Dale MuegelAnniston Windustrial delivers what it says and exceeds customer expectations
"Our customers keep coming back because we deliver what we say we will, and if we make a mistake, we fix it," says Dale Muegel, president of Anniston Windustrial in Anniston, Ala. That, along with exceeding customer expectations, is the essence of customer service, according to Dale.
Anniston Windustrial provides residential and commercial contractors with plumbing supplies along with industrial pipe, valves and fittings in a 50-mile radius of Anniston.
Dale owns stock in Anniston Windustrial as does WinWholesale Inc., the majority owner. As president, Dale is the local decision maker and responsible for the success of the Anniston company.
Sitting in the company driver’s seat is where Dale has been for six years since leaving Dayton Windustrial in Ohio to invest in the Alabama company and be his own boss. All of this was quite a change from working for several years in sales and store management for two large wireless communications companies.
Dale learns the business from the ground up
"You know, life happens," Dale mused. In 2000, his brother, Phil, who works for WinWholesale in Dayton, invited him to play volleyball with several other company employees, including the president of Dayton Windustrial.
"I was surrounded with these WinWholesale guys who gave me advice and slipped in information about the company," Dale recalled.
After many volleyball and golf games, and learning more about the Win Group of Companies, Dale accepted an offer from Greg Jackson, the Dayton Windustrial president, to work at the company. "I was pretty happy to a certain point with my life at the wireless company, but it was a chance to start over."
He began learning the business from the ground up – making deliveries to customers, receiving warehouse orders, working the sales counter.
The difference in working for a Win company was immediate to Dale. "The previous companies I worked for were large corporations, very structured and rigid. You had to get permission for anything you did," he said. "WinWholesale is very flexible. You make your own decisions with the input of your support staff or local board of directors."
In 2003 after Dale attended WinWholesale training for future company presidents, there was an opening in Anniston for a president. Essentially, WinWholesale senior management said to Dale, "Here’s your opportunity." He bought into Anniston Windustrial and became company president with its many responsibilities.
It was a case of The Spirit of Opportunity that WinWholesale is known for being served up to Dale, and he accepted. The Spirit of Opportunity refers to the entrepreneurial spirit of the company and its employees, and the opportunity to achieve the dream of owning a business.
"I define the spirit as the ability to work for an organization that allows you to learn as much as you want to learn and go as far as you want to go," Dale said. "If you want to run a company, you can do that; if you want to drive a truck, you can drive a truck. The possibilities are unlimited. You would never have the ability to do what we do in a large corporation like the one where I used to work."
An overall sense of accomplishment
Dale says being president of his own company and serving customers gives him an overall sense of accomplishment. Like any job, though, it has challenges – such as juggling the daily tasks and growing the business at a pace acceptable to him and other stockholders.
A big part of growing the business is establishing and maintaining customer relationships. It’s also a good part of the reason Anniston Windustrial has been in business for 16 years, Dale says. He and the other employees at the company know the customers; they know their businesses and have established relationships with them.
"It’s knowing customers well enough that they entrust you to do business with them, and then doing what you say you’re going to do for them," Dale said.
Rewards of ownership can be great
The rewards of Win company ownership can be great – financially and personally in terms of satisfaction and fulfillment. According to Dale, reaping those rewards requires a combination of patience, staying hungry for business, keeping an eye on the goal and working toward it, and following the WinWholesale proven business methods.
However, "It’s not for the faint of heart, or someone who just wants to sit back and put their feet up on the desk" Dale said. "Win ownership is for the person who can learn the business, apply what they learn and isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty. You still make deliveries, work in the warehouse and build customer relationships."
Dale has done all of those things and the success of Anniston Windustrial shows it.