COO of the Month: USA
Channel Products is a leading designer and manufacturer of ignition systems, safety controls, and complimentary products for manufacturers worldwide. The Company began in 1972 and is headquartered in Cleveland, OH, with sales and distribution offices in both China and Europe.
We spoke to Teresa C. Hack who reveals the firm's experience, proven technology, and unparalleled customer service as well as the challenges she faces at the helm of it. As well as imparting her thoughts on winning COO of the Month: USA, she lifts the lid on the company’s exciting plans for the future, and the challenge in being creative and driving intellectual property opportunities in large industries that change at a slow rate.
Can tell us which the areas your company specialises in?
We invent and manufacture component systems and technologies designed to improve safety, ensure reliability, and enhance efficiency. Best known in the gas appliance industry for igniters, safety controls, assemblies, and accessories, we provide manufacturers worldwide with high-quality components and systems for a variety of industries. With 48 patents since our beginning, we lead with experience, proven technology, and unparalleled customer service.
How does it feel to have been awarded COO of the Month: USA?
I am humbled. Every wise leader surrounds themselves with smart, tenacious, and loyal people. While I am honoured at the recognition, I am most proud of our strong Channel team and the excellent performance they bring through the doors every day. Leaders are made great when they have exceptional followers.
How the business is going and what challenges do you face at the helm of it?
Since we purchased the company nearly five years ago, business has been strong and we are growing. In addition to our European sales and distribution arm, we recently built and launched our own manufacturing facility in China, adding to our existing sales and engineering office. This global effort compliments our Cleveland-based design and manufacturing facility. While this type of growth and demand comes with inherent challenges, we make it a priority to mitigate the associated risks and control our own destiny.
Can you tell us about your career background prior to attaining your current position?
I had the privilege of working with the excellent team of partners at our parent organisation, Weinberg Capital Group – a private equity firm headquartered in Cleveland, OH, performing due diligence and working with acquisitions to implement operational excellence. Prior to this, I had built an operational and quality leadership background with publicly traded companies.
What kind of clients do you serve and how do you approach them?
Selling to manufacturers of outdoor grills, fire pits, heaters, and lighting, to indoor commercial appliances, to tier-one military suppliers and much in between, we cover a lot of diverse segments with our products. We are fortunate that while we have an exceptional commercial effort, many customers reach out for us. Channel is one of the few companies I have seen where qualified opportunity is in a constant state of abundance. This is a great way to exist, so long as customers are still being thrilled without neglect.
Do you have any plans for 2016 and beyond?
Fundamentally, we will continue to grow our people and Channel at a pace that is smart and exciting. There will always be organic growth in our plans, but as we move in to the future, we will be looking at complimentary and strategic acquisitions to enhance and expand our offerings.
What challenges lie ahead in 2016 for you as a COO of the Month: USA and also for your company in 2016?
The greatest challenge is always the balance in leading people while managing process, especially during aggressive growth spurts. When this is done well, the business evolves naturally and challenges become stepping stones to greatness. We have a very robust approach to our internal culture that I am asked frequently about.
We believe that human capital is the foundation of everything. I have never seen a plan unfold or a dollar change hands without the personal touch. Mentoring and moulding this touch, while ensuring work is getting enthusiastically accomplished, is the challenge for 2016 and beyond.
Can you reveal any specific industry based challenges you are facing now and in the future?
While keeping up with aggressively changing technologies is what most companies face, for Channel, being creative and driving intellectual property opportunities in large industries that change slowly is the challenge. This only fuels us in a greater way to be the proverbial sleeping giant.
We exist to make our customer’s products the best in the world while enhancing the life of the end user. This is demonstrated in our recent patent filings and will continue as our current and future projects give way to market segment disruption and bold competitive advantage for our customers.
Do you have any further insightful remarks to make?
Quality, on-time delivery, and the ability to both manufacture and source globally are merely the price of admission today. Status-quo is not our thing. We have a different philosophy on company culture and its impact on those we serve is what sets us apart. Whether it be our robust design capabilities, or how we cultivate and insist upon an internal culture that is Wildly Obsessed with Thrilling Our Customers™, we want to be more and achieve more.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
COO of the Month: USA is a tremendous honour given by AI and I hope to always walk worthy of this much appreciated recognition!
Company: Channel Products, Inc.
Name: Teresa C. Hack, President and COO
Address: 7100 Wilson Mills Rd.,
Chesterland, Oh 44026
Phone: 440 423 0113