ProVia Milestones: Learning to Embrace Growth

April 25, 2023
This article is part of a series on ProVia Milestones, where we cover significant developments that have shaped our company throughout its history.
When I first accepted my position with ProVia back in 2001, there was no ProVia brand in place, and we had not yet unified the various aspects of the organization. At the time we were a combination of two separate entities: Precision Entry, which manufactured entry doors, and Sugarcreek Industries, which made aluminum storm doors, storm windows, vinyl windows and aluminum windows.

Creating Efficiencies

In 1995 Precision Entry had purchased the assets of Sugarcreek Window & Door and renamed the company Sugarcreek Industries. According to Willis Schlabach, who was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at the time and is now retired from the company, “One of the important efficiencies this created was enabling us to fill trucks.” As a standalone company, Precision had semi-trucks and they were delivering less-than-truckload quantities to dealers around the region. By bringing on Sugarcreek Industries and their product lines, it enabled us to fill trucks going to the same dealer as opposed to just delivering entry doors, because now we were also delivering storm doors and windows.

Pursuing a Broader Strategic Vision

Additionally, the acquisition enabled the company to pursue a broader strategic vision. “It really got us thinking about wall systems instead of just entry doors,” said Willis. “When we had just entry doors, it was a product. It could have been any product, but it was just a product. By adding storm doors and windows, we had entered the world of providing entire wall systems. This created a new mindset that paved the way for us to ultimately add other products down the road (siding, stone, roofing) that fulfilled our ambition to become a comprehensive provider of exterior building products.”

A More Structured and Streamlined Approach

Phil Wengerd, who is currently Vice President of Market Strategies for ProVia, was leading the finance side of Precision Entry during the Sugarcreek acquisition. He recalls how this helped the company to “think like a manufacturer instead of like a manufacturer/distributor.” As a result, we began to adopt a more structured approach to manufacturing processes and worked to streamline the way we cared for employees at multiple locations. All these changes led to establishing a stable foundation for scaling up the business.
Black and white photo from Sugarcreek Industries
Manufacturing processes at Sugarcreek Industries

Caring for Employees, Customers and Community

The acquisition also brought additional employees to what had previously been a smaller, mom-and-pop style operation. The leadership team at the time felt a strong sense of responsibility for both their employees and for contributing to the communities where we live. While it didn’t happen overnight, the acquisition began the process of working to create a unified culture of caring for employees, customers, and community which continues today.

A Significant Milestone

In 2007/2008 Precision Entry, Sugarcreek Industries, and Monarch IG (covered in this article) were united under one brand, ProVia Door, which has since been shortened to simply “ProVia”. This was a pivotal step in creating a unified culture and shared values.
A group photo of ProVia employees in 2007 standing in front of two ProVia semi trucks
In 2007/2008 Precision Entry, Sugarcreek Industries, and Monarch IG were united under one brand, ProVia Door

In our journey to becoming the company we are today, I think the time when Precision Entry acquired Sugarcreek Window & Door represented a significant milestone that set the stage for our transformation into a unified entity. This was the first in a series of purchases or acquisitions that contributed to the growth of the company over time. There have been many since, but this was the first time our leadership team conducted this type of transaction. Today, as we continue to expand our company, we have the benefit of experience on our side as we embrace growth so we may be of service to our employees, customers and communities.

Many thanks to Phil Wengerd and Willis Schlabach for sharing their recollections from these important moments in the history of ProVia.

[Related]: “The Professional Way, The Story of ProVia’s Past, Present & Future”

Joe Klink, Executive Director of Corporate Engagement at ProVia

Joe Klink

Executive Director of Corporate Engagement


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