January 1, 2014 marks the 60th year of business for H. D. Smith. For the company, it is a celebration of six decades of delivering high quality products and services that help our customers care for their communities. The company has grown, exponentially, from a drug wholesaler serving the independent pharmacies of central Illinois, into the largest privately held pharmaceutical wholesaler in the nation.
The company was founded in 1954 to meet the needs of an underserved region in central Illinois. Before H. D. Smith opened its doors, pharmacies in the area purchased their pharmaceuticals and supplies through large distributors out of St. Louis or Chicago.
“I have been proud to watch this company grow. We began with one building, myself and two additional employees who worked together to make sales, pick, pack and ship orders and take care of the day-to-day business. In those early years, we did not have a fleet of trucks to help us deliver orders. Instead, we partnered with the local paper, The State Register at the time, who delivered pharmacy orders along with the afternoon paper,” reminisced Henry Dale Smith, H. D. Smith chairman emeritus. “At each fork in the road, we turned challenge into opportunity. Where independent pharmacies once struggled to order products on a schedule that fit their demand, we made sure to meet their needs. We continue that tradition today as we grow beyond the wholesale pick, pack and ship business.”
Throughout the decades, the healthcare industry has changed and H. D. Smith has evolved to respond to those changes. “We are partnering with our customers and vendors in new ways that allow us to serve larger markets and more specialized needs. We have become much more than a wholesaler,” said Chris Smith, H. D. Smith president and COO, “I am thankful for the hard work each and every associate has contributed throughout our company’s history. Those efforts have allowed H. D. Smith to become the success it is today. The first 60 years of H. D. Smith’s history have given us a strong foundation. But, I believe that the best is yet to come.”
“H. D. Smith is grateful for the support of its customers, associates, manufacturers and other partners who have enabled us to reach this exciting milestone,” said Dale Smith, chairman and CEO. “Thank you for your support. We’re excited for continued partnership in the future.”