What happens when you combine a powerhouse manufacturer of landscape power pedestals with the leader in electrical safety? Magic!
Come join us to learn more about the power of collaboration in business and how identifying key partners can help you as a manufacturer drive massive value for your customers.
• US-made power pedestals for safety and durability. 0:01
• Safety services and solutions for manufacturers. 10:40
• Electrical safety in manufacturing and common problems to avoid. 32:15
• Safety features for outdoor electrical equipment. 34:00
• Various uses of pedestals for power distribution. 48:56
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Curt Anderson 00:01
Hey, Happy Wednesday. My goodness. You know, usually it’s like Monday we have a show Friday we have a show what I’m like I’m all confused Amy Sariego it’s Wednesday. Happy Wednesday my friend how are you today?
Amy Sariego 00:13
Happy Wednesday cards I’m good. I’m happy the sun is actually back.
Curt Anderson 00:17
On his back. It’s beautiful thought we got a few days left of September it’s fall. It’s like baseball, football leaves are turning wonderful time of year. And so and we have just delightful amazing guests on stage with us today. So let’s get some introductions gone so let’s go to the great city of Chicago and I’m going to start with our dear friends at Pedoc Power Solutions. We have Melinda Marks and we have Marlene Palmer guys good morning today guys great
Marlene Palmer 00:49
happy to be here.
Curt Anderson 00:51
Absolutely. So you know I think I think the copies are hanging in there right i They’re still
Melinda Marks 00:56
disappointing curve very disappointing.
Curt Anderson 01:00
Right? You know what shame on me I should have checked that last night before I get on a call because I know they were and they were they were alright so we’ll change the subject so and we won’t talk about the bears because that we’re going downhill really quick here Kevin let’s go over to let’s go to Northeast Ohio what’s going on in the Northeast Kevin? CurrentSAFE how the Indians the Browns anything going on there? What do we got covered?
Kevin Dickey 01:25
We’re always hopeful
Curt Anderson 01:26
we’re always hopeful Yeah, no matter what time of year it’s always like we’re always hopeful
Kevin Dickey 01:31
we’re always hopeful we’ve never been able to get the elusive Browns get a Super Bowl trophy but one day we’re gonna have one
Curt Anderson 01:37
one of these years yes that’s one of these years so so let’s take it I want to first off thank everybody for being here and for joining us hey we got Jan bug Leno here giant Happy Wednesday to my friend guys out there. Just a note let us know that you’re there. We’d love for you to connect with our fine friends here on stage today. We’re gonna have a deep dive conversation. We have a Made in USA manufacturer just doing incredible work with Pedoc Power Solutions. So Marlene Melinda, let’s start with you. Who is Pedoc Power Solutions? Can you start there? Let’s let’s let’s hear about what’s going on to you guys. How are you making the world a better place?
Marlene Palmer 02:14
Curt. We’re so happy to be here today. Pedoc Power Solutions is a US based manufacturer of power pedestals. We are highly quality, quality oriented. We’re big on safety, big on durability. And I can go on and on about all the wonderful things we are but let me tell you how nice it is for us to engage with folks like Kevin and his team at CurrentSAFE who can really speak to the the electrical safety element of our products. So Kevin, thank you very much for joining us today. We’re excited to hear what you have to say about our product. Backing up to what we are in what we do. We our power pedestals are used throughout the United States in in locations such as parks and streetscapes, business and school campuses. We are manufactured in not Chicago, Curt but Mount Prospect Illinois, entirely US based manufacturing and sourcing. We were started back in the early 1990s. It was an electrician that had the idea for our product line. He with his decades of experience in the field was tired of stubbing up conduit and attaching power to wooden posts and then putting plastic covers on it. He knew that he knew that it wasn’t safe, it wasn’t durable, he knew he’d be back in a few years making repairs. So he came up with the idea for creating a more of a utility pedestal that would just be highly durable and highly safe. So he though needed a partner to help him to help them implement his product design. And that’s where we came into play originally, our parent company is a precision metal fabricator. And it was a team effort between between paddock and our parent company that allowed us to help him develop the product line. And then throughout the years, he elaborated on the line improvements were made. But eventually he decided he wanted to retire so in 2009 We had the opportunity to acquire the paddock line and took full advantage. We’re so happy we did it’s it’s a product that we believe so strongly in it. It makes us feel good about it knowing we’re putting out American made durable products that people We’ll need. I feel like it’s just been a real winner for us. So we’re excited to be here today to talk more about it and hear what what folks like Kevin have to say about us because they’re the ones with the expertise in the know how. And Kevin, I am curious to hear your thoughts.
Curt Anderson 05:21
Well, let’s you know what a couple of things I want to pack, right. You know, how about, maybe we need to get a little USA chant going right now. Okay, ready? Like how about on three? We’ll get a little USA ready. 123?
Curt Anderson 05:38
As a so you know, women business owner. And I know, guys, if you want to get the real origin story, we have a live stream that Nicole and I did on on site with Marlene and Melinda, and we hear about how the ladies here believe it or not, like, you guys, how are you guys connected again, Melinda.
Melinda Marks 05:57
We are sisters.
Curt Anderson 05:59
That’s right. They are sisters. And so they go back aways and grew up in the business and took over for dad. It’s a wonderful amazing origin story. We you know, you want to catch it, catch our replay. And I love what you’re seeing Marlene Made in USA, love the product I want to I’m going to come back to because we’re gonna pull Kevin on stage, but I wanna I want to hold this stop. I want to talk about that custom manufacturer going into like carrying that proprietary product. Because let our folks that come into the show. They’re like, Hey, we’re those custom manufacturers. But Kevin, let’s let’s fly down to you in Marlin. I’m going to come back to you in a minute. But current safe. Love the name, you are a repeat offender. Dude, you’ve been on the program before. We are friends that go back aways, I have had an intimate front row seat of what’s going on with your company. love working with you, your team, your the organizations that are underneath your umbrella. curious minds want to know Kevin, who and what is CurrentSAFE?
