Build it better. Like most simple concepts worth doing, the execution is what challenges us.

My name is Charlie Parham, and I run Pepco Sales and Marketing with my business partner, Heath Williams. We are a manufacturer's representative firm located in Texas. In addition to our state, we cover the Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico territories. We specialize in plumbing, mechanical, HVAC, waterworks and irrigation lines for both residential and commercial industries.

I am excited to begin a column for Supply House Times writing as a voice for manufacturer’s reps. I see this column as an opportunity to serve and build up our industry. I believe it is important for manufacturers' reps to strive to be better business people with healthy, robust companies, acting as first-class stewards of the products we represent. We are professionals who make the manufacturers' rep model attractive to the industry by offering manufacturers a valuable alternative to having their own sales force. Reps “Build it Better” each day through our passion, connection to the territories we serve, and deep desire to serve all channels in our markets.

Through this platform, I will share my insights, experience, interviews from industry influencers and lessons from trusted sources. So whether you are a rep, a manufacturer or any stakeholder in the industry, you will be able to see what reps do, the innovation and fresh ideas we bring to the table and why you want to continue to invest in our business model.

An active, engaged, network is key to manufacturer’s reps performing at high standards and it is my hope that this column will encourage conversations and connections throughout the country.

So, why Build it Better?

With “Build”, I want to honor construction as the beating heart of our industry. Building is inspiring from the first sketches of a building through the planning, contracting, construction, and finish out. Driving past downtowns or suburban neighborhoods and recognizing those projects that have the products we represent gives me, as I am sure it gives all reps, a burst of fresh energy. Inspiration, passion and excitement come from participating in the building process. Providing our support, knowledge, and service throughout the hard work it takes to make a construction site rise from the ground is a reason to stand proud. Building is fun. Building is rewarding. Building is the ultimate creative process.

Creating physical structures is just one part of what we build. Building is also about creating and producing a business, a territory or a relationship. As a business owner I build something every day focusing on improving the capabilities of our team to serve our manufacturers and customers. But everyone is building something every day. This leads us to the next element of “Build it Better.”

“It” is a reminder that any possibility is open to us. Look around you — “it” is everywhere. It’s your pen, your computer, the email you’re writing, your new hire, your oldest employee. It’s the proposal you’re working on, the manufacturer you have in town. It’s the training you’re doing, the product you’re presenting, the feedback you’re giving. Through the column, I hope to encourage each one of us to look inside ourselves and inside our company and identify our “it”. Why? Why look for our it? Why build it at all? The core value is to improve each and every day, leading us to the final piece of “Build it Better."

“Better” speaks to commitment and investment in continuous improvement and in always seeking to go one step ahead. Better is awareness that change is rarely done in leaps and bounds or fits and starts. Better is an incremental process to which we have to pay active and steady attention each and every day. Better is day by day and inch by inch. Better gives us hope, vision and drive.

Taken together, “Build it Better” is my cause and mission with this column. We integrate the concept of build it better whether it’s creating a better building, forming a stronger relationship, or creating the future. My goal with “Build it Better” is to provide aspirational and practical knowledge by sharing my experiences, best practices, failures, challenges and passion. It’s a concept we need to integrate into what we are doing, because we believe every day brings a new challenge and a new chance to “Build it Better”.

Finally, my personal mission is to leave this world better than I found it. Sharing what I know and engaging with the industry I love will help me do just that. I look forward to hearing from you all and value your feedback, thoughts, opinions and passion.

Charlie Parham is CEO of Dallas, Texas-based Pepco Sales and Marketing. You can reach him on twitter @cmparham or at