Foreword

Do it Best Corporation got its start back in 1945 as the vision of Arnold Gerberding. It was known then as Hardware Wholesalers, Inc. (HWI). Gerberding set out to build an entirely new way of serving the needs of independently owned hardware stores and lumberyards. From those humble early days of the co-op and just a few hundred members in the Midwest, Do it Best Corp. has grown into a $3 billion worldwide distributor of hardware, lumber, and building materials with close to 4,000 member locations and operations in more than 50 countries around the world. That growth would not have been possible without an industry-leading supply chain.

The company’s first computer was purchased in 1964: an IBM 1401 with a whopping 8K of memory! It was ...

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