Check out Vent-A-Hood’s fall 2015 newsletter by clicking this link: Fall 2015 Newsletter
With roots in North Texas for more than 80 years, it has always been important for Vent-A-Hood to get involved in the community around them. Whether it is attending a benefit or giving back to a local charity, this family-owned company strives to help the community feel like part of the team.
This month, Vent-A-Hood CEO Miles (Skip) Woodall III participated in an “Ask the C-Suite” panel hosted by the Richardson Chamber of Commerce. This event was a chance for local business professionals to get exclusive insights on how executives run their companies and adapt to changes for future business success. In addition to Vent-A-Hood, other participants on this panel included: George Brody, CEO GlobeRanger, a Fujitsu company; and Doug Moore, COO, Fujitsu Network Communications.
After learning more details about the business background of each executive, the mediator turned the conversation to how each company keeps their products and services relevant in today’s market, how the businesses adapt to changes in the market, and how new generations entering the workforce impact decisions made by the company.
Vent-A-Hood & Its Range Hood Manufacturing Legacy
With 47 years of experience, working at different levels within the Vent-A-Hood business, Skip shared his family upbringing in the business and Vent-A-Hood’s proven success at creating top-quality range hoods for decades. As the original range hood manufacturer, Vent-A-Hood has built a manufacturing legacy and loyal customer base in the kitchen appliance industry, enabling the organization to keep pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation.
Still, in an era where technology and innovation drive consumers to upgrade other products with repetition and great expense, Skip humorously admitted, “I’m not a very good American. I make products that last 50 years.” Which, of course, is also how Vent-A-Hood has built a legendary Made-in-the-USA reputation as well. “The one thing we don’t do is we don’t compromise. We don’t cut corners,” he said.
Skip has also mastered the art of keeping his three most important audiences top of mind. “Over the years, I have learned that success is about balance, which is the most difficult thing,” he said. “You have to create a process that gives customers the products they want, create high quality products by hiring great people, and keep the investors happy.”
Design Kitchen Appliances with State-of-the-Art Technology
When asked about how the company has stayed relevant in this fast moving business world, Skip talked about how Vent-A-Hood is always striving towards the next breakthrough in range hood technology and design. He described Vent-A-Hood’s proven ability to focus on creating a kitchen appliance with state-of-the-art technology that can be customized to fit any interior design.
“I want to be the Steve Jobs of the range hood business,” Skip joked. “I want to develop products that can be modified for every budget and every homeowner’s needs.”
Skip made a point to emphasize that Vent-A-Hood’s key to keeping relevant is to determine if change and industry pressure is worth it for the company. By choosing what trends to develop and what trends to leave alone, Vent-A-Hood has created a tough, but comprehensive training program and product line that puts the company ahead of any competitor.
“Moving into new areas of the kitchen appliance industry takes careful consideration about both the product and the company reputation,” Skip said.
The future of Vent-A-Hood in the High End Manufacturing Business
As the panel progressed the conversation turned to investing in the workforce and the future of each company.
“It is difficult to excel in a job at a high end manufacturing business. Every job takes a lot of craftsmanship and training, which does not leave a big pool of workers to select from,” Skip explained. “At Vent-A-Hood we recruit workers based on craftsmanship and skills, not necessarily education. And then we invest in each one with an extensive training process that can take several years to fully complete. We have a saying here: You either last 3 months at Vent-A-Hood or the rest of your life.” Although the future of the workforce is changing with the incorporation of machines to help with the process, Skip said his company still values workers who are willing to learn and evolve to Vent-A-Hood’s standard of craftsmanship.
“I don’t ever replace people with a machine. We make so much product, there’s always room for that talent. We pride ourselves in the quality of each product we create. Personalization is what we do. We want every kitchen to be unique and every customer to feel inspired,” Skip added. “Vent-A-Hood builds products that make it hard for competitors to duplicate. This allows us to give customers exactly what they want in their kitchen with the option to customize.”
The panel wrapped up with a quick Q&A session from the crowd and a round of applause for all the participants for the insights and inspirations they shared with community business leaders and entrepreneurs.
For more information about Vent-A-Hood and our range hood designs, please visit us at Ventahood.com