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Ramrod Distributors is What it Means to be Beyond Business Friendly
Ramrod Distributors is What it Means to be Beyond Business Friendly

Ramrod Distributors is an Elk Grove Village janitorial sanitation solution for cleaning supplies, industrial supplies, and equipment sales and repair. Among the over 1,000 local businesses it can serve, customers include schools, park districts, churches, industrial companies, auto dealerships, condo associations, apartment complexes, and long-term healthcare facilities ranging in size from independent contract cleaning companies to Northwestern Hospital.

As it turns out, Ramrod, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2022, approaches its customers the same way Elk Grove Village works with local businesses every day. Ramrod President Mike Halverson and previous owner Mark Shulman explained exactly how important the relationship is between a village and its business community.

“Elk Grove is a business supporter,” Halverson said. “Josh [Grodzin] and his team are very instrumental in growing the Village and growing the business community within the village to do that. They’re here to help you connect with others in the Village and to communicate your message into the marketplace. As a business owner, that’s what you want.”

“Working with the people at Elk Grove Village was like night and day compared to other places we’ve been,” Shulman added. “They didn’t stop us or slow us down. In fact, they made it easy to do business here. It would take a lot for us to move. If we did, it would be somewhere else in Elk Grove Village.”

Ramrod serves a 75-mile radius of companies ranging in size from independent contract cleaners to Northwestern Hospital. Regardless, they each receive a unique approach to cleanliness from Ramrod.

“The pandemic really woke people up to the fact that cleaning is more than just cleaning for dirt. We believe in cleaning for health,” Halverson said. “Safety matters to everyone on a very basic level. We’re now asking ourselves, is this really clean? Is it safe for me, for my family, and for my kids?

“We’re thinking about how to help customers solve their problems today and what the perceived problems are behind the scenes. A lot of people are working from home because they don’t feel safe working in an office,” Halverson added.

Anyone who buys a company (like Halverson bought Ramrod in 2019) would be well-suited to understand what made it successful in the past. In Ramrod’s case, it’s not what, but who. Specifically, it’s Shulman.

With 45 years of experience, Shulman has seen and solved nearly every cleaning-related challenge customers will face–from improperly cured floor finish to mold in schools and beyond. He helps customers understand what caused their problems, how to address them, and ultimately how to ensure they don’t have a similar problem in the future.

“Mark’s knowledge set is part of the foundation of this company. His deep background in the industry is invaluable,” Halverson said.

Ramrod has a website but most orders are emailed these days. However, when those customers have a problem, they still pick up the phone because they know they can tap into Shulman’s decades of industry experience to find a reliable solution.

It’s that human connection and a deep understanding of nearly any cleaning-related problem that positions Ramrod as a consultative partner, rather than a vendor, an order-taker, or simply a distributor of commoditized products.

“At the end of the day, what really matters is whether you’re disruptive or whether you’re helpful,” Halverson said. “All of our effort goes into being helpful.”

In that sense, Ramrod is the perfect reflection of what Elk Grove Village means by being Beyond Business Friendly.

To learn more about Ramrod Distributors, visit

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