A Q&A with the seasoned veterans of Maintenance, Inc.
For 83 years, Maintenance, Inc. has helped the nation’s contractors stay stocked and ready for any job that comes their way. After getting its start paving runways during World War II, the company quickly grew a reputation for developing reliable sealing and pavement maintenance products. Maintenance, Inc. built on this role by innovating the use of additives in sealers. Since then, The Wooster, Ohio-based company has continued to cook up new recipes for success; in 2015 it got into the equipment game when it purchased ABLE Industries, allowing it to provide equipment for entry-level to mid-sized contractors.
These experiences aren’t just paying off for Maintenance, Inc., but also the companies it services. After a tumultuous 2020, many contractors are trying to gauge just how much demand — and then, supply — will be impacted. We sat down with Maintenance, Inc. President and CEO Mark McLeod, and Brad Eagle, Vice President of National Account Sales to discuss the company, its success and the role Maintenance, Inc. will play in 2021 — and beyond.
APE: 83 years is a long time to be in business, what is the key to your success and longevity?
Mark McLeod: For 83 years, Maintenance, Inc. has serviced the pavement maintenance industry. We are a business partner assisting our distributors and contractors with proper mix designs and quality accessories to perform their craft at the highest level, along with competitive pricing and great service – we thrive, grow and prosper.
APE: So, what sets Maintenance, Inc. apart from other pavement maintenance supply manufacturers in the industry?
Brad Eagle: We do not just help the larger contractors in our industry. Maintenance, Inc. has a history, a tradition of helping nurture newbies into our industry. Between Mark and I, we have assisted in hundreds and hundreds of new startups, assisting them with proper mix designs and understanding the importance of working with them on equipment and sales. If you get an interested party wanting to start maintaining pavements, it is so important that we take it slow and educate the newbie on the importance of the right application techniques, as well as never promise more than you can deliver.
APE: Sounds like you and Mark are a solid team in helping develop new pavement contractors — is there great chemistry between you?
BE: Yes! Mark has 50-plus years in the industry and I have 40-plus years, so it’s no surprise that between us we have seen and heard pretty much all scenarios in the business.
MM: Working with Brad and seeing his passion for our industry excites me in knowing that Maintenance, Inc. will continue to be available for this critical training and directional guidance in our industry for years to come.
BE: Mark has been instrumental in developing so many young contractors for decades, and many of his maintenance students are still ordering and applying his knowledge. Mark has seen it all, from being a contractor, a manufacturer, a moderator on pavement sites — even writing articles like “On the Parking Lot” for A.P.E. Magazine for many years. All while still being the go-to guy for our valued distributors nationwide. That’s Teamwork!
APE: I hear you have a showroom like no other. Tell me about your new showroom.
BE: For years we have discussed our local walk-in contractor market and decided to carry parts and accessories that the contractor would need to keep them operational. From sealer pumps, strainers, baskets, spray wands, gears, surge tanks and a boatload of other equipment and parts – we have an inventory that ensures the contractor can come into our store and find what they need today! We carry name brand items, as well as those hard-to-find items.
APE: So, you have updated your website? Tell me a little bit about that.
BE: We are always striving to make internet ordering a pleasant experience for visitors to our site. We launched www.MaintInc.com 20 years ago, and we understand this is the way contractors order today when they need something right away. Now, anyone can order 24-7 and get what they need online.
Mark and I are sure the contractor or distributor will be thrilled with how easy it is to order from Maintenance, Inc. User-friendly and low pricing for quality is the key.
APE: There are many competitors in your industry, what do you feel keeps you ahead of your competition?
MM: We are the leader of additive manufacturing. We also have been servicing our valued distributors and contractors with pavement maintenance products and equipment since 1938 — and we are still going strong! Enough said!
We welcomed additive suppliers into the market as it helps their contractors learn that using additives makes the difference between doing a good job and doing a great job. The more contractors who incorporate a quality additive in their mix design will offer their customers the best sealer application possible. And that’s a good thing.
APE: So, Brad, what do you think sets Maintenance, Inc. apart from other suppliers in the Pavement maintenance industry?
BE: It’s our people and our philosophy! People can turn to us for ideas and get the truth about what it takes to be in the pavement maintenance industry. We see new, young, older and seasoned veterans come through our doors looking for information.
People are thirsty for knowledge, and we have that knowledge and are willing to share it! It is our job to educate, and we love to do it because it’s rewarding to see the fruits of our educating come full circle.
Our showroom is on display for contractors to look over, kick the tires so to speak, and see the latest equipment we have on the floor. Maintenance, Inc is looking forward to assisting our valued distributors in setting up their own showrooms and providing information about each product. It’s going to be a good year for pavement maintenance.
APE: Mark, what do you see happening in 2021 in the pavement maintenance industry?
MM: Well, here we go again with the unusual weather affecting the warmer south with the polar vortex that came through in early March. Polymer manufacturing plants froze and were shut down, interrupting the supply chain, affecting paints and other latex and acrylic-made products. We have not seen the last of this problem as it will linger and put pressure on the smaller manufacturers who live and die by their primary-sourced ingredients.
Here at Maintenance, Inc, we have always had the foresight to prepare to weather these supply chain disruptions, so we will be fine going into the season. Hopefully we will not see a huge supply and demand issue, like the steel increases we are experiencing currently. The pavement maintenance industry is a resilient industry that has weathered many supply shortages and will weather this one, as well!
For more information on Maintenance, Inc. and the array of products it provides to the industry, please visit www.MaintInc.com