Industrial Distribution speaks with Pete Biocini, President, R.S. Hughes Company as part of ID 's Executive Q&A Series.
Pete Biocini, President, R.S. Hughes
ID: What about the upcoming year 2012 are you most optimistic about (either for your business or for the industry as a whole)?
PB: We are cautiously optimistic about 2012. Obviously, 2011 has provided a nice bounce over 2009 and 2010, but quite frankly we believe we must take market share to thrive, regardless of the economy. Consumer spending will not return without gains in employment. The global economy has just demonstrated that even solid business and strategic plans can be impacted negatively. We are enjoying 2011 immensely, but we have no crystal ball on the economic climate we shall enjoy in 2012.
ID: What are your concerns for 2012 (either for your business or for the industry as a whole)?
PB: The loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.A. is still a critical factor for distributors with the bulk of their revenue stream in North America. America needs to recognize that a strong manufacturing base in the U.S.A. is an important foundation for our country to prosper. We need more than just a robust service industry and high tech industry.
ID: When did you begin your career in this industry and in what capacity?
PB: I started with R.S. Hughes as a manager trainee in March of 1982 and worked in inside sales prior to being promoted to outside sales in February of 1983. I stayed with R.S. Hughes because I love the entrepreneurial spirit and also the freedom to make decisions and live with the results. I have been fortunate to enjoy new challenges throughout my career and it has been a privilege, as well as a lot of fun, working alongside some of the most committed and quality people you will ever have the pleasure to meet.
ID: What would you consider to be the biggest changes you’ve seen the industry face throughout your career thus far?
PB: The impact of technology — The internet, web, iPad, laptop, networking, etc. That being said, hard work, integrity, loyalty, exceptional service, a strong inventory position and a “Customer is King” mentality is still relevant and essential for success.
ID: If you could have any other job, what would it be and why?
PB: I would be a teacher or coach because I love building teams and helping people improve their lives. Our promotion within philosophy and loyalty to our elite suppliers reminds me of the lessons I learned from the teachers and coaches who inspired me many years ago. Winning isn’t about joining a squad that’s already successful; it is about utilizing team play and hard work to make the squad you are on a winner.