SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT: SUPREME by Wabash
Note: Since this interview took place, Mike Pettit has since been appointed as Wabash National’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. See the press release on page 9, In The Highbeams! FordPros (FP): First off, it is so nice to meet you Mike! Thank you so much for agreeing to do an interview with FordPros. I would like to start by asking what your background is and how you ended up in your current position? Mike Pettit (MP): It’s nice to meet you as well! I was with Ford Motor company for 14 years, then took my experience to Wabash and have been with Wabash for 8 years. After Wabash acquired Supreme in 2017, I took over that brand in 2018.
FP: Before we get into Wabash National’s acquisition of Supreme, would you reintroduce both Wabash National & Supreme to our FordPros? MP: Of course! Wabash’s long history of innovation and manufacturing quality has driven it to become one of the biggest transportation equipment companies—and a leader in semitrailer and tank trailer production in North America. Supreme is a leader in truck body manufacturing and custom vehicle solutions – with more
than 40 years of experience and 6 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States. FP: Back to the acquisition, can you tell us about that and how it benefitted Supreme customers? MP: The acquisition accelerated Wabash National’s organic growth into the approximately $2.0B final mile equipment segment. Building on Supreme’s four plus decades of truck body manufacturing and customer service by adding Wabash National’s new technologies and innovation, manufacturing optimization and cost synergies. That larger manufacturing footprint and diverse solutions portfolio better serves the customers of both companies! It allowed the focus to be on understanding our customers to help make their job easier and improve business efficiency. FP: “The Final Mile”. Can you explain a little about what that is? How is this trend toward online shopping and what are the transportation needs that are needed to fulfill delivery transforming how you do business? MP: The Final Mile, known commonly as “The Last Mile,” is the nomenclature used in supply chain management and transportation planning to describe the movement of people and goods from a transportation hub to a final destination. As more and more companies are moving to next day or even same day home delivery, it will require more equipment- which we are expecting to create a greater demand
for our products. We believe logistics, transportation and distribution will continue to grow as the landscape of how goods are delivered changes. That technology and equipment need to be able to co-evolve so to speak. That “Final Mile” is changing. Goods aren’t going to stores as much as in the past. Instead, they’re going from a Distribution Center, to a Fulfillment Center, to a Delivery Center, to a home. That is an entirely different model into which we are excited to supply engineered solutions, especially when looking to the future of the refrigerated vehicles for delivery of perishables. We have a product refresh coming in the near future that we are looking forward to offering. FP: That sounds intriguing! Product refresh? MP: Our Refrigerated Truck Product refresh will be lighter, more durable and have better thermal efficiency. With its innovative properties, the product will bring more value to our customers and be a key solution for the future success of direct home delivery. Our approach is to stay ahead of the curve and look forward toward the future! FP: I am looking forward to checking back with Supreme and Wabash. Thank you so much for talking with us today, it was great to meet you! MP: You as well!
For more information visit supremecorp.com