Great companies plan for leadership succession. In many cases, talented workers are promoted to management positions after they have spent many years, sometimes decades, learning about the company’s products, customers, and culture. However, being a successful manager - someone who can lead and motivate others - is more challenging than just being a “superstar” performer. Understanding the dynamics of a “team” is a crucial consideration.
Phil Jackson led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships between 1989 and1998, with a little help from some of the best players in the history of the league, including Michael Jordan. He had excellent insights about directing the training and management of high performers. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team,” he said.
John Brewer, has been named the General Sales Manager for Texas for Acme Brick and he has shown he has the skills and work ethic to forge relationships with some of the most demanding customers in any industry: builders. He has also demonstrated a strategic vision to lead others. He is a part of a new management team of well-seasoned, building professionals who are leading Acme forward.
What This Means for You - Homebuilder and commercial contractors rely on building material providers such as Acme Brick to supply excellent products. Just as important, they rely on and demand timely service to keep their projects on schedule.
Acme is more than just brick. A great place to learn about the building materials and home improvement products offered by the company is found here.
Meet John Brewer
John Brewer is a man on the move, which made it a challenge to catch up with him for a brief discussion about his new role in the company. As it turned out, the best way to catch him came as he was driving from Lubbock to Abilene, Texas, after a typically long day in the field, working with his team.
Brewer’s love for the home building industry came naturally. It’s where he started his career.
“I was a builder for five years,” he said. “And one of our suppliers was Acme Brick.
“I’ve always loved the construction industry and found immense gratification in the delivery of a great investment in the homes of our customers. After a while, I was ready for another chapter in my life and always felt I wanted to one day represent a supplier I had grown to know and trust. Acme Brick provided me with that opportunity. I spoke with Rusty Haile, who was my salesman at Acme. He showed me how I could stay in the industry on the supplier side rather than as a builder. The rest is history!”
Back to the Future
The homebuilding industry has weathered some rough storms in the past few years due to the COVID pandemic and the supply chain disruptions that it spawned. For the brick industry, what does Brewer see for the future?
“While it looks challenging, optimism is out there,” he said. “Every company we serve is in a different situation. Some are starting to crawl again, some are walking, and some are running! After being in this ‘buzz’ for 30 years, I think we will be just fine. There’s no gloom or doom from me or our team.
“As a supplier, we just want to be a part of the solution. Our company has a ‘face to face’ culture, which means we need to be in the trenches with our customers. Understanding what builds their foot traffic, how their marketing is structured, and every other part of their business is very important for us. We want to be with them in the process,” he said.
“I see us coming back out even stronger after COVID, with some normalcy by the end of the year. Will it ever be the same as it was before? Who can say? However, we are now in the sweet spot that has been ‘average,’ and that’s a good place - although, some days seem like that scene in ‘Groundhog Day!’
“As far as trends we are watching, because of affordability and higher interest rates, resale rates will be down. This affects new home construction and the types of products we sell. However, people are still coming to the Southwest…in droves,” he said.
“Yes, current homeowners may have equity, but do they really want to give up what they have in what is, most likely, a lower mortgage rate? This suggests that remodeling will be a BIG trend. Outdoor entertainment spaces, new pools, thinBRIK for interior walls, floors, fireplaces, and many other home improvement products will be in demand by homeowners. This is why we have pivoted to these categories and added them to our traditional brick products.
“Even the color trends in exterior brick are changing. For years, the ‘cool’ colors such as whites and grays have ruled, but don’t be fooled. Within the state of Texas, we’re starting to see traditional, colonial red brick make a big comeback. Plus, pastels are emerging as popular choices.”
The Acme Brick DNA
John Brewer has been named the General Sales Manager for Texas for the company and he is someone who has seen lots of change in his over 3 decades of work. What internal changes have had the most impact on Acme Brick customers?
“In a word: data,” he said. “We have embraced customer relationship management (CRM), and this gives us better data. This allows us to anticipate, meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. This is done to allow us to provide industry leading customer service, and not drop the ball.
“Acme Brick has always had sales reps in the field. We are taught to drive subdivisions, put on a hard hat, and check in with the masons, superintendents, and contractors. That part of our job has not changed. It’s a part of the DNA of our company.”
The most valuable assets of Acme Brick are associates like John Brewer. If this seems like a company you would like to work for, click here and let’s talk about your future and ours!