Kevin Dickey 06:51
Well, first of all, Ct, thanks for having me on again on today. And I should appreciate the opportunity. CurrentSAFE was a group of electrical contractors that provide a level of service that just regular on your average electrical contractor does not necessarily provide. Now we’ve decided to do step up our game and provide services much more detail for companies to keep their facilities operating, reduce their risk of emergency service and repairs to keep within all the codes and compliances that change all the time, which are recent in the commercial industrial world. And we also have a group that we test homes for homeowners. And we work a lot with insurance companies to ensure that once a home maybe had a lightning strike or water damage that they’re fully back to the way the electric was put in on the day it was installed and the homeowners are safe. So we’re a big company about safety too. And so we’ve got 16 company electrical contractors across the United United States that we work with right now. And they’re part of the current safe umbrella. And we’re fortunate enough to meet a lot of good manufacturers and happy to be on this session today with Pedoc.
Curt Anderson 08:11
Thank you, Kevin. We’re gonna take a deeper dive into CurrentSAFE and how you guys make the world a better place. And a big shout out to your team. I know your family’s involved your wife or son, Sharon, bunch of folks that I’ve met, and I’ve met a number of your your dealers, your your franchisees, if you will or you know, folks on your umbrella, as you mentioned, and I love what you’re saying like you know you you provide a great service for manufacturers. And again, our manufacturing friends you know, Marlene Melinda, you are the backbone of the American economy. We applaud you, we salute you, we thank you for the jobs that you create the wonderful products that you produce. And Kevin Love your service because what you do is you come in and help these manufacturers keep the wheels turning, keep the machines run and keep everybody in a safe place. Boy safety is just number one. Marlene, let’s come back. You mentioned before like, Hey, we’re a precision precision manufacturer, custom manufacturer and who you took on a proprietary product. Talk a little bit about like, what’s that transition been? Like? How is it been exciting? Having a proprietary product is a new challenge. What’s that like going from custom to having a proprietary product on your side?
Marlene Palmer 09:16
We absolutely love it. Curt it’s been a game changer for us. When you’re that invested in something when you really have a say in what you can put out there when you’re not at the mercy of a customer saying hey, we think you know, this would look good and we’ve got different ideas. We can really just implement on a dime, we know we’re going to put the quality in where it needs to be. It’s we have a dedicated staff, we’re confident in it. And we just feel really really good about the product itself. So it’s it’s just been a really wonderful journey for us over the years and and it’s something that is it’s a daily combo sation for us what are we going to do next? Where do we want to take this? How are we going to make it better? Who else can we market to? It’s it’s opened up a whole new world to us. It’s been exciting. And I just want to keep it going.
Curt Anderson 10:15
Yeah, I love it Melinda let’s get you in the game here. So from a marketing standpoint, talk a little bit about you know the difference of like, you know, the costs of manufacture where like, you’re always like, Hey, we’re gonna make something for somebody else we’re trying to create those relationships versus or compared to marketing, you know, the marketing side of that proprietary product at one unit. The power pedestals talk a little bit about like how you tackle things from your marketing standpoint.
Melinda Marks 10:40
Sure. Happy to. So on the parent company side Mark crests metal works, it is totally different than Pedoc having our own product line. For Mark crests, a majority of our customer base are are coming to us, they’re looking for something specific. And so it’s not really an outbound marketing push so much as compared to the paddock product line. So the paddock, as Marlene said, the paddock line is something we’re very proud of. We have had tremendous feedback, positive feedback out there, we have repeat customers. And so we know that once people know about our product, they want it and they’re going to love it. So that’s the difference for us is really pushing it getting our name out there. Now learning about the whole eCommerce side, which on the custom metal fabricating side, that’s not an avenue for us. But so on this side, we’ve been starting to develop things like that online configurator, that you’re going to help us out with Curt. Right. Absolutely. And purchasing even UPC codes, we’ve recently done that. And so it’s, that’s an this is a new venture, this is what where we think it’s gonna take us to the next level. Right now, I feel like it’s been a lot of preparing for this getting our systems in place, internally, and, you know, getting the external things like marketing the website, foundation of it for the next phase, which we see going towards e commerce.
Curt Anderson 12:35
Yeah, I love that. So alright, Kevin, let’s slide you back in the program here. So currency, if you do an amazing job of providing safety services, you worked through electrical contractors, let’s hit a couple fold. And then we’re going to take a deep dive into like the safety solutions that are offered here with Pedoc. But let’s talk a little about like, you know, for manufacturer out there, you know, just touch a little bit of like, you know, when when you are one of your team, when your teammates from the your network of 16 contractors, working with a manufacturer, what are some of the things that you do from internally or the inside of the manufacturing unit, and then we’re going to talk about some of these outdoor solutions that Pedoc has.
Kevin Dickey 13:12
Sure. One of the things we must do is as the representative for these companies is to provide them good feedback and solid information on products. It’s something that we help, we have time to research the market a little better than some of our contractors are busy running around fixing electrical things. So when we decide to promote a product, we do some research and we make sure that it is a good product, we don’t just jump in with any manufacturer that we’ve said they have a great product, we’ve done some research on this product. But let’s start back with who we want to work with. First of all right? You have a choice in this world to work with people, but so I would say the people, and I think you can see what Melinda and Marlene, their family, there are people we’re a family business, a lot of us electrical contractors are all family business. We’re working throughout the United States, we’re a US product. And that’s very important to start with. I think if you’re going to move forward and promote a product and work with a product and install the product, knowing the people you’re working with and there you are right there. And knowing that you’re local you can to us in the United States, we can reach you and we can get the product. I think that’s very important to us when we make a determination. The product itself is absolutely easy to promote because of the quality I would say of the product and some of the features on the product I’m sure we’ll talk about that really make it you know, it’s a no brainer for an electrical contractor to choose this product. So I ordered one the other day and landed in three days.
