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P&Q Profile: Davis Industrial’s Stephenie Davis

By |  April 1, 2020
Davis

Davis

Getting her start in the aggregate equipment industry in 2007, Stephenie Davis bought BMG Conveyor Services at age 20. She grew the Florida company over the years from three staff members to more than 50, rebranding it in 2017 as Davis Industrial. P&Q recently spoke with Davis to hear how she connects with and supports her staff and clients.

What does a typical day look like for you at Davis Industrial?

I would say that there is no such thing as a typical day for me. It depends on the day.

We’re a bit short staffed for sales right now, so I could spend a couple of days a week out in the field, meeting with customers, walking down conveyor systems, measuring conveyor belts and idlers, and taking a look at our fabrication jobs coming up.

And then part of my time is obviously spent here in the office, behind the desk and in meetings with the suppliers, customers and employees. We’ve got a pretty strong management team together. We meet a lot and have a lot of discussions about what’s next.

How did you get your start in conveyor services, and with Davis Industrial?

It was November 2007. I was looking for an outside sales position and I knew a guy that knew another guy that was hiring.

I met with him; he hired me on the spot, and my boss immediately told me he wasn’t going to train me. I just had to go out there to figure it out.

I was 20 years old at the time, fresh out of school and had no idea what conveyor belts were or what they did or where to find them. They don’t teach you that stuff in school. So, I did a little bit of research and then just started going out and meeting people.

At the time, the company was quietly up for sale. So, two months after starting, I decided I was going to buy the company.

I convinced my parents to co-sign for the business. With their backing in August 2008, I closed on the business.

How did your family and friends react when you started at the company and when you went to buy it?

My family, especially my parents, were freaked out to say the least because they knew nothing of the industry. My dad was in the Navy; my mom worked for the government. So, they were just kind of sitting back crossing their fingers like, well, she’s always had big dreams.

I mean, everybody thought I was crazy. Not knowing what I know now, I probably was a little crazy. But it’s worked out really well.

How do you lead Davis Industrial in promoting safety?

Safety is at the forefront of everything we do. All of our technicians know we want them to go home just as they came in, if not better.

We do safety talks before each job. They do truck inspections before each job. We have weekly safety meetings. We have safety speakers who come in on a variety of topics on a monthly basis.

But it’s also making sure that the guys are looking out for one another. You can go through all the safety training you want, but until you get out there in the field and you actually practice it, it’s an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of thing.

Photo: Stephenie Davis

Davis Industrial’s Stephenie Davis bought her company when she was just 20 years old. Photo: Stephenie Davis

When it comes to sales and doing business in the aggregate industry, what are you trying to focus on?

Our goal is to make sure that the end user and our customers are taken care of so they can take care of their customers. It all comes full circle.

If you’re taking care of yours, they’ll take care of theirs and they’ll keep coming back. That’s how we’ve been able to continue to grow. It’s not about the sales at the end of the day; it’s about whether or not we did the right thing by the customer.

We’re very averse to just putting Band-Aids on things. We want to make sure that we’re getting the right product for the application or the right service for that application to ensure the productivity and the long-term cost effectiveness for that end user.

You’ve talked a lot about relationship building, both with your clients and within the company. Is there any advice you would give on how to best build professional relationships?

I would say it’s two-fold. Do the right thing is what I go to. The first core value for our company is ‘do the right thing.’

Secondly, it’s be genuine and honest in everything you do. Everybody’s going to make a mistake at some point. My belief is that it’s how you handle that mistake that builds or breaks a relationship.

I tell all of our technicians out in the field and our sales reps that you’re going to make a mistake, but get in front of it and handle it right away. Don’t let things linger. Don’t let things fester. Fix it, and fix it the right way.


FIVE THINGS

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED – Never take no for an answer and never give up

HOBBIES – Traveling, hiking and boating

TRAVEL – I tend to not return back to the places I’ve traveled since there are so many places I want to see. The one place that we do tend to go back to is Napa, California.

LAST BOOK READ – “Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink

SPORTS – Tampa Bay Lightning

Sarah Peecher

About the Author:

Sarah Peecher is the Digital Media Content Producer for Pit & Quarry. Her experience includes content creation and strategy for both print and digital media, giving her the skills to share stories on websites and social media platforms.

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