Founded on Monday, November 2, 1953 by Jack Murphy and Jack Nolan, Murphy and Nolan, Inc. began on the 100 block of Erie Boulevard in Syracuse, New York. Jack Murphy and Jack Nolan started as sales representatives for several steel mills and general line warehouses-after about 14 months of success, they started stocking drill rod along their office floor and hired their first inside salesperson.
During the mid-1950’s, Murphy and Nolan began representing Crucible steel for stainless bars and continued their personnel expansion with the hiring of Dick Kelly, Jack Murphy’s brother-in-law. By 1958, the business had grown enough to warrant a move to a portion of a rented building on Genesee Street in Syracuse. The Genesee Street location saw the first 2,000# bundles delivered to M&N, where the material was moved on casters and loaded into storage racks by hand. By the end of the 1950’s, Murphy and Nolan, Inc. had grown to occupy 1,800 square feet of warehouse space.
In 1959, Murphy and Nolan again found themselves with too little space for their growing business. The company moved to its present location at 340 Peat Street in Syracuse. The 1960’s were a period of continued growth for the firm-inside and outside salespeople were added along with various clerical and administrative staff positions. In addition, the Rochester market began to grow for Murphy and Nolan.
The early 1970’s brought John J. Murphy, III to Murphy and Nolan; and brought M&N to Rochester. The front of the General Screw Products building on Brooks Avenue became the Rochester branch location for M&N. Initially, material was stored on the floor and the small staff of 3 or 4 handled all functions of inside/outside sales, warehouse, and delivery.
The tumultuous 1970’s marked the initial transitions from a smaller one-branch firm to a regional service center. This decade also was the final farewell for Jack Nolan. Jack’s passing in 1976 began the transition from the founders of the company to the next generation. After Jack’s death, John (Bucky) Murphy inherited several administrative duties while Jack Murphy and Dick Kelly continued their overall leadership efforts.
Labor difficulties in the middle of the decade forced senior managers to load trucks and run the warehouse before going on the road to make sales calls. The threat of a union environment galvanized the management team and the road was paved for further investments in people and equipment.
In the early 1980’s, Jack Dailey moved from Syracuse to Rochester to coordinate the branch office; and Ed Dera joined M&N to assume branch manager duties in Syracuse. Like the national economy, the early 1980’s were a difficult time for M&N, but good people working together managed to guide the company to continued profitability and success. By the end of the decade, M&N was well known in both Syracuse and Rochester as the leader in cold finished bars and mechanical tubing.
By the 1990’s, M&N was about to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Dick Kelly announced his retirement and Bill Murphy re-joined the business in 1990 after completing his master’s degree and spending a few years with the financial industry. The firm continued to grow its inventory, sales, and personnel throughout the 1990’s. By the middle of the decade, both branches were operating nearly 24 hours per day and significant investment was made in capital equipment. Ed Dera was promoted to Vice-president, Sales and Marketing in 1995. In 1996, John J. Murphy, IV (Jay), joined the firm, marking the 3rd generation of Murphys in the metals business.
As the nation marked the turn of the century and a new millennium, M&N continued its expansion. Aggressive service to the Buffalo marketplace, increased stainless steel and aluminum inventories, and the addition of a lathe cutting machine in Syracuse all contributed to record growth years from 2000-2006.
Patrick Murphy joined Murphy and Nolan, Inc. in 2005, quickly assuming a sales territory as well as several marketing and information technology initiatives.
In 2007, we launched our first bricks and mortar expansion since the early 1970’s. On April 1st, 2007, Murphy and Nolan, Inc. opened our Buffalo Warehouse. From this new distribution point, we service the Buffalo metropolitan area as well as the surrounding territory: Batavia, Niagara Falls, Jamestown New York and Erie, Warren, Cory, Pennsylvania. The addition of a warehouse staff plus outside sales coverage and trucking based in Buffalo allows us to capture additional business throughout the Niagara Frontier.
In late 2007, Murphy and Nolan, Inc. lost our co-founder, John J. Murphy, Jr. Jack’s passing was a sad event for all of us and his enthusiasm for customer service and attention to detail will be missed. Jack did not dwell on the past, however, and encouraged an orderly succession of the business.
The financial crisis of 2008-2010 certainly left its mark on the company. A new building in Buffalo was postponed and a few key customers failed to survive the recession. While business activity suffered, the core of the firm remained solid and the company emerged from the Great Recession leaner and stronger than before. In 2010, the company received its ISO 9001:2008 quality system registration.
By 2013, additional sales from Western NY and the Erie, Pennsylvania area allowed for a significant Buffalo facility expansion. The newly-leased building became the company’s largest site in terms of square footage and provided for an efficient layout and round-the-clock operations for the Buffalo marketplace. In recognition of his career and to honor his retirement, the company named the Buffalo warehouse in honor of our newly-retired Vice-president of Sales and Marketing, Edward J. Dera.
The Buffalo expansion allowed the company to stretch deliveries to the greater Pittsburgh area and continue its growth in serving the aerospace and related industries.
As business activity remained solid, by 2016, John J. Murphy, III and William M. Murphy announced their intentions to transition themselves away from day-to-day management and assumed the roles of Chairman and vice-Chairman, respectively.
Management succession continued as planned, with several personnel announcements in 2017: John J. Murphy IV (President/CEO), Patrick R. Murphy (Vice-president/COO), Daniel F. Stanton, Jr. (Director of Warehouse Operations), Thomas P. Ross (Director of Sales Operations), and Erica M. Reeners (Director of Administrative Operations).
Murphy and Nolan, Inc. enters its 3rd generation of management and ownership as the regional service leader for all types of specialty metals-cold finished steel bars, tubing, aluminum, stainless, and other specialty metals. The company’s focus on value-added services and dedication to customer relationships is the foundation of the business-this focus will continue throughout the months and years to come.