Curt Anderson 14:52
There you go. How cool is that? Right Just in time for a little little Oktoberfest so Alright, so let’s try to Over the Oh, you got it right there. Well, you know what, and we’re gonna be showing some fun examples, let’s say, man, look at that thing. There. Alright, so we’re gonna, we’re gonna do a deep dive in that. So Amy, let’s get you in the game here. So just to introduce Amy to everybody, Amy is part of Nicole Donnelly’s dmg marketing team. And Amy, you are a marketing guru. I know you’ve been working closely with Melinda here. I know you want to dig in here, you love new, exciting cutting edge things. And so you’ve just love this project. I know you’ve got a couple of burning questions for everybody here. But let’s let’s let’s lay him out there. What do you got?
Amy Sariego 15:32
Yeah, we can start with Marlene and Melinda. And then from time to Kevin. And I would love to know how both of your companies approach innovation to ensure that continual improvement of electrical safety for your customers?
Marlene Palmer 15:46
I’ll let you answer that one.
Melinda Marks 15:48
So as Kevin mentioned earlier, there are a lot of codes and regulations to keep up with. And that’s true in any industry. And so also true when we think about our products, and what we need them to how we need to to perform in order to be in compliance with those regulations. And so we’re always, you know, we’re staying abreast of what those regulations are, and making sure that we’re in compliance. And the biggest component for us in terms of that would be our, our quality control. And one of the things that we find is very important to, to users out there is that they have a pedestal that they know is going to be safe that they know that their electrical components are going to stay safe, regardless of the weather, or any other outdoor conditions. And so having a UL listing having our products with a UL listing is is first and foremost and important. In terms of other innovations, we just recently had feedback, we’re always listening to customer feedback, we had feedback from some customers, they love our pedestals that they wish, they wish. And this one in particular wished that it didn’t have this round base. And I’ll actually show you what I mean here if you don’t mind. But this is an example of a pedestal that is mounted to concrete, and you can see their anchor bolt hole openings there. And so he loved the design of the product, but he wished that he had something that cuts that flush against a wall. So as you can see, now, this back of the base does not allow for that. So we quickly ran with that idea. And our engineers came back with some design options, and happy to have released this new product line about six months ago, I think it was now and so as you can see here, this and this is a built in stainless steel cutter. So this will allow the cover to open and be in use while sitting flush. All of the mounting is internal. So Marlene, do you want to
Marlene Palmer 18:22
speak to innovations like that constantly listening to customers and trying to make improvements where we can make things better, simpler easier. We recently had another customer that wanted a different configuration for his 50 amp plugs so we we put a we’re just in the process of updating our catalog with our new receptacle mounting plate that will allow for a different type of plug to be used for the higher for the higher amperages so it’s those kinds of innovations that we’re always trying to try and do our best to keep abreast of like Melinda said and and just keep it going keep keep customers happy and and keep the offerings coming.
Curt Anderson 19:11
Well I love and this is what makes manufacturing just so inspiring. It’s why Amy and I lose love our jobs what we do work with manufacturers like you too. So a couple things I want to unpack you know real quick is number one, listening to the customer boy what boy if there’s for young entrepreneurs out there if you want one little golden nugget of advice, boy just listen to that customer number one number two we keep talking about Made in USA you know the innovation here in a big thing is alright, so for little have a little confession here Kevin and Marlene if you ever made a mistake in your in your career, Kevin, I’ve made a couple in the past 10 minutes right so I made a little little company we had electrical product and guess what I did not have a UL listing and what a total disaster that was and so I own it. So I love that You’re talking about the compliance. And so Kevin, let’s tie it back down to you, Amy, you were asking about innovation. Let’s talk about like the innovation side for you, Kevin at current safe, just from your current safe side, or when you’re seeking out products like paddock, how important is that to you on the innovative side?
Kevin Dickey 20:14
Oh, it’s very important. Of course, you know, we’d like to be on the cutting edge on the latest and greatest opportunities for our customers. Know all of the latest and greatest safety codes. And, you know, be sure that we put in good quality equipment, like you say, we’ve made that mistake of purchasing the low and feasts and being come back to definitely hurt us. But we look for a quality product, and we’re constantly talking to our customers to and our customers could either be electrical contractors, or the end user, the home homeowner or the business owner. And that’s how we try to stay on top of the game. And of course, a lot of educating yourself, I’m sure we all have to do a lot of education in the background to understand any changes in knowledge. So that’s pretty much how we stay innovative, but I will have to say it does come from most of the feedback in the field or from customers that were you’re really able to provide the right product for the customer.
Curt Anderson 21:18
Yeah, I love that. And you know what I’m gonna we’re gonna dig into like safety. And we have a couple of fun examples. We’re going to show everybody but you know, Marlene, I’m going to come back to like, I’m sorry to hammer it, but it just it is so important for manufacturers because, you know, I’m not sure what the exact percentage of OEMs original equipment manufacturers that do have that, you know, finished good proprietary product. And you know, you’ve dipped your toe into both came from the custom side into proprietary side, you know, on that proprietary side, you know, now you get scalability. Now you can like you know that your engineering, you’re, you’re working on the same product, the same process, you can really nail it, and now you can start to scale it right? How exciting is that been for you were like now like, you know, when a custom work, when customer comes to you. It’s always something new, something different a new drawing a new process. Does this fit what we do? Talk a little bit about, like, how can you scale up with this product with a Pedoc line?
