Keys to Success
After reviewing nearly 100 hundred years of collective business intelligence that has been passed down among three owners, it is clear that there are five keys to our success have been honed and embedded in our culture.
to overcome obstacles and manage shifts in the marketplace.
financially and with patience, we have built and invested in solutions to solve complex problems for our distributors’ customers.
the smart kind, is what Virtual Supply has created for itself by maintaining relationships, analyzing market shifts, and looking to the future.
through in-house training, education support and mentoring for our employees enables the team to grow and be promoted.
internally drives us to be the best in market at creating custom solutions for our customers
From selling radio crystal tubes in the 1920’s, to strategic distribution for manufacturers and retailers in the 2000’s, Virtual Supply has deep roots in the distribution industry. Over the past century, two themes emerge along our timeline. The company has carefully passed hands from family to friends, not adversaries. When the market changes, our astute business leaders have shifted with the times with an eye on the future.
Virtual Supply Timeline
Starts in a Basement
Don Burcham is a Southern Pacific Railroad engineer by day, and starts selling Crystal Radio sets by catalog at night. Working out of his basement, Don builds up his catalog business.
Also an engineer on the railroad, Bill Earl Sr. leaves the Southern Pacific Railroad and buys the company from Don Burcham.
Fun for the Whole Family
After a term at University of Oregon, Bill Earl Jr. joins his dad (Bill Earl Sr.) at the Don Burcham Company. Years later, Larry Brown, after leaving the Oregon State University and serving in the U.S. Army, asks his uncle Bill Earl Sr. if he can join as well.
Time for a Name Change
Along with moving out of the Don Burcham owned building, Bill Earl Jr. and Larry Brown decide it’s finally time to change the name to Earl & Brown Company.
The company morphs into a manufacturing rep company with two divisions: Consumer and Industrial. Selling TV tubes, electronics, batteries, and music equipment in the Northwest.
Bill Jr. Retires
After 24 years in the business, Bill Earl Jr. retires and Larry Brown becomes sole owner.
Chuck Taylor's 1st Round
Chuck Taylor joins Earl & Brown as Regional Sales Manager in the Consumer Products division in the Seattle office.
Distribution Becomes the Future
Larry Brown sees the future in distribution and sells the Industrial Division of the manufacturer rep business to employee, Mark Taylor. (Not related to Chuck Taylor.)
In the consumer division of Earl & Brown, Chuck Taylor pioneers a new sales channel, introducing Motorola two-way radios directly to Costco. Historically, Motorola two-way radios were only sold directly through the dealer channel at this point in time.
Consumer Division Transition
Chuck Taylor moves on to computer parts distributor, MicroSupply. This move came after Larry Brown sold the Consumer Product Division to Steve Long, who then formed Steve Long & Associates (SLA.) Ultimately, coming full circle, Chuck purchases SLA in the future.
Internet is the Future
Approached by Costco in search of a custom distribution solution, Earl & Brown becomes one of the first distributors to fulfill online for Costco as they build their online retail website.
Based on their reputation in the market, Amazon chooses Earl & Brown as one of its first three drop-ship partners, distributing consumer electronics and two-way radios.
Back Home Finally
Larry Brown asks Chuck Taylor to rejoin Earl & Brown as an equity partner. Chuck sells TaylorLong & Associates and jumps on board. In the past, Larry Brown's spinoff "Steve Long & Associates" created in the 90's, was purchased by Chuck Taylor in the early 2000's to form TaylorLong & Associates. Do you see the trend?
New Warehouse & Office Space
Earl & Brown moves into new Beaverton, Oregon facility. Warehouse and office space expands from 3,000 to 21,000 square feet.
Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing
Earl & Brown is recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the 5000 fastest growing privately held companies in the United States.
Chuck Completes Buyout
Chuck Taylor buys company from Larry Brown and becomes sole owner. Larry stays on team in the Consumer Products Division.
Company takes over 6,000 additional sq. ft. in adjacent warehouse, breaking through the walls to gain more product storage space.
100 Best Companies
Voted one of the "100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon," the company continues to focus on employee satisfaction.
Brand New Look
Taking vestiges of the old logo, the marketing department updates logo to reflect the modern day Earl & Brown. While keeping the E & B moniker, the "Virtual Supply Company" is added to the tagline.
Movin' On Up!
Earl & Brown, a Virtual Supply company, busts a move and completes the transition into a new corporate campus and warehouse across the street.
Fastest Growing Private Companies
Under Chuck's leadership, the company is recognized as one of the "Fastest Growing Companies in Oregon," as it continues stellar growth in 2014.
It is also named by Oregon Business Magazine as one of the Top 150 Privately held Companies in Oregon, the company earns a ranking of #9.
One More Time
Earl & Brown is once again recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the 5000 fastest growing companies in the U.S for the second time in five years.
Best, Greenest, Fastest Companies
Earl & Brown, a Virtual Supply Company, ranks #3 on Oregon Business Magazine’s Top 100 Places to Work in Oregon in 2015. Additionally, they are ranked #9 as Top 100 Greenest Workplaces in Oregon, and #96 as Fastest Growing Companies in Oregon.
10 Year Celebration
Celebrating the ten years since Chuck Taylor acquired the company, team members and plus ones attend a huge party in wine country to recognize everyone's contribution to Virtual Supply and Earl & Brown.
A new tilt-up warehouse for Virtual Supply's expanding product lines is added onto the building in 2019, in addition to creating new office space for the Earl & Brown Motorola team.