Basco Celebrates Golden Anniversary

G. William Rohde, Chairman, left, with George W. Rohde, President/CEO
In 1955, William Rohde, chairman of Basco, reached a crossroads in his life. In line to help run his family's funeral home business in Cincinnati, he yearned to pursue a career path in sales. And that's when opportunity knocked on the door - the shower door to be exact.

Hecker Manufacturing Co., a shower door manufacturer in San Francisco, hired Rohde to help distribute its doors. With Hecker's approval, he used the name the company was using for its line of retail stores, “Basco” (short for “Bathroom Accessory and Supply Company), to start his own company that distributed bath enclosures east of the Mississippi. Shortly after opening its doors in Norwood, Ohio, Montgomery Ward selected Basco to be its exclusive supplier of shower doors for the company's catalog.

In an unprecedented move, in 1963, Montgomery Ward insisted that Basco manufacture all of its shower doors using safety-tempered glass, a specialty shatter-safe glass that is five to 10 times stronger than regular glass. Basco became the first shower door company to use tempered glass on all its doors and enclosures.

With business booming, it was time for Basco to expand. Fast forward to 1992, when the company selected Mason, Ohio for its 17-acre, 72,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. Within two years Basco added 10,500 square feet. Today, Basco has evolved into a 140,000-sq.-ft. facility, including manufacturing and warehouse facilities as well as Basco University, the industry's only sales and installation training program.

As Basco continued to grow, George W. Rohde began working side-by-side with his father in every department of the company to thoroughly experience the business. With unparalled knowledge of Basco and the industry, he assumed the role of president and chief executive officer in 1995 when William Rohde became chairman of the board.

“The company has experienced fantastic growth under George's leadership,” explains William Rohde. “He and his executive strategic team continually bring innovation and excellence to the company that helps Basco maintain its competitive advantage and remain the most preferred and recognized brand in the industry.”

Over the past three years, Basco has invested significant capital in improving every aspect of company operations and procedures ranging from manufacturing advances, exemplary customer service and expanded product offerings, to innovative packaging, industry leading marketing programs and technical assistance. Last year Basco opened a new Chicago area distribution center, located in Wood Dale, Ill., near O'Hare Airport.

In January Basco opened a 4,500-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art training center at its Mason, Ohio headquarters. The center is home of Basco University and provides installers hands-on classes on proper techniques and methods for installing glass shower doors and enclosures. Much larger than the previous facility, Basco University seats up to 48 “students” classroom style. The new lab provides an opportunity to apply what's learned in the classroom in a real hands-on environment of installing shower doors and enclosures. The center includes a café area and a full-service kitchen. During breaks, students may relax in the lounge area or utilize a private booth where they can check e-mails or make phone calls.

Single Source Solution

Basco is the single source solution for selecting, manufacturing, delivering and installing shower enclosures, which makes purchasing a shower enclosure easier for its distributor network partners and end user customers. Basco's family of products includes tub and shower sliding enclosures; swing doors, door and panel enclosures, as well as Celesta Luxury Glass Enclosures.

“Shower enclosures are our only business, not a secondary offering, and our Single Source Solution makes selling Basco products easier because we focus on only two things - the customer's needs and the precision it takes to meet them,” explains George Rohde, president and CEO of Basco. “The breadth of our product lines, approach to innovation, knowledgeable customer services staff, on-time delivery, product guarantees, and comprehensive training programs make selling Basco products hassle free.”

Basco simplifies and demystifies the shower door experience from beginning to end, turning a very complicated product and process into a very simple experience for its customers.

“We are a family-owned business with a 50-year track record of excellence. Everyone at Basco upholds a standard of excellence everyday,” says Rohde.

“Basco prides itself on being a very customer-focused company. We've thought through every possible hurdle our customers may face when ordering and installing a shower door system. Through our innovative Single Source Solution we've eliminated these obstacles, making it even easier to do business with us. Our sole focus over the next 50 years will be to continue to make the shower door experience as simple as possible, and to partner with our customers to embrace the category and grow their margins.”

Since 1955, Basco has earned the trust of millions of customers by designing and fabricating quality custom shower doors and shower enclosures. Basco's approach to innovation, knowledgeable customer service staff, on-time delivery, product guarantees, and a full training program has established it as the known and trusted industry leader. To learn more, visit: