|Viega LLC CEO and President Dave Garlow|
Construction activity will increase as the need to attract young people to the trades grows.
Last month, Supply House Times interviewed Viega LLC CEO and President Dave Garlowat his office in Wichita, Kan., on issues facing the plumbing-and-heating industry. Since joining Viega in 2000, Garlow has worked as a regional manager, national sales manager, and as vice president of sales and marketing. For the past eight years, he has been a member of Viega LLC’s executive committee. Garlow has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA.
Supply House Times: What was your first order of business as Viega’s new CEO and president?
DG: It is important that our Viega LLC family and our industry understand that even though the leadership of our company has changed, the things that matter most won’t change: product and service innovation, industry-leading customer support, and commitment to our employees and community.
We’re on a good track, but that definitely does not mean we’re going to stand pat. We always have initiatives on the table. That is typical of how we operate our business. You will see some changes, but those are most likely the result of things that have already been in the works. So we’ll make changes to make sure our sales and service organizations are always on the leading edge and our training programs are up to date.
Supply House Times: In what market sectors do you see business growth in 2014?
DG: Forecasts seem clear. We can expect the residential housing sector to continue to improve along with an improvement in the commercial arena. For Viega LLC, the growth story has always been more about product innovation and market penetration than settling on just growing organically with the market. As our industry grows, getting young people interested in our industry’s trades will be one of the biggest challenges we face. This is a really important issue right now that needs attention.
Supply House Times:What will be the top trends in residential and commercial construction to watch in 2014?
DG: All sectors of the industry are expected to be up again: residential construction up 24% by units, multifamily up by 9% in units and commercial up almost 20%. Continued increases are great news for the industry. Whether you’re a commercial or residential installer or an engineer or even a wholesaler, no matter what part of the industry you’re in, you want a solution that’s going to perform. You want to be able to be proud of your work, proud to hand it over to the new owner, knowing it’s going to exceed expectations. Whatever may be trending now in residential or nonresidential construction, quality and reliability will be the cornerstone.
Supply House Times:What core values distinguish Viega from other companies?
DG: Not many companies can truly call themselves innovators. Viega can. After 115 years, Viega’s dedication to true innovation isn’t just a corporate motto; it’s our lifeblood. It’s the essence of who we are. Real innovation is continuous improvement and courageous creativity.
Our vision is to continue to be a leading supplier, in the eyes of our customers, to the industries that we serve. For Viega, that means being the employer of choice in our community and it means supplying our industry the innovative products, outstanding field support and supply chain competence that are at the core of our success.