WICHITA — Everyone told Kan Am Products owner Terry Donovan there was business waiting for him if he opened a warehouse in Dallas, but it was still a hard decision to make.
“I knew the business was here,” he says. He also, though, “knew what it was going to take to get this thing open.”
His company, which he started in 1988, is a wholesale distributor of vinyl siding, vinyl and wood windows and decking.
He expanded with a Tulsa warehouse in 1998, and one in Oklahoma City followed in 2000.
A big-box retailer was using another distributor in Dallas for its in-home sales vinyl products but was having problems.
“Our manufacturer asked if we would help,” Donovan says.
He did, and he did so much better than the other wholesale company, he says, “We kind of stole the account from them, delivering out of Oklahoma City, just doing what we were supposed to be doing.”
The retailer had been spending about $1 million annually with the other company and encouraged Donovan to open in Dallas to get the business.
“It just got (to be) too much,” he says. “They wanted someone here in Dallas.”
He was hesitant.
“Well, the economy sucks. Everybody’s down. It’s the new normal, we call it.”
He knew the big-box retailer would “give us a running start.”
“I just decided to open and take a shot at it,” Donovan says. “It’s going pretty good right now.”
The challenge isn’t making money so much as it is making the investment and getting the business running.
“It’s a ton of money to open one of these places,” Donovan says.
“I knew what it was going to take to get this thing open,” he says. “It just takes a year of grind.”
It has affected his golf game.
“I don’t play golf anymore,” Donovan says.
Well, he concedes, “very much.”