Posted on 06/20/2019 at 08:28PM in Summer 2019: Industry Newsletter
In the winter of 1933, a man left his career in finance on a hunch. Joe Hirsch had little more than a dream, some modest savings and a gut feeling. But when he spotted an abandoned plumbing supply business in Los Angeles, he knew it would be the first home for Southern California’s plumbing partner, Hirsch Pipe & Supply. Today, with 23 locations from Los Angeles to San Diego, that commitment and focus on servicing our customer is stronger than ever. We spoke with LA Branch Manager, Frank Carrillo, and longtime employee and regional manager, Jiro Akasaka to get their insight on the original branch and how its changed over time.
Frank Carrillo has been the Branch Manager of the Los Angeles branch for 11 years since transferring from our Long Beach location in 2008. Although the industry and its products may have evolved over the years, Frank still sees the Hirsch L.A. pride and tradition that lives on through its tenured employees and a few hometown favorite customers now in their nineties! When asked about the best part of working for Hirsch, Frank notes “the strong sense of knowing that many great people went through this location. From Joe Hirsch to present. So many names of people who helped shape what Hirsch is today.”
Jiro Akasaka currently works as the Director of Branch Operations and Regional Manager for Hirsch Pipe & Supply Branches. However, he got his start on October 4, 1976 as a driver! Jiro worked his way up to warehouse, counter/phone sales, and pricing before being promoted to Branch Manager of the Hollywood Location. Throughout his time with Hirsch, Jiro has seen huge process changes over the years such as: COMPUTERS! Everything was done manually when he started. Invoices had to be printed out manually from price books and inventory was purchased based on experience and visually looking at inventory levels in the bins. The customer has changed too, he notes, as the evolution of technology has sped up how quickly business moves. Another huge difference is how many more products are available, Jiro recalls that “Before there were standard product customers used but now there are so many more choices in every application.” Even with all these changes, one thing has remained consistent, and that is Hirsch is still a great place to work! As Jiro can attest to, “We provide opportunity – we want our employees to be successful. We are employee oriented, meaning we care about our employees.”
A huge thank you to the hardworking team and customers at our Los Angeles branch today and throughout the years. Through this branch and all those since, the Hirsch legacy continues to live on and grow. #HirschHasIt