New Owners Help Arco Keep Up with Pre Engineered Building Industry While Keeping the Arco Difference
July 1st marks 3 years since Carolyn and Todd Wade took over Arco after the previous owner, Allen Freeman, retired. A loyal Arco employee since 1991, Carolyn became the company’s new president in 2020. At that time, her husband Todd joined as the vice president. They have made many changes to Arco over the past couple of years while keeping the Arco difference at the heart of what they do. Carolyn and Todd share their memories of working at Arco and some words of wisdom about working in the pre engineered building industry.
Carolyn Wade: “Arco Was the Best Surprise That Ever Happened to Me.”
Carolyn got off to an unexpected start at Arco. “I was a headhunter at the time and was trying to fill a role here at Arco. Ultimately, they hired me instead.” Little did she know that one day, she would run the company!
Carolyn has served a wide customer base, saying, “I have seen everything under the sun because everyone’s needs are different.” The most unusual building she remembers selling was 78’ tall. You certainly don’t see that every day!
Technology has completely changed how Arco does business. “Back when I first started, we used to hand write everything, had one computer to share between all the salespeople, and faxed out every document we sent to a customer,” Carolyn remembers.
Arco has had to adapt to changes in the pre engineered building industry. The COVID-19 pandemic, weather, and other catastrophes have all caused steel price fluctuations, which Carolyn says is a “challenge that we have to grind through.”
When asked what she has accomplished since taking over, Carolyn responds, “Overall, my team is my best asset.”
The accomplishment she is most proud of? “Every obstacle we have faced, we have overcome. I am lucky to work with my husband and both my daughters; it has been an absolute pleasure to watch them grow into their roles. The rest of my team has stuck together through the highs and lows, and at the end of the day, we all have each other’s backs.”
Todd Wade: "Patience to Achieve Your Goals"
Todd Wade joined Arco in 2020 when Allen retired and Carolyn took over. Todd closed his car dealership the year before and was looking for a new career.
Todd lists the changes he made to help the company run more efficiently:
“New computer and phone equipment. New OMS/ERP software. New cloud-based data storage. New employees. New management. New legal counsel. New office furniture.”
He notices the positive effect of these changes:
“The air conditioning is not going out every week. The internet is not going out every week. The phones and computers are not going out every week. The employees are making more money and seem to be happier with all the upgrades.”
Todd looks back on his three years at Arco and shares some memories. The most unusual building he remembers selling was an alligator sanctuary. He names COVID supply chain interruptions and new tax laws as Arco’s biggest external challenges. He also addresses Arco’s internal challenges:
“Trying to make sure you are being treated fairly by all the different vendors. Making sure Arco is treating all of the employees fairly with just compensation and time off.”
Todd shares how experience that he gained from his previous businesses helps him run Arco:
“They helped me realize how important it is to keep the books straight. They helped me understand how technology is very important for the overall success of a business. They helped me to understand how to deal with employees, customers, and vendors. They helped me to understand that you must have patience to achieve your goals.”
The Future of Arco
Carolyn and Todd share their goals and visions for Arco’s future. “It sounds cliché, but it has always been my goal to treat my employees and my customers like family. I want to maintain our reputation as a customer- first company, with customer needs always first,” Carolyn explains.
Todd shares his main goal. “I want Arco to be known as a fair and honest company that everyone can trust to do business with. I see Arco as leading in the use of technology to assist in quoting, delivering, and accounting of metal building materials across the country.”
Feel the Arco Difference When You Choose Us For Your Pre Engineered Building Needs!
Carolyn and Todd are proud to continue the Arco Difference that the Freeman family started in 1979. Arco values each and every customer and aims to make everyone a building that suits their needs perfectly. Call us at 1-800-241-8339 or request a free quote on our website and get started today!