I was three years old when my dad saw me trying to lift a piece of rebar at his work.
“Watch your fingers,” he said.
By age five I was learning to run heavy equipment (pictured right). So it was growing up in the building supply industry.
When I graduated from Duquesne University, I founded Reed Building Supplies, LLC. RBS focuses on the needs of commercial and residential construction in the Greater Pittsburgh and Tri-State area. Reed Building Supply is an MBE and SBE.
Since I was a kid, I’ve always shot for nothing shy of excellence. I was a linebacker in college (the first ever freshman All-American at Duquesne), high school All-Conference/All State, WPIAL champion in football and basketball and a two-time state runner-up in basketball.
The main points I took away from playing sports and from my coaches was selflessness and teamwork. I learned the importance of know your role on the team.
There will always be some people who become the superstars, who score the touchdowns and make the sacks and win the awards. These players are definitely valuable. However, so are the players who do their jobs consistently and keep the team running smoothly and without fanfare. These players are referred to as the “glue guys,” of which I consider myself one.
Then there are the scout team players who help the starters prepare each week. Without everyone on the team doing their respective jobs, a team cannot be at its best.
These attitudes apply to running a business. You have to treat every employee, customer and shareholder with the same level of respect, courtesy and care. Everyone has to know their role and perform it to the best of their ability–whether as a star or a glue guy–or the company will not run smoothly. When the team operates as such, you are able to provide your customers with quality service that keeps them coming back.
It was drilled into me that you are only as good as your word and reputation. If you promise something, you’d better do exactly as you said you would. And to treat everyone with respect no matter what their title or life circumstance is.
There’s a boatload of competition in the construction and building supplies industry. However, I enjoy the competition and think of selling building material as I do playing a football game. Approaching every job, customer and order with a lot of preparation and practice is paramount. One has to do their homework. As much care and time has to go into preparation as does the result.
I carefully analyze what I’m getting into and perform my due diligence. Then comes preparing a game plan. Afterward, execution of the plan. Getting to an order is like scoring a touchdown–it provides the same rush.
Customer service boils down to a simple thought: how much do you actually care about your customer? To me, it’s not all about money, it’s more of making my customers happy and their jobs easier by performing the service at the highest possible quality possible. That in term builds a long-term, profitable relationship for both parties.
I’d love to discuss your building supply needs with you. Feel free to call me at (412) 860-1957, or send an email telling me a little about your business needs. Let’s get the game moving.