with “a re-launch or rejuvenation” of the distributor’s private-label brands, according to Stimac. These products will have redesigned packaging showcasing the new logo. Braxton-Bragg is enhancing the quality of its private-label brands and adding to the breadth of each line of products as well.
“For example, our Viper line will have blades that will work on the new products that are out on the market,” said Stimac. “With all the new materials being used for countertops, we’ll have a product offering to support that.”
In addition, Braxton-Bragg has added more national-brand products, including Hercules Material Handling, Stone Shield Vinyl Ester and a line of Viper Den installation and fabricating accessories, which are now available.
“The last couple of years, we had taken a step back in our relevance in the market because we didn’t have the national brand partnerships that were needed,” said Stimac. “We now offer a complete CNC line and are a one-stop-shop for fabricators. All of these national brands carry a lot of weight as far as brand recognition. They’re quality, higher-level products. They are leading technologies in the industry.”
Stimac said Braxton-Bragg is planning 25 more years on the cutting edge of the stone industry, both by looking back on the company’s history and planning for the future.
“I think many firsts happened because of Braxton-Bragg, whether it was providing superior service, offering value pricing that helps fabricators, or educating the industry through Slippery Rock Gazette,” he said. “For 25 years, we’ve been around through the good times and bad times of this industry. We’ve also been willing to drive new things in the industry. We’re not resting on our laurels.
“The opportunity is here for us to rejuvenate what Braxton-Bragg means to the market,” he went on to say. “This is an opportunity for us to communicate to the industry what we’re doing to help the fabricators. We’re bringing efficiencies that no one else in the industry does.”
Those efficiencies include a revamped website, an easier ordering process and the ability to receive the complete order all-in-one package. Still in place, as always, are Braxton-Bragg’s excellent customer service and 30-day, no-questions-asked guarantee.
“Keeping our base of service and technology and leading in those areas is important,” said Stimac. “We’ve evolved over the years, and now we have a pretty clear mission and values that will have us going for the next 25 years.”
Although Stimac has only been with Braxton-Bragg for one year, he has laid the groundwork in 2018 to set the company up for success in 2019 and beyond.
“I think that we’ve really taken an analytical look at the business, done some strong benchmarking and hopefully are supporting the fabricators through more information, more training, good sales, marketing and business development,” said Stimac.