On July 1, 2008, Mike Savignac, took the helm at PDQ Manufacturing Inc., a manufacturer of carwash systems and supplies based in De Pere, WI. Savignac succeeded Charlie Lieb and called the promotion at PDQ a “great opportunity” for him and his family. (Lieb retires at the end of this year.)
Savignac’s history with the company started in April 2001, so he has had ample opportunity to see carwashing at its best and also its most challenging. He began his tenure with PDQ as the executive vice president of operations and was later tasked with overseeing the company’s domestic sales and marketing as well.
“Mike has a résumé of success spanning across all facets of the manufacturing industry,” former president Charlie Lieb said at the time the promotion was announced. “He is a seven-year veteran of PDQ with proven track record.”
Before joining PDQ, Savignac spent nearly two decades holding leadership roles in several divisions of Illinois Tool Works in sales, manufacturing and marketing. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch College, Milwaukee, and a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from UW-Milwaukee.
Savignac spoke with Professional Carwashing and Detailing and told us what lies ahead for the company and why looking forward to the future is key.
Professional Carwashing & Detailing: You formerly worked at Illinois Tool Works, how did that job prepare you for your job at PDQ?
Mike Savignac: My career path has prepared me pretty well for my role here at PDQ. If I had to pick one thing that really stood out for me in my time at Illinois Tool Works it would be working with global distributors to build successful partnerships and finding new solutions to solve our customer’s business challenges.
PC&D: Tell us about your first few days on the job as the new president?
Mike Savignac: It was business as usual. Just talking to employees, distributors and customers — listening to their concerns and issues and answering any questions that I could at the time. Not that much different from what I had been doing, but now as president it gave me an opportunity to reach out to everyone in the organization.
PC&D: What are your goals as the new president?
Mike Savignac: There are a number of things that PDQ has done extremely well and as with most companies there are some things we can do better. Over the course of the next few months we will be reviewing our business strategies to address those needs. Basically we have three guiding principles: Performance, Dependability and Quality, and if I’m successful we will continue to improve on those principles to make PDQ an even stronger company.
PC&D: How are things going, considering the current state of the economy? How is PDQ staying afloat?
Mike Savignac: It’s times like these that everyone in the industry is being challenged — there’s no doubt about it.
But despite the circumstances, PDQ is doing well. Our company’s success is due in part to the fact that we’ve laid a solid business foundation based on strong manufacturing principles and streamlined purchasing strategies. We also continue to invest in new product development, working with operators and our distribution to solve their challenges. And frankly, we have some great people in our organization. PDQ has weathered economic downturns before and in fact, we’ve been able to continue to grow our business even during times of uncertainty. I’m confident that we will again.
PC&D: What does the future hold for PDQ?
Mike Savignac: The future looks bright! My job is to look toward the future and as an organization; we have a tremendous amount of potential. We’ve been very active in listening to the present and future needs of our customers and together with our distributors; we’ve got some innovative plans. PDQ has tremendous opportunity around the world — and I’m proud to be a part of it.