What steps did you take to improve your processes?
We had Jack Simmons, VP of ACS International, come in and do a three day marketing stint. It was humbling for me to see that I wasn’t doing x, y and z and therefore missing so many opportunities that are out there. We ended up implementing everything he suggested from how to make products with less fillers, where to expand, etc. There are road blocks but regardless of your company size you can find things that fit in your niche. I’ve opened up the shop to let people see our product and learn how we’re manufacturing it.
What is driving the industry right now?
Customization is driving demand. Composites can make any size or shape you can think of. We make shower bases and wall panels at any size; no other product can do that! We also use recycled gems, minerals and glass in our products, which are all buzz words among home owners, remodelers and contractors. However, our industry is struggling to drive that or meet those needs. We need more manufacturers going green. We need to work collectively to get over the learning curves because there is a huge opportunity if the industry would accept and adapt their processes and then market those new products.
Do you see business picking up?
Absolutely, I see great horizons for our industry. Architects call me that have never called before. They’re also coming into the shop and I owe that to green products. Whether they choose a green product or not (it costs a bit more) is immaterial. I have more people coming in and my custom capabilities are vast. One-third of our product offerings are green material and 50 percent of what I sell is green products; that says something.
As a member of the Green Committee, what roll does green play in your company?
Green materials have helped build a better foundation for our company. I’m personally passionate about it and I’m involved, not just for a better business, but for myself. People that know me can sense my passion for our industry and for the environment – and we have a great environment. I’m hoping that being a member of the green committee will help our industry grow in available technical data, LCAs and green certification. These are all ground breaking initiatives that need to happen and I hope I can help facilitate these changes because I care about this industry and want to see it succeed with innovative, quality products.