Behind the desk: Tri-State Industrial Solutions Inc.

Name: William (Bill) Singer

Address: 2701 Beale Ave., Altoona

Telephone: 800-877-3030

Position: President

Years with company: 41

Family: Two grown children, William R. Singer, Jason and Tricia Davison, grandson Owen

What products or services does your company provide? We are an industrial supply distributor selling products to manufacturing companies, fabrication shops, utility companies, schools and universities, hospitals, food manufactures, railroads, paper mills to name a few, anyone who has a need to purchase MRO supplies and PVF products which includes hand tools, power tools, abrasives, adhesives and tapes, cutting tools, fasteners and anchors, hydraulic lifting equipment, lubricants, pipe, valves and fittings, paints and coatings, and safety equipment. We are a Master 3M Distributor. We also offer inspections, safety training seminars and product consolidation reviews at the customers facilities. We deliver from three locations. Altoona, Slippery Rock and Cumberland, Md.

Who are your customers? Manufacturers, fabricators, utilities, power stations, universities, railroads, paper mills.

What is your business day like? Mornings are dedicated to accounts payable reports, calculating incoming AR receipts in the afternoon. Following up on quotations and in communication with my inside and outside salespersons throughout the day.

What is the best business advice you have received? Listen more, talk less

What is the most important thing you’ve learned on the job? Unfortunately it’s not something positive. There is no loyalty in this business anymore, it’s very rare. So much turn over with purchasing agents/maintenance supervisors and with the internet if someone wants to get online, they will eventually find a better price. We have always based our business on supplying a quality product at a competitive price, stocked customer-based products in our inventory or at the customer’s facility and backed it up with customer service after the sale. We also try to sell as much product manufactured in the U.S. Buy Here, Thrive Here for the most part are just signs in windows unfortunately (maybe works for retail, not wholesale). We have lost much business to suppliers outside of our areas and the state.

What does the future hold? That is a very good question. I would have given a different answer if we didn’t get a new president. With the Democratic policy of reducing/eliminating fossil fuels, I’m somewhat concerned. Throughout our existence, our core businesses have mostly been around fossil fuels, not necessarily mining or drilling for the fossil fuels, but all the businesses that manufacture equipment for the mining or drilling for the fuels. Power generation facilities that use the fuels, companies that transport the fuels, etc. So much more than one can imagine will be affected by this administration.

What have you read lately that has influenced your business life? I’m not much of a reader. Not necessarily that it has influenced my business life in particular. Reading that COVID-19 cases are dropping along with the death rate and more and more people are getting vaccinated. Which in turn should get more businesses running at full capacity.

If you want your business to be featured in the Mirror’s Behind the Desk series, call Walt Frank at 814-946-7467 or email wfrank@



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