COMPANY: ADVANCE PLUMBING & HEATING SUPPLY CO.
TITLE: VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS
How long have you been in the PHCP-PVF industry?
AM: Two years full-time, well over a decade part-time.
What drew you into the industry?
AM: My family has had a business in the industry for more than a century, and our work is critical in supplying the infrastructure that enables our city and region to thrive. Advance Plumbing has been serving the City of Detroit for more than 100 years, and I am honored to work with customers who have been buying from us for four generations.
The industry itself has an impact nearly everywhere you look, making it incredibly interesting day to day. When we supply products to a new development, we get to see that project rise up and change the physical landscape where it is built. The work we do has a very tangible and real impact on the built environment and getting to have a part in that is thrilling.
The traditional plumbing industry is also relatively slow-moving in terms of innovation, but new competitors, business models, regulations and societal preferences are popping up every single day that seek to disrupt the industry. I was drawn to this complexity and am excited to work toward solving the challenges that both threaten to disrupt long-standing businesses such as ours while providing opportunities for growth in ways that weren’t previously possible.
What is the most rewarding aspect of working in the industry?
AM: Prior to joining Advance, I was an urban planner working to physically redesign and rebuild the built environment to better serve the people and communities who live, work, and play in various neighborhoods around Metro Detroit. As Vice President of Operations at Advance, I get to continue that work on a different scale, working building by building with plumbers, builders, and others who are helping to revitalize the city and region I call home.
The most rewarding aspect I have experienced is the appreciation that happy customers show when their project is complete. Whether we are supplying products for a single bathroom or a massive commercial development, it is always incredibly rewarding to see the completed project and to hear how excited our customers are with the outcome. We deal in the physical world, and I love helping design and create spaces that perfectly align with what our customer envisions.
What is one thing you wish more people knew/understood about the PHCP-PVF industry?
AM: I wish people understood how intimately connected our industry is with their day-to-day lives. So much of what we sell is “invisible,” hidden behind walls and locked away in utility rooms. Most people only interact with us through the finished products that deliver water or remove waste, but they don’t understand the whole system. If customers better understood the breadth of the products and services we provide, they would be better able to meet their own needs and preferences be it with cleaner water, more sustainable and efficient products, or even just more personalized spaces. This knowledge gap leads many of our customers and potential customers to budget improperly for their plumbing fixtures and products, leading to compromises that ultimately hurt both them and us.
What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
AM: I don’t have a single proudest moment, but rather a proud feeling. I wake up every single morning and know that I, along with my family, employ 59 people. Being able to provide meaningful, good-paying jobs to the incredible team here at Advance is one of the greatest honors and privileges I have ever had. Regardless of the projects I complete and initiatives I implement, my proudest achievement will always be running a company that empowers our employees and encourages them to succeed both professionally and personally.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
AM: I am an avid reader but only read non-fiction. I love books about business, physical science (especially astronomy), mathematics, politics and international relations, psychology, sociology, and urban planning.
Why he was chosen as a Next Gen All Star Top 20 Under 40 winner:
“Andrew Moss is the youngest of the three Moss boys that have joined their family’s 102-year-old plumbing & heating supply company. Since joining Advance in August of 2020, Andrew has revamped the company’s backend processes and procedures, working to revamp the company and prepare it for rapid growth. Some of Andrew’s key initiatives include:
- Revamped and modernized the company’s e-commerce portfolio that includes three websites and multiple marketplaces, garnering more than 1,000 sales per month;
- Upgraded the company’s ERP to a cloud-based system with broad integration with the company’s accounting, inventory management, e-commerce, and other facets of the business; and
- Rebuilt the company’s accounting, IT, and human resources departments to be more efficient, agile, and effective.
Beyond these large-scale projects, Andrew has revamped and upgraded numerous parts of the company, ranging from the company’s phone system and IT security to accounts payable and customer service. Andrew’s responsibilities center around strategic decision-making and the implementation of plans to position the company for the future,” says Jeffrey Moss, president, Advance Plumbing & Heating Supply.
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