16 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • SPRAY FOAM MAGAZINE
into the Fall and well before Winter hits
– because that’s when everyone patches
their roofs, right? At the last minute.
So our timing has to match. We’ve got
to be ready for that marketplace. We
have to have it on our dealers’ shelves
in September / October. And the team
got it done. We don’t have any time to
waste. Not with any product.
I always say: “You’ve got to wake up
excited. If you’re not excited, why get
up?” This is the culture of the company
now. Everyone thinks this way. Move
for ward. Innovate. Let’s go!
SFM: That’s exciting. Does that
institutional push for innovation figure in
to your strategy for continued growth?
PD: Absolutely. We believe in
disruptive technology. And we’ve got
some unbelievably interesting things
in the wind. We’ve carved our lab
into three parts: One part is Quality
Control (QC), one part is New Product
Development, and one part is iGaco.
iGaco is a pure think tank, pure Blue
Sky, and they are not responsible for any
specific new products – just fabulous
new ideas and new molecules. We have
six or eight people on this team, three or
four hold PhDs. We believe that great
products come from great people. Using
the iGaco team, the New Product team,
and the QC team, we make sure that
what we make is extraordinary.
SFM: And the people who use those
extraordinary products, your partners, how
do you team with them?
PD: Our central goal with our partners
is to make them rich. If we make them
rich, they’ll keep buying from us. So
we make them rich by giving them
products that save them time and by
training them so that they can save time.
Our 14-person tech team performs the
training, and two of our staff created the
in-class curriculum, one is a PhD and
one is an ex-contractor. So we know
exactly what they will face in real world
situations and we train them with the
knowledge to handle those situations.
We also help our partners plan jobs, find
leads, get jobs, hire people, whatever they
need to be more successful. We want
them to be successful, because if they are
successful, then ultimately we will be too.
So we work really hard and we have 77
“feet on the street” all across the nation.
We go to the same church, our kids go
to the same schools, play on the same
teams, go to the same grocery stores, we
fish on Sunday, and we work with you on
Monday to make you more successful.
Our partners are our neighbors. At
sales meetings, I give a keynote speech
and as part, I say, “OK. Pull out a piece
of paper and write down how many of
your partners you would invite over for
Thanksgiving dinner.” And they write
down a number and I say, “OK. I want
you to put that piece of paper in your
wallet because in a year from now I’m
going to ask you the same question and
I want you to have two or three more.”
We’re selling to our friends and the
people we want to have Thanksgiving
dinner with. That’s how we differentiate
EXECUTIVE OUTLOOK | PETER DAVIS, GACO WESTERN
SFM: What specific markets does Gaco
PD: We have two core markets. The
first is the silicone retrofit market.
In round numbers, retrofit roofing is
around $1 billion a year and Gaco has
15 percent. This means that we have
85 percent to go, so we are absolutely
focused on silicone retrofitting. The
second market is spray polyurethane
foam. I think spray foam is the insulation
of the future. No question. Batt,
fiberglass, cardboard, all that other stuff
is history and foam is the future, so we
are 100 percent focused on commercial,
residential, and institutional insulation.
We have an automated SPF plant and
can make a huge amount of foam –
there’s almost no limit. And there’s no
limit to the foam industry.
SFM: Speaking of no limits, what does the
future hold for Gaco Western?
PD: Only more and better. There
is so much work domestically – we
are working hard to add more sales
and better technology. We are only
domestic today, but with the right
outside investing, this platform could
easily be transferred to any place in the
world. Europe does not have silicone
roofing, they do have spray foam, but it
offices are in Seattle, but all
of the R&D and the state-
occurs in their Waukesha,
Wisconsin facility (pictured).
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