Distribution Talk with Brian Blauschild
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Beyond Best Practices: Crafting a Company Culture Based on Collective Improvement With Brian Blaushild of Famous Supply

Episode: 158

You’ve defined the company’s core values, but have you gotten specific about the behaviors that support those lofty goals? Brian Blaushild, the president of Famous Supply, has, and his commitment to these fundamentals is reflected in the company’s superb culture. Jason caught up with the fourth-generation leader to learn more about the Famous 40 Fundamentals and how those principles have impacted everyday operations at the multi-branch HVAC supplier. The pair also discuss promoting from within and the meticulous succession plan that prepared Brian for the top job at Famous.

“I really didn’t know too much about what Famous was, growing up,” reflects Brian. Blame geography. The Akron-based company was an hour’s drive from the family home. That distance prompted the Blaushild children to take local jobs during the summer. Brian ultimately found the prospect of working alongside his father and grandfather compelling enough to make the trip. He began his extended integration process while in college and slowly transitioned through each department of the 90-year-old company.

Brian attributes his smooth ascent to president to his father’s comprehensive succession strategy. The plan allowed Brian to develop his skills holistically without sacrificing Famous Supply’s methodical approach to expansion. The Famous 40 Fundamentals––a video series that outlines daily actions that bring the company’s core values to life––extends that evolutionary philosophy to every team member. “We started doing the fundamentals in 2016 as an email message,” says Brian. “We pick one [fundamental] to talk about every day of the week. Then, once we get through all 40, we start back at number one.” 

The Famous 40, which includes familiar tenets like transparency and collaboration plus more complex concepts like “Be In The Gray Zone” and “Share The Why,” moves beyond standardized best practices. Each entry is designed to spark inquiry around individual agency and collective responsibility. “There’s three or four that I’m elite at, another half dozen I do very well at, and other ones I need improvement on,” admits Brian. That’s the point: everyone, from C-suite execs to warehouse staff, engages with the Famous 40. Their joint efforts strengthen company culture, propel innovation, and inspire loyalty among coveted next-gen talent.


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“I really do think our associates appreciate that they’re highly integrated into what our strategy is.”

“Sometimes we’re probably even a little bit too transparent or too trusting, but the benefit outweighs the few times you get burned.”

“A lot of people say, ‘at my last job, I felt like a number. I felt like I didn’t know what was going on.’ I think sharing the financials, that’s kind of the ultimate level of trust. There’s a human component of it where people like working for a business that is open about that.”

“We get the benefit of the doubt from a lot of our associates when we make tough decisions because we’ve built up a lot of trust. They know that we care.”

“We try to not use the word policy. We don’t even say it. Do we have policies? A few. But we try to say we have guidelines. We really try to encourage people to use judgment. There’s certain things you need a policy for, right? But, if we don’t need a policy, we’re gonna have a guideline.”






Distribution Talk is produced by The Distribution Team, a consulting services firm dedicated to helping wholesale distribution clients remove barriers to profitability, generate wealth, and achieve personal goals.  

This episode was edited by The Creative Impostor Studios. Special thanks to our sponsor for this episode: INxSQL Distribution Software, an integrated distribution ERP software designed for the wholesale and distribution industry.

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