are the heart
of our business
Joe Smith, National Sales Manager for PP-R (polypropylene random) pipe, has been with Ferguson for 44 years. Joe joined Ferguson through the acquisition of Atlas Supply in 1977 as a Warehouse Manager. “At the time, there weren’t many of us at the location, so the role encompassed everything the business did which meant I got trained in everything,” remembers Joe. It was this attitude from Joe, and Ferguson’s Best Associates culture, that has seen him develop his career to become a National Sales Manager.
“Ferguson sent me on every product training there was. Whether it was US Steel’s training in Lorain, Ohio, Top Lines sanitary fittings training in Bradford, Pennsylvania or our own valve actuation training, I was very hands-on and gravitated to that side of the business,” said Joe. He continued, “I’ve done every kind of internal and external training. Anything you can imagine for 44 years, I’ve been involved in it at some point, including classes like time management or sales training. Ferguson associates have an incredible thirst for knowledge – we’re training people all the time whether it’s basic product knowledge or on job sites installing products. As part of that training, we’re developing our associates to be the trainers of the future so it’s constant learning for all our associates – it’s great.”
When a pharmaceutical customer approached Joe and Ferguson needing to enlarge its manufacturing plant in Gainesville, Georgia, the challenge they faced was that the roof of the existing facility could not support the weight of a larger cooling system required to make the expansion viable. The cost and operational disruption of reinforcing the roof was not an option for the business and so CRB, the construction and design firm awarded the contract, turned to Joe and Ferguson for help. Joe’s idea was to use prefabricated polypropylene pipe, which is about one-fourth the weight of steel pipe, reducing the load on the roof without extensive reinforcing.
The result saved the customer more than $50,000 in direct costs, as well as the costs associated with any downtime that would have been required for extensive structural reinforcing. It also helped to reduce on-site construction hours and was completed with no recorded injuries. The customer was so impressed that they have awarded a second-phase contract that is currently being fabricated and shipped.
associates are integral to our strategy.