Keith Johns - A Career with Swagelok
by Keith Johns, on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 @ 09:10 AM
The president of Edmonton Valve & Fitting talks about his time with the company
When people ask me about career achievements, I say the biggest one is being part of the Swagelok organization.
I have been president of Edmonton Valve & Fitting for 13 years, but my association with Swagelok goes back even further. Not long after I graduated from Dalhousie University in 1980, I started as an account manager with Calgary Valve & Fitting, another authorized Swagelok sales and service center.
I went on to work for Swagelok Canada in manufacturing at Niagara Falls for a few years, and became the Swagelok distributor in Vancouver in 1993. I came to Edmonton Valve & Fitting when our founder, Tom White, retired.
Part of my responsibility as president is to make sure Edmonton Valve & Fitting keeps up with new products, services, technology, and business practices. But I prefer to say that the company is "evolving" rather than "changing." Customers always want to work with suppliers and partners that bring products and services to help those customers be successful. And, certainly all of the associates at Edmonton Valve & Fitting have to understand the customers' needs and businesses in order to be an asset to the relationship. But there's more to it than that.
We have seen a shift in value-added requirements in all levels of our customer interactions. The value we bring has to be more than just components. We have to be a valued business partner to our customer.
Our vision says it all: "We challenge ourselves to be our customer’s first choice." Our ability to be a viable resource for our customers lies on our shoulders. We have to evolve personally and professionally to be of value to our customers.
Edmonton Valve & Fitting's mission, “Extraordinary Customer Value,” is built on three pillars:
- Excellence in associate development
- Leveraging technology to enhance our capabilities
- Embrace continuous improvement in all of our sales and service capabilities
The Swagelok organization is customer-focused and quality-oriented, while paying a great deal of respect and attention to our associates. This business relationship has been instrumental in developing the blueprint all of us at Edmonton Valve & Fitting model in our values and customer relationships.
Further resources: A History of Swagelok "Swagelok at 65."