A Florida Gas Story

Posted by Florida Gas Welding

welding historyIn 1986 Otto Burrion after experiencing a sever accident at a welding supply distributor where he was employed he setout to venture in to the Welding Supply Industry. With very little business knowledge and some welding experienced gained in auto body field along with 6 siblings and with many ideas together he started Florida Gas. At first the ideas faltered and the naysayer’s said “It can’t be done with $500.00. The least amount you would need to open a supply store would require a minimum of 1 million for inventory and cylinders” After many requests he convinced Mike Beliqe of then Liquid Carbonic to sell him industrial gasses with some hesitation he much obliged. The idea was to get stores open so each sibling could operate them independently.

The first idea was to go and service the flower shops locally in Hollywood the City we grew up in. The only downside of this was that it takes a very long time for the florist to turn cylinder so the only thing we where getting in our investment of cylinder was nothing but $5.00 a month in rentals. Some times it takes struggles to understand what your doing wrong in business, but with this we knew what we had to do and it was to diversify. We opened our business to walk in trade and made our place of business a walk in friendly atmosphere allowing each customer to look and pick what he/she needed we were different than our competitors, back in those days all they had was a counter that you would ask for what you needed and the counter person would then pull it from the back this was a great change for us we gained more sales this way and now we also were able to display welding equipment. The first company that we proudly became distributors for was The Hobart Brothers Equipment Company. This was the beginning to bigger and better things we stride in acquiring the edge our competitors lacked, personal attention with the notion of being able to perform what the customer seeks. Experience in hands on welding. How can you sell an electrode without knowing how it works? or how to weld with it. All training offered by the manufactures has always been and will be priority to us. This has given us the ability to provide the end user the advice they need. By listening to our prospects needs and wants the direction that we provide is technical and well studied with the right solution.

Many years have passed and as the industry changed so did the way the rest of the siblings thought and as it goes all did not want to remain in the industry with different ideas all departed with the exception of one. As ITW entered the welding industry we saw a better opportunity to offer more than before Miller Equipment has brought our company a much need boost in recognition. They as pioneers to this industry having given us so much more to offer and as a recently retired friend and long time Miller Representative

John VanPelt once said “It’s not the sale that counts it’s what you will do for that customer after the sale“. We have taken that to heart and adapted ourselves to offer more. For example shoe wear we have embraced Timberland Pro Series Boots we are also offering Certification Classes and Training Seminars for any application of welding process and safety training in cutting/welding apparatus. We have began to do a difference in this industry we proudly serve on the AWS South Florida Section Committee and always are willing to help and teach about this industry.  It’s been a rocky road at time but in the end what we do every day is what we enjoy.

Category: News, Welding

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