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Phc News - Features: April 2010: John Guest USA — the ‘Art’ of a successful business

John Guest USA — the ‘Art’ of a successful business

BY JOHN MESENBRINK,
chief editor

Success is measured by positive results. And to reach a level of success, hard work, a clear vision, unwavering determination and dedication, a great product, and the right people are needed in the mix. Add in strong branding and promotion — and a steadfast leader — and you have the right formula to create a thriving business.

John Guest USA is one such company, and it doesn’t rest on its laurels. The family-built company was built on the foundation of strong business values and offering the best quality and value solutions. With 40 U.S. full-time employees and 1,200 worldwide employees, the John Guest Group of Companies is the world’s leading manufacturer of high quality push-in fittings, pipe and plastic plumbing systems to a wide variety of air and fluid handling solutions. Known worldwide as a provider of product to a very wide range of markets, including home building/plumbing systems, beverage dispense, fiber optics and automotive, John Guest USA is delving, successfully, into the American push- fittings market. John Guest now offers a comprehensive range of more than 3,000 products addressing virtually every tubing and pipe connection requirement imaginable.

John Guest’s Speedfit Push-Fit fittings are manufactured in Great Britain by John Guest Ltd. of Middlesex, England, a BS EN ISO9001 certified facility. The company operates multiple locations worldwide. John Guest USA, located in Fairfield, New Jersey, distributes products for the plumbing, water filtration, marine, facilities maintenance and a variety of oem applications across North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

No sweating or soldering required, the push-to-connect fittings can be used with pex, cpvc, copper, for instance, in ½", ¾" and 1" sizes. Push fitting’s real truth is in the time-saving methods of on-the-job performance. All components are pressure tested against metal competing products, and John Guest products meet or exceed all standards as measured by independent testing agencies: nsf, ansi, astm, etc.

John Guest USA’s steadfast leader is Stan Artman, president of sales and marketing. With 25 years of experience in the plumbing industry with stints at Kohler, Delta and a manufacturer of push-to-connect fittings, Artman has the company’s compass headed in the right direction.

Armed with 40 employees and 20 hired rep agencies, Artman believes in a strong business philosophy: work through distribution channels utilizing a seasoned team of regional managers and top rep agencies; greatly accelerate new customer growth; and drive toward aggressive market share gain. Also, delivering the right product message and telling the John Guest story — highest quality, performance and consistency — is key. “Our customers can take comfort in knowing that our products perform to a very high standard whether it’s one produced or one million. Customer confidence is critical with a push-to-connect fitting. John Guest USA has proven itself over 25 years in the American market,” said Artman.

Since taking the helm at John Guest USA in February 2009, Artman’s biggest attributes implemented have been a constant evaluation of the business to eradicate complacency and creating new product opportunities. Having that good process in place — planning, executing, meeting with his team and evaluating, as well as hiring and working with high quality rep agencies to leverage John Guest Speedfit’s strong brand and breadth of products, are the cornerstones of John Guest USA market approach.

Coupled with aggressive contractor outreach and wholesaler support, John Guest USA enjoyed strong growth. “We are seeing greater buy- in each month from the wholesale and contracting community,” said Artman. Under Artman’s leadership, the goal of John Guest is to see positive growth by reorganization leveraged against markets that want to be penetrated. With the market’s growing use of non-metals and environmentally sound and lead-free products, John Guest will emerge as the brand of choice for push-fit solutions.

Artman is confident John Guest will emerge as the brand of choice for push-fit solutions. “It is up to us to plan and execute in order to earn this leadership position,” said Artman.

“Strong brands will win battles,” Artman continued. And with a strong board of directors in the UK dedicated to the continued growth of JG USA, “We will continue to see reinvestment in our market as our board is focused on continuing to build our global business by managing and growing for the next generation and not simply for the next quarter,” said Artman.

For more information on John Guest, www.johnguest.com.

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