Marlene Palmer 22:08
We can scale up in many ways. One of the big ones is though just scaling up to reach different markets. So throughout the day, we get a number of emails from different landscape architects or other specifiers. And they’re telling us where they are thinking of using our products. And we shake our heads. We’re like, wow, we never thought of that. So you know, we’ve got our pedestals now going into pickleball courts are charging golf carts, golf carts, stations, batting cages, batting cages, I mean, every day, we’re like, wow, you know, we’ve got markets that we hadn’t even considered. Yeah, that’s really been exciting. And then you know, people are always asking, Can we can we add a cut out? Can we can we choose our own color? What if we want to what if we want to have a university color on our pedestals and, and absolutely, the sky’s the limit? So the more you can offer, the more that people you know, the more enticing it is to to people. So it’s it’s really been fun.
Curt Anderson 23:18
I love it, you know, and so I just drove by a pick there’s a pickleball court like down the street aways and I was like jam packed. It’s like 11 o’clock on Wednesday and like there were cars everywhere people everywhere, and I totally could see like, you know, they are such addicts when it comes to pickleball that they need these pedestals Yes, running 24/7 So I actually love that. And again, we’re going to show a couple examples here. Kevin, do you want to show the example that you that you got not not the ugly one? We’ll get to that one second, but we’re gonna show the actual paddock. And Linda, you have a bunch right behind you. Yes. Kevin. what’s your takeaway? I know you were familiar with this product before meeting our friends here at Pedoc but what’s your takeaway on this product here?
Kevin Dickey 23:59
I guess right off the bat. I mean, it’s an outdoor product and you can feel the weight in you know you can feel how strong and sturdy the product is. There’s no question about it. It’s very strong and sturdy. I like the the features on it personally have had camper tamper proof screws in there for the covers so you can put it basically anywhere and you don’t have to worry about the people getting into it. As an electrician we worry about installation. You know we products cost the same but a lot of our installations you know what our money is made if we can put it in economically a little quicker than what we estimated it at. And but generally we’re we’re fixed on products for the price that they are. So when you think about how easy this is to install, how much room there is for us to put our electrical wiring in. All you have to do is two screws you pull this cover off, you can stall your outlets there. I love the ideas of multiple different styles. I can see even chargers definitely being at businesses and homes something, an outlet for them, I think you know, you’re looking at things that will rust or wear out, this is a great paint powder coating on this very quality materials. So it’s honestly, I must say, as an electrical contractor, I’m looking at how fast I can install it, how it’s gonna look, is my customer gonna like the final product? And I believe, really, this is the way to go. And that the applications for these are endless that I see, you know, we work in a lot of commercial industrial facilities that have beautiful courtyards, and they want to have Christmas lighting outside. Well. Many people do the wooden post, lawn mowers go by it and bust the covers off of them and people misuse them. And you’re not, you’re not gonna bust this off, I have a problem with this product. So as far as electrical contractors, some of the things we’re looking for to ease to install a product that’s going to last that customer that’s going to be happy. I feel it hits checkmarks every one of those right out of the bat, you know, right.
Marlene Palmer 26:12
All right, could I interrupt for one second? Because I’d like to add to that, Kevin? Earlier, in this conversation, I told you that the product line was actually developed by an electrician, and exactly what you’re saying. He’s like, it’s gotta be easy for for electricians to install. And he was adamant that, you know, there had to be enough room at the base to run up all of their wiring everything. He wanted to make sure that that once these get out in the field, people weren’t frustrated by them. And the entire line is designed for ease of installation. And that was at his insistence. So I’m happy to hear you mentioned that and good to hear.
Melinda Marks 26:58
Thank you for that feedback.
Kevin Dickey 26:59
Yeah, well, I’m happy it wasn’t electrician, you know, we are pretty smart.
Curt Anderson 27:05
That’s right, Kevin. And Kevin, by the way, just he’s got his Cleveland Brown sticker that he’s going to put right on there. Right, Kevin? Yeah, our friends from Chicago don’t mind, you can put your brown slipper all over it. Kevin, I think you’ve got a you have a picture there handy. Let’s take a look of what like maybe what not to do, can we take a look at what
Kevin Dickey 27:24
you have there. Because this would be what you’re going to find all over everywhere, you’re going to find someone who’s stuck a an outlet on a post, they the cover ends up getting broken off, right. And the piping gets smashed or something from a lawnmower or some type of a yard object. And you end up with a mess, and you go back and we use plastic pipe outside. So of course they do get damaged. And in our cold weather, they’re more susceptible to damage. So when you have something that rigid, every all of the parts that can be damaged or hidden. They’re all behind the scenes. I look at your cover and how the cover is not something that we have to take off, lay on the ground, put down let’s together, put the cover back on lose the screws parts like that. Those are very good little things that you have in your product that and rather than having multiple pieces that we’ve got to put together and everything I think it’s a that is, you know, one other thing I must say as the ones that aren’t direct buried in the ground, I think you’ve gotten all the options we need, whether we’re putting them on a wooden dock, whether we’re putting them on concrete, or whether we’re just directly putting them into the ground themselves, when you could make a nice no concrete pad for them and anchor them to the pad out in the middle of the yard. I mean, there’s so many options, for instance. But that direct query really is good and easy.
Melinda Marks 28:58
So this is a, an attempt to be Vanna White here in the directory model, and this thing is actually really, really heavy. It’s 42 inches long. But it’s designed exactly for that. Kevin, you mentioned like ground conditions and you know, shifting ground Kunzite conditions, especially out here the freeze thaw cycles, right? Oh, the rigidity is is a very, very important. And so one of the things that it also features is this removable access panel. I’ve taken it off right now but here’s another unit that actually has it on. So when you’re running your wiring through you can place this right over the conduit run your wires up and like you said just take off the little plate here, put your terminate your wires and put in your septic coils and you’re good to go.
