MURRAY, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2001)—Twenty years ago Robbie Rudolph began wholesaling tires in the dairy country of southwestern Kentucky. Recently Rudolph's Inc., with its control center housed in an old dairy barn, celebrated its 20th anniversary.
But rather than dwelling on its past accomplishments, the wholesale company—which features a caricature of “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” in its logo—is celebrating a future that looks even brighter than that glowing nose.
Though he would not get into specific dollar numbers, Mr. Rudolph said his sales have “grown significantly over the years.” What began in 1981 as a small company with a 6,000-sq.-ft. warehouse is now bursting at the seams.
Already with approximately 90,000 square feet of warehouse space over 272 acres, Murray-based Rudolph's has an additional 90,000 square feet under construction that company President Robbie Rudolph said will open next spring. The company is located a dozen miles from the Tennessee border.
“Our improvement has been the growth in the number of SKUs we carry and the on-hand availability of those SKUs,” he said. “The majority of the time we ship 100 percent of the tires our customers order on the day we receive the order. Our major brand original equipment offerings also are very important to our customers and we keep that as a priority.”
The SKU expansion has resulted in an inventory that Mr. Rudolph includes in the neighborhood of 150,000 passenger and light truck tires along with approximately 6,000 medium commercial tires including agricultural, off-the-road and specialty lines. He said he sells his tires to retail dealerships of all sizes.
Again not getting into particulars, Mr, Rudolph said the outlook for next year is good and he expects his company to continue its growth. He attributed that belief to a wide selection of brands and prompt, quick delivery since Rudolph's promises same day shipping on orders placed by 3 p.m.
The company handles all major brands of passenger, light and medium truck tires, including Goodyear, Michelin, Continental, General, BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Dunlop, Yokohama, Kumho and Marshal. Mr. Rudolph said his company wholesales to dealers over most of the country.
On the commercial side, Rudolph's also sells medium truck tires to trucking companies.
Wholly owned by Mr. Rudolph, the company is entering its 21st year with 40 employees. “Our business growth has been fantastic over the last 20 years and we see a lot of growth ahead of us,” he said.