An Adaptive Industry

Meet your Dealers of the Year
Emily Kay Thompson, Tom Gresham, and Steven H. Miller
October 23, 2018
FEATURE ARTICLE

 

Excellence in installation | 

Avanti Industries LLC 

By Tom Gresham, for Window & Door magazine

A Team Effort 

Building partnerships with suppliers is a key element to success

Beau Jasmer, regional manager for Industrial Sales Corporation, a supplier for Avanti, says Avanti takes a customer-centric approach that resonates with everyone who works with the company. “They have been consistent about communicating to their partners the importance of setting themselves up in everything they do to best serve their customers,” Jasmer says.

Avanti’s work with its partners is marked by a sense of clarity, transparency and humility, he reports. “They state what they’re hoping to do right out of the gates,” Jasmer says. “They ask if you’re a partner who can help them get where they want to go. Once you show that you are, you’re part of the team and you work together to accomplish those goals.”

Dustin Petty, president of Avanti Industries, a manufacturer and installation contractor of vinyl window and door systems based in Glendale, Arizona, keenly understands the labor shortage that afflicts the industry. Without a skilled workforce, Avanti cannot pursue its ambitious builder-direct model of operation, where the company manufactures and installs 100 percent of all products it provides to its customers. “We can come out with all kinds of cool, innovative products and develop the best processes for installing them, but if we don’t have the right people then it isn’t going to matter,” Petty says. 

Avanti reports that its ability to attract and retain workers in a challenging labor landscape is among the reasons for its rapid growth. The company was ranked No. 212 by Inc. Magazine in its 2018 listing of the 5,000 fastest-growing privately owned companies. Avanti produces and installs windows for 19 of the top 30 single-family homebuilders within the Phoenix, Las Vegas and Tucson markets, according to the company. 

Petty says Avanti’s sudden ascension has not arisen from an emphasis on growth but on perpetual improvement. “Our view is that growth just happens when you do things right,” he says. “We want to focus on moving a bit closer to excellent every day, and in many ways we feel like we’re just getting started. As long we keep focusing on that and improving on everything we do, the growth will take care of itself.” 

Chad Nuessle, regional vice president of purchasing for Lennar Corporation, a home construction company and one of Avanti’s customers in the Southwest, says Avanti’s devotion to continuous improvement is among the company’s clear strengths, along with an organized, process-driven method that guides its customer service.

“We always rank our trade partners on price, service and quality, and [Avanti] certainly does great in each of those, but their [service] is really what makes them stand out far and above everybody else in their market,” Nuessle says. “They’re a service-oriented company both to us and to our homeowners, and that’s very important to us.”

The AIM strategy

Petty says the builder-direct model allows the company to ensure quality control of the process for its customers. For it to work, however, he says Avanti needs to excel in three key areas: product, installation and, perhaps most importantly, people. Avanti has taken a methodical, purposeful approach to tackling each of those critical components, including establishing the Avanti Install Method (AIM), a series of installation methods. 

“AIM is basically about using superior products with very clear, straightforward methods for our installation teams to execute,” Petty says. “It’s our way of making sure every single window that we install is something that we can be proud of. It also helps the other trades working downstream from us to do a better job as well.”

AIM is designed by Avanti and based on firsthand experience installing windows in real-world, new construction. Tested and recommended by DuPont, AIM takes the guesswork out of the complex install conditions faced by window installers throughout the nation, Avanti reports. The program serves to help installations be successful on the first trip, preventing the need for subsequent visits. Petty explains that this is valuable to its builders because “the quicker they can build the house, the more houses they can build, the more money they can make.” 

Further, Petty says that AIM lowers customer liability through the use of advanced butyl-based flashing products and ownership of the sill detail in all conditions; providing extreme protection from downstream trade damage and promoting seamless integration with the weather-resistant barrier as a whole. 

Creating a workforce of experts

To ensure proper execution of AIM, Avanti developed AE, the Avanti Expert program. AE is designed to train employees toward achieving superior proficiency in the field of window and sliding glass door installation. The program trains workers to ensure the proper execution of AIM, but also details a clear route for employees to advance in the company and earn more money and responsibility. The program serves both longtime window installers and newcomers to the field.

Petty says AE is an effort “to bring sexy back to the trade of installing windows.” The response from workers has been enthusiastic, he says. 

“Whether it’s someone who has been installing windows for 15 years or it’s a new employee who has only been in the working world for a few years, what we’ve heard from them has been, ‘Gosh, I’ve never had someone take this much time to sit down and talk about my future and to really show me what I need to do to be successful,’” Petty says.

One way that it benefits a customer such as Lennar, Nuessle says, is that Avanti empowers its employees to make decisions in the field, creating a more decisive, reliable customer experience. He also suggests that Avanti appeals to workers because it “puts a clear career path in front of them on day one.”

“When you tell a tradesman today that [you] can work your way up to management by hitting certain, specific milestones that can be reached in a certain time frame, it really gets them excited to come to work,” Nuessle says. “It keeps them around and retention goes through the roof.”

A commitment to employees

Petty says Avanti’s consistency in following through on its pledges to employees has been key to demonstrating to workers that the company’s commitment to them is real. 

“You can tell someone what you’re going to do for them in terms of skills and wages when you hire them, but if three months later nothing has changed, that is going to change their view of you,” Petty says. “We are very specific in our approach to working with them on what we’ve outlined for them. In that way, we’re telling them that if you can make the commitment of showing up every day and helping us grow as a company, we’re going to keep our commitment to you.”

Ultimately, Petty says, Avanti’s efforts to sharpen its methods and strengthen its workforce are meant to help tighten the company’s ties to its customers.

“If we can get all of these details right in the production and installation of our windows and we’ve got the people to back it up, we believe our customers are going to want to partner with us more and more,” Petty says. “We want them to say, ‘I don’t want to bother going with someone else when I know it will be perfect with Avanti.’ If we can do that, we’re going to continue to grow.”