Kevin Dickey 29:56
And it’s weather resistance weather I think that’s one of the big features too, we don’t have to worry about those things for our customers. And our homeowners and our business owners, I think that’s a very important feature there, too. You see the damage that the normal installations we’ve all been used to in the electrical world are a four by four wooden post, because it’s treated and it shouldn’t last, you know, forever, right, but it lasts for 15 years or 10 years in our weather. But I think the biggest reason why people would want to use them, and why we would recommend to our customers the life, you know, they’re going to be there for a long time, they’re always going to look nice, they’re not the woods not going to twist and rot, the pipes not going to get broken, the cover is not going to come off. So I really think aesthetically, I certainly find them to be really aesthetically pleasing. And they, I believe it should be the wave of the future for all outdoor outlets for people, we can ground this, which is important, we can actually ground these posts into the ground, which is another safety feature that a lot of there was just a wooden post, you may not do that. With that, you’ll just stick it on there. So a lot of good features that I would see. That’s a real benefit. So
Marlene Palmer 31:13
so when I when I looked at that photo that you held up, Kevin, it kind of brought me back to the reason that we that we wanted to acquire the product line. It’s because as soon as we saw what this electrician had proposed, we were like, Yeah, that’s a problem we can solve. And we all know what that problem is, every time you walk down a city street, you’re looking at, you’re looking at conduit that’s just sticking out of a out of a great with a broken cover. And it’s just, it’s really kind of ugly, it’s unsafe. And we knew that that we could we could represent a product that could really solve a problem and look good. And we knew we could, we could do a good job at it. We knew we could put a quality product out there. And we were we were just really excited and gratified to have the opportunity to to have a product like that under our belts. Wonderful.
Curt Anderson 32:15
Yeah. And, you know, so a couple of takeaways in that whole segment right there. Number one, Melinda, Vanna White. Amy Do you might have to google that one. Do you know Vanna White? Amy, so I was just chatting. So I love the Vanna White kind of, but you know, if you guys can see, can you guys see my screen? I’ve got a little before and after pulled up here. And you know, you’re making so many great points here, you know, the UL listing to safety. You know, you know, at that, what we’re looking at right there, you know, a child could walk up and pop something in there. I mean, it’s just, there’s, there’s, it’s Kevin, it’s gotta be nails on a chalkboard for you, dude, like, just watch it, you’re just like cringing, like, oh, like violates everything that current safe stands for, right looking at these types of things. And that’s when you know, when you walk into a manufacturer and again, like our manufacturing friends out there, if you’re like, you know, geez, I don’t I didn’t think about my electrical safety. You know, these are the types of things that you’re looking for whether it’s outside inside, but this is what you and your team are really attacking on a daily basis, right. Absolutely. Awesome. Okay, Amy. Amy, are you having a great time? Or what is this? Like, you know, she’s she’s quiet Bicurious a big stick. Don’t let her fool Yes, she’s Yes, he is a fireball. Amy, do you have another question for our team? I know we’ve covered a lot of features benefits here. Do you want to get into some other factors? What are your What are your what’s your next question here? Yeah,
Amy Sariego 33:44
we can talk about maybe what are some common electrical safety problems and how to avoid them I know you talked about the the wooden structures and having them exposed like that, but are there other things that you run into that people can be on the lookout for?
Kevin Dickey 34:00
So primarily outdoor equipment, we’re worried about people getting shocked. There’s water there’s different atmospheric temperature or circumstances that can create moisture and electrical systems and that’s just not good enough. And what will happen is some of these four by four installations will lose a ground at times and will not be able to trip but maybe a GFI outlet at properly and that’s very important to us to be able to ground the equipment properly so that it won’t come off in a couple years for some unknown reason. And that’s really the number one safety feature we have to look for for our customers is shock hazard when it comes to this other types of electrical equipment we were really worried about fire hazard, you know, we worry about electric vehicles catching on fire, it’s catching on fire, but on this we were going to be safety and I would say you know the rigidity of it again, you can you can knock these other things over wires can come pulled off, and you don’t know it because they’re all hidden within the equipment. And those are the type of things why we would recommend that our customers put something more solid, rigid, long life, piece of equipment in there that we can actually be comfortable about installing.
Melinda Marks 35:17
And thank you for for mentioning that to the this. We specifically chose a heavy stainless steel material. There are some pedestals out there in the market that are made of plastic. So we all know that fire and plastic don’t mix well. Together, do they? Yeah, no, no. So we’ve got a product. It’s it is stainless steel. And as you you mentioned earlier, it’s heavy. It’s a 14 gauge stainless steel with even a heavier base on on the bottom. So super rigid, it’s completely welded. It’s not a panel construction, you’re not gonna have screws or other fasteners popping off. And, you know, causing damage potentially, to the inside components.
Kevin Dickey 36:06
Yeah, definitely a lot of thought was put into building that and it was very satisfied. Well, I’m very happy to have that product. And I do believe there are electrical contractors watching, you know, what, what would it hurt showing your customer this because I truly believe the majority of your customers would say, Wow, that that would be much nicer than this other thing you’re going to install with a piece of wood and some plastic pipe or, or outdoor pipe. So I would write I would encourage anyone to at least let’s get this thing out there. And who doesn’t want something that looks nice like that in their yard compared to just their standard outlet?
