ForConstructionPros.com contributing editor Diana Henry recently spoke with Mark Scroggins, owner of MDS Construction, Danny Galindo, superintendent for MDS Construction LLC, and Brandon Summers, USG Commercial Sales Representative, in Visalia, California. This is a shortened version of their conversation.
Mark Scroggins: I started this business, and I would sit in my easy chair at home with my laptop and just do everything. I wanted to do that because when I hire people, I want to be very particular about how I do it. I want to understand every aspect of the business. I’ve incorporated some of the things that I've learned through the course of my lifetime in the construction industry into this business, so when I do hand out the reins to other people, I want them to know the way I think, that way they'll understand the way I expect a business to run. Everything I've done, including building this business from my home, is all by design. Everything is lean. I lead with quality. That's kind of the way we do things.
Brandon Summers: Danny and his crew have really helped me get a feel for what is setting us apart. Why is USG better? We talked to the guys on site, and they're giving me all this feedback that has actually helped me go to my other customers saying, “Hey, here's what the guys are saying about our board, if you haven't used it before. I got Danny and these guys down in Visalia saying they like our half inch. It's easier to use, it's easier to cut and score, and they like our mud, it dries better.” As a manufacturer, we are with you guys. That just hasn't been there in the past with other manufacturers, namely with other drywall companies. My team has tried to change that and to flip that script. We want to be involved in the day to day with the end user, not just the distributor. These guys out here in the field – they make the difference. Ultimately, if these guys don't like it, we're not making a sale. So my sales pitch is on these guys because they're the ones that have to put it up.
Danny Galindo: From the builder, I’ve heard a lot of good things about (using USG as a our single source). They like that it's one call. It’s only one guy to call from the field. They're actually surprised that the product's that good after using another product that we used before. I mean, board wise, it’s easy to cut. Like Brandon said, mud wise, it dries a lot faster. I mean, its less time working, more time to make more money.
Mark: When you hire somebody that's already been in the business, they've already set their ways. They do things one way, and it's really hard to make them adapt. I actually make cards for all of my team members, the leads and myself, and I don't have titles on my cards. And the reason why I do that is because nobody's better than anybody else. We all jump in. We do whatever it takes to make it happen. And what I'm trying to do with regards to that is I'm trying to create a culture. And if you have a culture where everybody buys into your mission, you will succeed. And so that's what I'm trying to create, is a culture that people want to come to work here. I make my people accountable, I hold myself accountable, and anybody that's within my circle, including my good buddy Brando, I hold him accountable. Nobody is off the hook. How can I differentiate myself? How can I be just not another drywall guy? And so what my competitors do is they piecemeal the products. They have x manufacturer for board, x manufacturer for mud. If you have a single source, you have one person that you talk to versus when you're multi-sourcing, you're going to call this guy, you're going to call that guy.
Danny: That’s where you get the finger pointing that happens.
Brandon: With us, we just own it. He owns it. I own it. We’re in it together.
Mark: It's comforting because, if there are problems, because there are, then we can address that and resolve it. I'm not dealing with things months later.
Brandon: It’s the backing of USG. We've had some success, and I think that's helped Mark's success as well as mine, personally and professionally.