Written by: Molly Shaw
Produced by: Kyle Gahm

J.S. Archer Company Inc. has been an institution in the greater Richmond, Va., area for more than 100 years by adhering to a “total opening” concept in both products and services. Whether you walk through it, drive through, pass through, swing, lift, and slide or lock it, you can rely on JSA’s century-long experience to ensure commercial and industrial openings function the way they are supposed to.

“We’re a distributor and installer of commercial and industrial doors, hardware, partitions and accessories,” reveals John Martin, owner and president of JSA. “There’s really nothing we can’t purchase with our relationships with quality manufacturers.”

But even the finest door and hardware products offer little value without the support of a full-service supplier. JSA guides customers through the initial design and product selection phase, onto installation, maintenance and repairs and renovation. “If you need the service and competitive price, you can’t beat JSA,” says Martin. “Service comes first to us because repeat business is everything and relationships are huge.”

A time-tested team and relationships

JSA has been building these relationships since 1913 when the company opened its first shop. Since then, the JSA team has grown considerably and the company now employs 35 professionals. “One thing that sets us apart is the retention of good people,” explains Martin. “Most of our employees have been with JSA for quite some time and we allow plenty of room for people to work their way up.”

“For example, one employee started out just answering phones and now she is an architectural hardware consultant (AHC) and one of our top project managers,” continues Martin. “We retain people and our relationships -that’s why we’ve been in business for 101 years.”

Martin, who’s been with the company for the better part of 30 years, purchased JSA with his father from the company’s previous owner. “In 2003, we moved into our current location, a 35,500-square-foot facility in Ashland, Va.,” notes Martin.

Today, JSA mainly serves central Virginia and the greater Richmond area, working with clients from NASA to James Madison University (JMU), Capital One, the Martha Jefferson Hospital and the University of Virginia. However, the company will also follow repeat clients out of state for projects, and have traveled as far as Texas, West Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania with the greatest distance being a drop ship to Iceland. “So you see, JSA makes every effort to accommodate our clientele,” Martin says. JSA’s notable clients continue to call on the team, because the company offers the complete package in products and service.

The complete package

JSA is one of the few companies to not only furnish and install doors, frames and hardware, but to also include in its package items such as toilet partitions, toilet accessories, market boards, projector screens, fire extinguishers and cabinets, as well as locker room accessories. The company also can provide and install specialty items such as blast resistant doors, traffic and impact doors, dock levelers, partition walls and even flag poles.

JSA represents a wide range of manufacturers from Stanley to Ingersoll Rand, Masonite to VT Industries and Assa Abloy, offering unprecedented selection and manufacturer-certified experience. “This eliminates the need for contractors and customers to coordinate with several trades and gives them the ease of dealing with just one subcontractor for all of their specialty needs,” explains Martin.

In 2004, JSA’s skills were put to the test at the National Audio and Visual Conservation Center, part of the Library of Congress. “The facility needed specialized nitrate vaults to store film at a certain temperature as old nitrate film ignites easily,” details Martin. “JSA installed 120 blast resistant vault doors made to withstand a specific blast requirement for this project application.”

The company has also had a hand in projects at the Capital One West Creek campus, NASA in Hampton, Va., and the Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. “We’re currently finishing up phase two of a six-story building for Health Diagnostic Laboratories,” adds Martin.

While most of JSA’s work is generated via word-of-mouth, repeat business, the company also relies on the services of the Builders’ Exchange Association of Virginia (BEAV) “Now, 90 percent of projects are available online through the BEAV registry,” reveals Martin. “I served two terms of the board of directors for the Richmond BEAV.”

While BEAV and other industry relationships keep JSA going strong, Martin says it’s the company’s time-honored commitment to customer service and complete service that have made for 101 years and counting. “It hasn’t been easy for anyone in our industry lately, but we go the extra mile to make sure people are taken care of. After all, if you don’t have repeat business, you don’t have anything. It’s about treating people the way you want to be treated.”

After a century in business, J.S. Archer Company Inc. continues to supply the complete commercial and industrial door package backed by second-to-none service.


J.S. Archer Company Inc.