Curt Anderson 36:45
So I’m going to you know, I want to take I’m going off script a little bit I’m going to dive into that entrepreneurial leap of faith. You know, sometimes I’ll call you know, you call it gut instinct, but you know, women’s intuition, whatever you want to call it. It’s a there’s a fork in the road. What should I do? So Kevin, you have one Marlene you have on. I’m gonna take everybody back in time. It’s 2009 I don’t know about you guys, but I think it was like a little economic thing going on in 2009 Just a little bit. Right. So Marlene, can you walk us through entrepreneurs were faced with like tough decisions on a daily basis. Should I or should night? Yeah, do this or should I do that? Should I invest in this? Should I not invest in that right? When this came on your plate in 2009? Can you if you can go back you know, 14 years ago? Was that a big risk? Was it a big you know, was it a no brainer? Like what was that thought process or the decision process to go this direction
Marlene Palmer 37:36
100% No brainer no percent no brainer. It it just felt like
Curt Anderson 37:44
it just felt good. It
Marlene Palmer 37:45
was it was it was a dream. It was it was it was a perfect fit for us I mean it’s what we’re good at our core competency is is metal fabrications but our strengths are putting out quality products and durable products and it was something we understood I mean you look at you look at our pedestals you you just you get the sense of wow yeah there that’s something I didn’t know I needed and and it was just exciting. Not no hesitation whatsoever.
Curt Anderson 38:20
That is so inspiring. Absolutely. You know it’s like your it’s like your kids right? It’s like this you know, like now you have that product as opposed to like you’re always making something for someone else which is fantastic right? It’s a big bulk of your business but having those in by the way so I had the privilege the honor Nicole and I sat in that very office. Marlena and now if you’re as you’re facing Melinda Marlene over to the right the day that I showed up, man it was like all these guys that walked out the magazine so like apparently you gotta be like a strikingly handsome young college guys to work for these Pedoc I certainly didn’t qualify but man you have inadequate was was was somebody related to it? Was there another relative there apparently in Bonita it’s
Marlene Palmer 39:01
one of those was my son.
Curt Anderson 39:05
I’m like thank god my daughter’s not with because so you have a beautiful family and I it was just such a privilege to be there. Kevin speak in a family. I just you know you were on the show. Guys. I want to encourage you go back and catch the program with Kevin you took Nicole Knight through a deep dive on safety. And you know, just quickly share chair with Melinda, Melinda and Marlena. Maybe we did offline but just share with the folks here today. You have a really cool entrepreneurial story on how you took that leap of faith. Can you just share how the brainchild and how current safe came to life? Sure.
Kevin Dickey 39:39
I had an idea. Nobody did the idea before that it was very deep involved testing on electrical systems in homes. And I had went to my family business where we had an electrical business and I showed him my great idea and they came back and I had a beautiful pro forma with call So in marketing and everything, so I came back to them and I said, Hey, let’s, I’ve got a great idea. Let’s do this. And they came and said, well, we don’t know if that’ll work. And we don’t really there’s gonna cost some money to invest in all of this and the new products and everything was pretty, very disappointing. But I had my heart was in it, I believed in it, I had the faith. And if I didn’t have the faith, I was given the faith that about a week later, I went home from work and my TV was on in the third floor, and I questioned my wife if she had left the TV on, of course. And she said, No, she didn’t, wasn’t up there. And then a couple days later, my TV was on the third floor. And I accused her of that, and it didn’t go over too well. You said no, I didn’t. So I started thinking maybe it was a dog maybe was a cat. But all in all, it was the faith leap. At two o’clock in the morning with five children under the age of 18, and a house, my outlet in my room upstairs caught on fire. And I had an electrical fire in my house. As I was building a business but stopped I I hesitated and said, Well, let me rethink this. But I do remember my wife sitting there at three o’clock in the morning after the all of it was over and said to me, do you think that’s the sign we should go into business? Go? Wow. So we left the very large business with great family business, started our own thing. And, and thanks to good Lord, we are here today, almost 20 years later, and we have a great business going and better
Marlene Palmer 41:38
relations. That’s awesome. It’s a wonderful story.
Curt Anderson 41:41
I love that story. So Kevin, thank you. You’re I tell you, dude, you’re just such an inspiration. I just love that story. Thank you for sharing that. You talk about like, you know, I mean, think about that. A guy that’s an electrical, you know, a contractor is thinking about creating a safety, Electrical Safety business. And you know, if you’re looking for like, What’s that little nudge? What should I do? Well, how about a fire at three in the morning? Right? That’s, you know, boy, if that’s a sign what is Kevin So dude, thank you. Congratulations to you, your family, what you’ve done for past 20 years? Amy, let’s get back you in here in eight, I’m gonna run a plus for Amy. She just launched her own business like yesterday, your E and so she’s such an inspiration in gratulations. You I just, it’s an honor working with you. What’s your next question? You have another question for the team here?
Amy Sariego 42:30
Yeah. Um, we can talk about how you educate your customer. So I know, we’ve talked about how you listen to them and take their feedback, which is super important. And then what about from the opposite way? Maybe someone doesn’t know they needed a power pedestal? How do you educate them? So they, they know.
Melinda Marks 42:48
Great question. Yeah. So we, as you know, are located just outside of Chicago, when I say we, our sales support our production, facility engineering, we’re all here. And we are here to pick up the phone, read your emails, you can always reach us. So that’s huge. You have a live person to talk with. And often times people don’t know exactly what they need. And so it is an educational process that’s starts with uncovering their needs, what is it that you are looking to do? What’s your application? And they might say, well, we have we’re looking to put in to protect some outdoor power at a food truck festival area, where they have just the typical conduit stubbed up, or maybe the wooden post and so Okay, well, what kind of equipment? Are you looking to power? Do you need just, you know, 1520 amp? Or do you, you know, need something a little higher than that. And so those two questions right off the bat are going to give us an idea of we’re going to be able to narrow it down a little more. And from there, you know, what kind of setting will you need to mount these to concrete? Or is it a direct very application? If so, what are the outdoor conditions? Like? Can you bury 24 inch deep things like that, that a lot of people who who know they need something to protect outdoor wiring and components, but they just don’t know which one or how or you know, which one’s best suited for their specific needs. So we will gladly walk through that process with folks and help them and it it’s, you know, to all of our benefits. So there’s and two hours, you know, they’re getting the right product, but they’re also using us again, over and over and over. So a lot of times those calls are from landscape architects, designers who really aren’t familiar with the electrical world, but they’re very familiar with aesthetics. And so they want something that, you know, is going to look nice out there, but also perform over time. So, it’s, it’s great. So education is a big is a big piece of it, especially amongst designers.
