125 Years and 5 Generations of Time-Tested Values at Gratton Warehouse Company
This year, Gratton Warehouse celebrated 125 years of business and growth. This is no small accomplishment.
“Only 2–3% of businesses make it to 100 years, let alone 125!” Owner Bo Gratton noted. “Of that, I don’t even know how many businesses actually stay in the same family. It’s becoming unheard of these days.”
For the Grattons, their warehouse company is a legacy. It has remained in the family for five generations.
“We’ve lived through history,” Bo said. “Through wars, the Great Depression, terrible markets…we’ve seen it all, and we’re still here.”
Bo takes great pride in the reach and impact Gratton Warehouse has had. “Chances are, you have something in your home that was once stored in Gratton,” he said.
Gratton Warehouse is a third party logistics (3PL) company headquartered in Omaha. It was founded in 1894 by Bo’s great-great-grandfather, Charles Harrison Gratton. The warehouse has 165,000 square feet for storage with access to 100,000 square feet more for expansion. They store raw and finished goods to distribute around the world for their clients. The whole idea behind the service that Gratton offers is allowing companies to do what they do best without having to worry about inventory, storage, and distribution of their products. It doesn’t matter what it is—cleaning products, medical-grade equipment and medicine, food, etc.—Gratton Warehouse stores everything from “gold to dirt!” Gratton will ensure your goods are properly packaged and safely stored, and they even send out alerts when inventory is low.
Bo noted that many companies try to handle distribution themselves to avoid paying a third-party warehouse. Once they start growing, they feel like they have to build their own warehouse to store their growing demand of inventory. These companies tend to find themselves running into problems because operating a warehouse is not their area of expertise. They’ll experience loss and damage to their items, and the worst part is that all of the attention they give to this aspect of the business is taking away from carrying out the business’s actual mission.
To remain in business for 125 years and grow to a worldwide business is pretty impressive, but employees and clients alike agree that it’s Gratton’s values that elevate its impact to new heights. Bo shared the company’s core values:
- Positive attitude
- Doing the right thing
- Security for the product and the client’s business
- Allowing customers to focus on what they do best
Gratton’s values of lifting and building the community run deep—so deep, in fact, that even competitors benefit. Gratton offers training and recommendations for warehouses operating across the globe. Bo informed us that they are currently working on a training program that will act as a roundtable for warehouse operators to come and share ideas in order to help each other improve and work better together.
Employees at Gratton love working there because of all the opportunities to learn and grow professionally. “At Gratton, we don’t scold…we teach.” Bo said. “We’re not just another warehouse. When we hire a new employee, they become like family to us—and they stay a long time because we mentor them and help them grow. We have people who work for us who have their doctorate and master’s degrees. They choose to work at Gratton because the work we do is both challenging and meaningful.”
When we asked Bo if there is a goal he has for his company that he has yet to accomplish, his response was: “Another 125 years!”
Gratton Warehouse Company takes pride in servicing their local partners, as well as their partners around the world. They look forward to continuing their tradition of quality service and building relationships with clients.