In business for more than 100 years, with the last 70 of them headquartered in Harrisburg, D&H Distributing is showing that it’s a lot more than its name implies.
The company still focuses mainly on its origins as a technology distributor, starting with phonographs and then moving on to black and white televisions and now such things as Chromebooks.
But today, the company also offers a wide range of services to support the products they sell.
“The vast majority of the business is still selling physical products, but there’s been a shift in the market to software as service,” said Dan Schwab, who serves as copresident of the company along with Michael Schwab. “For example, we sell Chromebooks to schools and we can offer that support as a value-added service.”
Now, in 2023 the company has expanded into many service areas.
D&H offers services ranging from solutions span cloud services, professional services, XaaS (“everything-as-a-service”) offerings, remote infrastructures, videoconferencing and collaboration, unified communications, networking and server, digital security, mobility, business continuity, ProAV, esports, PC and endpoints, WiFi, and digital imaging/printing.
D&H works to be a trusted one-stop resource, said Schwab.
He said the company basically adds services as it sees the need from its clients.
“But it’s always tangential to the business,” he said. “It’s not like we take a hard left and turn into something we’re not already experts in.”
GROWING AS LEADERS
Dan and Michael Schwab took over the company as copresidents during the financial crisis in 2008-2009. It helped them cut their teeth during a challenging time and gave them the skills they needed to lead during good times and bad.
Such skills helped them when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Like many technology-based companies, they found that their services were more vital than ever and they were able to work with clients, like schools, to make sure they had the equipment and service they had to support at-home education, or offices with at-home work.
That work is continuing today, although it has changed and, in some ways, become more complicated.
He said many offices have hybrid work situations right now and making sure people working from home and those working in the office have the same access to technology and communication.
Much of D&H’s work of late has been adding technology to conference rooms and meeting space to help with hybrid collaboration.
HARRISBURG IS HOME
With revenue of more than $5 billion annually, the family and employee-owned company is a significant presence in Central Pennsylvania with more than 1,000 employees at its Harrisburg headquarters and another 500 to 600 depending on the season in warehousing, including at its new 750,000-square foot, fully automated warehouse in Harrisburg.
While the company opened a second headquarters in Toronto, Canada in 2007, and serves all of North America, Michael Schwab said D&H is very committed to the Harrisburg community as an employee-owned company.
“We see it as a way to engage our employees to be a part of the company. We’re very loyal to the community,” he said.
“We hire smart talented people and give them the wherewithal to succeed and then we succeed,” added Dan Schwab.
With the company’s structure, Dan Schwab said the company has been able to recruit top talent that have long tenure with the company.
Having expert talent with longevity at the company helps the company build its relationships with its clients and helps D&H help those clients navigate through the many technological challenges they face.
It’s not surprising that the company has received numerous accolades in recent years.
D&H has been named as one of Central Penn Business Journal’s Best Places to Work for three years running.
It has also been named to Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies. D&H is in the Top 100 nationally and is ranked fifth in Pennsylvania on the list.
The company received a 2022 Insight Synergy Award for Distributor of the Year from Insight Enterprises (NASDAQ: NSIT), a Fortune 500 solutions integrator in the IT channel.
While the company has already grown and expanded into nearly countless areas of service, sales, consulting and marketing over the years, Dan Schwab said D&H still has an eye on the future.
“We’re always looking around the corner,” he said. “We pride ourselves on being very long-term focused.”
He said as they see new, pressing needs from clients and partners, D&H will continue to grow its offerings to meet those needs.