Curt Anderson 45:25
Well, that’s fantastic. And I’ll tell you a guy, you know, it’s funny, you know, what would they say like, if you buy a certain car, then awesome. Like, everybody has that car, there’s like a psychological term for it. You know what I mean? Like, you know, like, you buy a shirt, and everybody’s wearing that same shirt or whatever. But as when Nicole and I came out to visit you guys this summer, like, I was very aware of like, looking at outlets now. You know, like, laser focus was never on my radar now, like I was at my daughter and I went to an outdoor festival, and I’m like, look at these food trucks. And like, I don’t know, if I like those outlets over, you know, like, wow, you know, like you’re you become like hugely aware of this, we’re going to look at a couple examples, because you guys have your products all over the place. I’m going to show some pictures there. Kevin, you know, you I had the honor privilege. You and I came together through the Small Business Development Center in Youngstown, Youngstown, Ohio, talked about educating, educating entrepreneurs, if you’re an entrepreneur out there, you need help you reach out to your local SBDC Small Business Development Center, or came together with our friends at paddock through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, I’m throwing a lot of acronyms, a lot of economic, you know, these are economic developers that are behind entrepreneurs all the way. Kevin, you do an amazing job educating like with your contractors with your team. Just gonna touch on Amy’s question there like how what are you guys doing to help educate your folks in an electrical safety?
Kevin Dickey 46:43
Sure, we know most homeowners are unaware of their electrical, let’s face it, it’s hidden in the walls, it just works. They have no idea what’s going on within the home or outside the home. And so we have to do a lot of educating and a lot of ours are educating them also one problems that occur and please other homes that maybe they haven’t experienced yet. I must say educating is is really a large part of our business. We talked about it this morning at a meeting. What more information can we provide? I mean, we we educate by asking questions, the same way we will, one of our questions we kind of like is, if you had an electrical hazard in your facility, wouldn’t you want to know about it? Or if you had an electrical within your home? Wouldn’t you want to know about it? So I like that kind of a question to the customers to is to get their mind thinking that really, I’m thinking of dollars or something else when I should be thinking of the real resolution to the problem I have at hand or a way to make what I have better.
Curt Anderson 47:46
So yeah, I is I’ve gotten to know you, your team and processes of what you do. I you know, I kind of viewed of like, you know, hey, once you start exercising, eat a little healthier, you know, like, what can I do to prevent myself from going to the doctor as opposed to having to take the aspirin after after the headache starts type thing, you know, so like, you guys are very proactive of like, you know, I like there could be a tragedy going behind my wall and have no idea about it from a manufacturing standpoint, like you’re talking 1000s hundreds of 1000s millions of dollars if that machine goes down. And boy, if you just like give an ounce of prevention, right? What’s the line onto prevention? prevents a pound of how’s that go? Kevin? You know what,
you’re not a cure. There’s something about
Curt Anderson 48:30
talking about after my my grandma used to say so anyway, let’s start winding down. I’m going to pull up some examples. So why don’t you guys share Melinda Marlene, where can we find these little power pedestals in action? I’m going to share my screen but can you I think the last time I mentioned you mentioned the word the Ritz I don’t know what correctly How about what’s going on in this page here.
Melinda Marks 48:56
So the first one on the left is actually the pedestal that you have Kevin and we often that is just for simple, everyday devices and equipment. So we see the our products and I actually when I’m out and about I randomly see them in places that I didn’t know they were in because we mainly that what people purchase through distribution and so we don’t always have that connection with the end user and see physically see the locations where they end up and so if that’s so cool when we actually do so we see our pedestals a lot in universities, specifically with this one is being used for high rise balconies. It is now code that balconies have power. And now with modern buildings that have you know there’s a lot of glass there. They don’t they can’t run that power through through the wall. So they Gotta get it there somehow. And you’ll see I mentioned food trucks earlier and there’s campgrounds that one on the upper right that you just scrolled past. Charging the block heater that is one that’s popular use popular so RnL carriers, there’s a huge they’re huge trucking company, but they have ordered probably at least a couple 100 of our pedestals this particular model but at a higher height for all for their terminals across the country. So they are using it for that purpose for their block heater for their block heaters. Yes. So yeah, and and there’s so many different applications. I mean, we already talked from balconies to to plaque heaters to right there in the center there, Curt. That’s a high rise amenities deck. And you see it right there. There’s almost sorts of different applications on the lower right there you see it, it’s kind of hard to see but next to the tree. Down the whole tree line. They have them there and that’s to power lights during the holiday season.
Marlene Palmer 51:15
So I live in I live in Arlington Heights, it’s a neighboring suburb and walking through our park one day, I’m like, holy cow, they’ve got our paddocks here. They’re installed in our neighborhood park and they use them for the holiday lighting. Every year. We were at my nephew’s graduation at the the Air Force Academy and they’ve installed them there as well. It’s just fun. It’s just fun. Iowa City my daughter is a student at the University of Iowa and Iowa City has them and installed throughout throughout their parkways.
Curt Anderson 51:49
Oh, that’s wonderful. Couple of comments there go Hawk eyes number one and check this out. You know Kevin, you can you can charge up your jetski you know you have charging their golf cart, you know, and I hope everybody can see that right there. I love that Melinda how you know there’s this a line. Now, pathetically if anybody were happened to be a baseball fan out there. I’m just asking for a friend. What stadium is that?
