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Celebrating 100 years of providing maintenance products and expertise to customers worldwide.
Early in the 20th century in the United States, the need for specialty maintenance products resulted from a growing public demand for improved sanitation and increased safety. Milton P. Levy Sr. recognized this emerging opportunity and started NCH, then known as National Disinfectant Co.
At first, NCH offered only a handful of products. The line featured products such as a coal tar disinfectant, an insecticide and a liquid hand soap to improve sanitation in hospitals, schools and public institutions.
A pioneer in this new industry, the company's founder understood the value of providing both quality products and service to his customers. He and his staff developed relationships with customers and learned the sales principles that would make his company a global success.
After the first thirty years of NCH’s history, the founder’s sons, Milton, Lester and Irvin, assumed more responsibility and expanded NCH’s sales throughout Texas. The brothers supplied the vision of what NCH was to become - a leader in the specialty maintenance market. NCH became an “extended family,” attracting people who were equally determined to succeed.
Profits were reinvested in production equipment, expanded administrate support and research and development efforts. Over time, NCH began to produce almost all of its own products.
By 1955, NCH was experiencing tremendous success and continuing to expand. With faster, dependable rail service and truck lines, supplying and serving customers across large geographic areas became easier. This ability had a profound impact on the company’s business strategy.
The sales force grew and, as it did, a new team of sales management emerged, capable of providing the leadership necessary to continue developing new territories. In 1956, the first branch office outside Texas was established in St. Louis. Within a few years, NCH opened offices in New York and Los Angeles. To keep up with the increasing demand across the United States, NCH built four new manufacturing plants throughout the United States. In the 1960's, NCH began international expansion into Mexico, and today, operates in more than 50 countries around the world.
The geography of the company’s business was changing, but not its philosophy. That philosophy was still based on a strong sales organization providing superior maintenance products and services to its customers. The sales force was the primary link between NCH and its customers. To provide superior, professional service, the company took great care in the selection, training and development of each new sales representative.
NCH’s product catalog became an important training and sales tool. It supplied representatives with detailed technical information on each product. Using this information, representatives helped customers select the right products to solve specific maintenance problems. Across the U.S., customers began regarding the NCH’s sales reps as maintenance experts, relaying their knowledge and expertise.
The techniques that sales reps learned in NCH’s training manual, The Gears of Selling®, were as successful in Buenos Aires and Paris as they were in Chicago and Dallas. This success proved that the reasons people buy “quality and service” were the same regardless of language or geography.
International operations expanded. Over the following years, NCH expanded throughout Latin America and Europe. In 1992, NCH expanded into the world’s largest market, China. Today, NCH celebrates 100 years of serving customers in over 50 countries in North and Latin America, Europe, and Asia.