The Midas Touch of Stocking Distribution Flexibility

Masline Electronics
Written by Pauline Müller

As a leader in distributing passive and electromechanical components, Masline Electronics is on a growth trajectory following the COVID-19 pandemic. Helping to drive customers’ bottom lines through effective product distribution, logistics, and custom, value-added services, Masline’s team delivers personalized service on a level uncommon in this industry. That is why loyal customers keep coming back for more.

Passive components—like capacitors and inductors that store power in different formats and resistors that transmute electricity—are used extensively in technological circuitry to regulate, rather than supply, power. While passive electromechanical components are commonly available from large multinational companies, Masline’s success comes from its attention to detail and ability to suit its customers’ needs in a way rarely possible for larger outfits.

In a technologically-driven world where customers are often just another name on an invoice, Masline Electronics prides itself on giving faces and names to its global and national clients. Providing them with superior service and a single point of contact from its facilities in Rochester, New York is how the regional firm secures its place in an ever-shifting market.

This proud member of the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) may be comparatively small, but with that comes the agility to deliver fast solutions and good service combined with next-generation components of outstanding quality. Another huge plus is that, as per federal law, the company’s merchandise contains only conflict-free minerals, which it sells at the same prices as the multinational players.

Masline Electronics encourages its sales team to consider every contract a commitment that must also make business sense while providing its customers with focused value. “I am proud of my team for being able to do that and continue to move forward,” says Sales Manager, Jim Gerling. As such, Masline Electronics tailors its business to suit each client’s passive electromechanical needs.

The company has evolved alongside technology for nearly a century. It was established by Ed Masline, Gerling’s grandfather, in 1932. When Ed passed in 1964, his wife, Winona, who also owned a flourishing real estate business, kept his firm going. The company continued developing, specializing in television repairs and parts until the seventies, when it started moving toward serving the original equipment manufacturing (OEM) market. At this time, their son, Glenn, and later, their daughter, Sheila, joined. In 1991, they would be joined by Sheila’s son, Jim Gerling, when he started in sales.

Since 2005, the company has been expanding its reach, posting sales representatives in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indianapolis.

“We believe that doing business is still a face-to-face relationship. People buy from people they like. We have qualified people in place who are liked by our customers. You buy from people you trust,” says Gerling. He admits that the approach may seem old-fashioned to some; however, being able to solve issues and provide solutions when you know your customer well makes all the difference. Through this approach, Masline Electronics turns an otherwise often-unnoticed service into an essential source of support and expertise for customers who prefer having its value-added services on hand as an extension of their operations.

To ensure the smoothest buyer experience possible for its customers, Masline also invests in the necessary software and other technology to streamline buying. With the company’s annual goal of a ten percent growth rate, maintaining optimum customer comfort is imperative. Driving rapid growth through structured programs means that the company supplies its customers with roughly three months’ supply of consignment stock, the sale of which gets settled monthly. The process is simple, saving time, money, and labor. It also means that clients can order stock in quantities they need instead of bearing the cost of carrying dead weight inventory.

Naturally, the quality of the company’s wide variety of products and the strong reputations of the fabricators it represents are its star features. “We lead with our line cards, which are the lines we have franchise agreements with, and we believe we have a very good line card. So, we have the ability to sell our customers Tier1 suppliers and let the customers dictate what they want,” says Gerling of the system that makes stocking its components not only straightforward, but also cheaper due to significant shipping savings. Masline Electronics is especially committed to doing its part for the environment and reuses packaging where and when it can.

In addition, Masline offers end-of-life product benefits whereby it stocks components that allow OEM customers in instrumentation, audio, and medical devices and equipment to help maintain equipment warranties, for instance. “If you have a problem part, why wouldn’t you want to get it into your facility and have it there so that you can see it?” he asks. Under special agreements, the company even goes as far as holding up to two years’ worth of stock in support of such customer obligations to carry them through until they require components for the next iteration of their machines.

These longstanding relationships with well-known original equipment fabricators brought the company through COVID-19, unscathed and growing. To keep up the trend, Masline is firmly committed to adapting to the market and its customers. As a result, its sales team benefits from continuous education opportunities and training that raises awareness about the context within which they work.

Gerling considers the team to be like family. “We all don’t agree on everything, but at the end of the day, you want to treat people like you want to be treated. You try to hold people in the highest respect,” he says. “We figure that, when we hire people, we hire them for a lifetime. We want this to be the last job you ever have.”

The current goal is to grow the tight-knit group from 16 to 20 people by the beginning of next year’s third term as the company begins to explore new regions across the United States. “We are always looking for people—even when we don’t have an opening. When we find someone who we believe is qualified, we will make a home for them,” Gerling says. As it happens, many of its existing staff came to the company via word-of-mouth recommendations, illustrating the value of networking.

By meeting new people and building lasting relationships, Masline Electronics will continue to expand its foothold in ways that cultivate stability and trust. As a company that prioritizes family, its leadership is always ready to welcome the next new member of staff and customers alike.

“I think that’s a thing a lot of people are missing in corporate America. We try to put your needs and your family in front of everybody else,” Gerling says, highlighting how incredible the Masline team is for increasingly finding new ways of remaining relevant and providing improved value.



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