Melinda Marks 52:13
That would be nats Park
Curt Anderson 52:15
is that now. We’ll keep in Nicole’s out here. She’s in DC. So that that’s national. That’s Washington Nationals right there. So how can you look at all these different examples here? Kevin, you mentioned the food truck. I just absolutely love all this and just seeing in. Marlene, do you just like are you just beaming with pride when you walk into your you’re at the University of Iowa and you see the news?
Marlene Palmer 52:37
Yep. Yeah, it’s it’s been really it’s been really neat.
Curt Anderson 52:41
How you know, man how oh my gosh, I just I love my job.
Melinda Marks 52:46
I ask you and you’re you’re out and about and you see one of them please snap a picture
Curt Anderson 52:53
and send it back to Melinda so this all right, all right. I know I’m probably keeping everybody I think Amy you’re probably like giving like Kurt you’re like I’m gonna get the Vanna White like hey Curt Hurry up right
Amy Sariego 53:04
look out for power pedestals now
Curt Anderson 53:08
that’s right. So in when we don’t you know what we can even take pictures of those the ugly versions and seven because the bad ones. Alright guys, let’s start winding down. So first off, ami, takeaways, thoughts feedback. How what do you walk away with from the show today? what’s your takeaway?
Amy Sariego 53:26
I think the importance of really listening to your customers it’s like is so amazing to hear like you heard something that someone wanted and then you’re able to turn it around in like six months, I think that shows the power of, you know, working locally, like you guys do and then just really listening especially as like a newer business person myself, like hearing that. It’s just Yeah, I think that’s really, really important. And I know Kevin, you mentioned that too.
Curt Anderson 53:49
That’s all right. Tons of takeaways, innovation listening to your customer taking that leap of faith even when the economy when the economy was really not going so great. So kudos you for that. Marlene. Kevin, my friend. If you recall, I know you’re your repeat offender. You know, I asked you who your hero was last time. Do you remember that? Believe you shared was it was it was it dad?
Kevin Dickey 54:09
Yes. My father. Yes. How old’s dad he’s 94
Curt Anderson 54:14
Dad Joe Dickey right drive that crack Joe Dickey is 94 years old. God bless him. Let’s just as we wind down just share with everybody about Joe Dickey, this guy is just awesome.
Kevin Dickey 54:23
Oh, he still works every day. He
Curt Anderson 54:27
works every day.
Kevin Dickey 54:30
And you know, everyone here appreciates that. And as owners it’s very valuable that your employees see you and, and get to be friends with you. And we learn that every day and that’s part of being a family business. But it’s amazing how many of the young people even they stop in his office during the day. It’s eight to noon and then I’m pretty sure there’s a nap in the afternoon.
Marlene Palmer 54:54
Good for him. Yeah, he
Curt Anderson 54:55
deserves that nap. Well, hey, big hello to you, your family and again Hey how about a big round of applause for Kevin expertise and guys, you know, reach out to Kevin on LinkedIn check out current safe and so Kevin, we appreciate you We salute you. big hello to your family. Ladies, it’s my favorite sisters let’s wind down and so as we come together if you guys remember I asked you who your hero was. Marlene you gave a wonderful answer thing was very similar to Kevin’s right it was zero debt. And just love it. You have a great origin story of how the company was founded. Love that one did you? Do you remember my last question that I asked you? It was a little baseball question. Do you remember that one? My walk up song walk up song so I asked you guys what the boundary? So I’m not. I’m not gonna go there today. So Kevin is i Last question. Nicole and I were there. I said what’s your walk up song? And yeah, that was AC DC. She gave me an AC DC song. I’m going to close out with this. I asked you guys who your hero was you gave me your walk ups on so how about this? Looking forward to the future? We’re coming to like, third fourth quarter starts. On Monday. We’re coming into the fourth quarter we’re gonna be believer not starting a new year around the corner. Looking out ahead. Who or what is your inspiration moving forward? Who or what is your inspiration moving forward? Miss Melinda? How do you answer that question?
Melinda Marks 56:21
Wow. I would say I’m gonna continue to stay personal with it heroes dad and my mom is inspiration. You know, Kevin, is your father at his age and still plugging away. Our mom is 86 and she’s gardening and cooking and driving herself. It could have a star and so as I’m
Marlene Palmer 56:45
doing that answer,
Curt Anderson 56:47
Joe is coming up next. Marlene so same what’s mom’s name? Maria. Maria I so Alright, so we’ve got Maria and Joe our inspiration moving forward. So, guys, we’re going to close things out. First off, I want to how about a round of applause for everybody on the stage here today. Marlene, thank you guys. You absolutely crushed it today my friend. So I just want to thank you guys. Lastly, Melinda iMac let’s give a shout out to iMac which.
Absolutely. Your thoughts
Curt Anderson 57:15
on our friends at iMac. Let’s go there for as we close out.
Melinda Marks 57:18
Oh absolutely. Kurt, Amy and the whole team, the whole Jason have Theresa and all been wonderful. You have opened our eyes to a lot of opportunities. And not only that is you’ve set goals and a plan and you’re helping us to achieve it. So bottom of my heart. Thank you. Absolutely. It’s a pleasure to work with you. The follow up is incredible. And it’s just been a great experience. Really appreciate it
Marlene Palmer 57:48
all. Thank you so much.
Curt Anderson 57:50
Well, Marlene, I’ll give your answer did all right back at you. We glued our friends at iMac and again if you guys are coming to us from a different state that is the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The acronym is MEP there’s an MEP near you. So if you are a manufacturer reach out to me I will get you connected to your local MEP. So guys, we’re going to close out today. Big thank you to everybody here. Thank you for joining us if you caught us on replay again connect with these guys on LinkedIn. Check out their websites, learn more about them. Tons of inspiration here.
What happens when you combine a powerhouse manufacturer of landscape power pedestals with the leader in electrical safety? Magic!