It was, for all intents and purposes, a ‘Plan B.’
Todd Edman, the Branch Manager for Hose & Rubber Supply in Salt Lake City, Utah didn’t plan on the career that he currently has, but isn’t that how the universe works? What’s the old phrase about making God laugh by telling Him your plans? That’s what happened with Edman and, he said, it was the best thing that could have happened.
“I lost my job,” Edman stated. “I was working in my family business and, due to unforeseen circumstances, we closed.”
Losing a job is hard, especially when it’s due to circumstances out of one’s control. It’s even harder when that business is a family business and its closing means there are no severance packages, no retirement parties, not even a watch to remember them by.
For Edman, however, the hardest part about losing his job was losing the insurance benefits that came along with it.
“When I lost my job, I came home and I needed insurance because my son had really bad asthma, and I needed to make sure that he would be taken care of,” Edman said.
As fate would have it, Brian Taylor’s sister lived across the street from Edman and, after hearing of his plight, suggested getting in touch with Brian about a possible job. At the time, Taylor was the Operations Manager for Hose & Rubber Supply (he’s now the Training Manager…more on that later), and Edman was in a hurry to find something, anything, to make ends meet.
“I was just looking for something to get me by,” Edman revealed. “I was looking for a job quickly because I hadn’t been paid at my other job for almost six months. So Brian’s sister told me that Hose & Rubber was looking for a driver. I said that if they had benefits, I would at least go there for the short-term.”
‘Short-term’ ended up being 17 years.
Edman began working for Hose & Rubber supply in August of 2004 after that first interview with Brian Taylor.
It was a stark contrast to what he had been doing and he said that, at first, he felt like he was in over his head.
“Brian hired me within a couple days of the interview,” Edman said. “And then I came in and, I’m not going to lie, I came in for those first few days and I saw all of the parts and I had no idea what to do. I remember going to lunch and calling my wife to tell her that I had to find something else because there was no way I was going to be able to figure everything out. It was just overwhelming.”
Luckily, Edman said, he had a tremendous trainer and mentor in Taylor.
“Brian is probably the best teacher for this industry I have ever seen in my life,” Edman offered. “The way he’s trained people [is] just incredible. Without him, I don’t think I would have made it. He was a huge part of my success.”
Edman said that his relationship with Taylor is a reflection of the entire company culture at Hose & Rubber Supply.
“I started as a driver, then began working the counter, and now I’m the Branch Manager,” Edman said. “From top to bottom, I feel like the things my bosses have taught me are things I can pass on to the guys that are coming in, especially because we promote from within most of the time.”
Edman is proof of that. He is proof that if somebody works hard enough, they can be as successful as they want to be.
“If I hire a driver, I’m not just interviewing a driver,” he said. “I’m interviewing someone who could be a counter person, who could be outside sales, even someone who could take my spot one day. That’s the way I was brought in and it’s the way I treat everybody else that comes in to work for us.”
That sense of honesty and passion doesn’t just translate to employees, either. It’s a big part of why Hose & Rubber Supply stands out from its competitors. They treat customers with that same sense of respect and integrity.
“Being able to help people is huge,” Edman said. “When somebody comes in here, obviously they have a problem they need to fix, like, now. Usually when a customer is here, it’s because they have a piece of equipment that’s down or they have a problem on a job site, and they need to get it fixed right away. To be able to solve that problem is huge. Even if we don’t have exactly what they need at the moment, we can usually find a way to get them back up and running quickly. It’s really cool to be able to help people that are really in dire straits.”
That, Edman said, is what elevates Hose & Rubber Supply above the pack. They truly care about their customers. They’re not just trying to make a buck or cut a deal or take advantage of a situation. They genuinely want to help the people who are asking for it.
“I’m not going to say we’re the cheapest option, but we do have the best customer service and we truly have the customer in mind, to the point that if we can’t fix their problem, we’ll even send them to a competitor, just so they can get taken care of,” he said. “The difference between us and ‘them’ is that we’re willing to go the extra mile to take care of the customer.”
And it’s that sense of dedication to the customer that has kept Edman at Hose & Rubber Supply for so long.
“Our guys really care about our customers, and that’s the biggest thing I want people to understand. We do try to move people through here quickly, because we know time is of the essence for them, but our guys will slow down to do whatever they can to help someone, even if that means they have to stay late or come in early to meet someone, that’s just what we do.”
It’s what they do. It’s what Todd Edman has been doing for 17 years, and it’s what he will continue to do throughout the rest of his career.
Not bad for a Plan B.