Secrets of Success
Spray Foam Magazine – Fall 2022 – Elastochem has been making, distributing, and selling quality products to its Canadian customer base since 1987. A family-owned business and a respected manufacturer, it is based out of Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Elastochem’s business is built on a foundation of innovative products, technical expertise, and above all else, first-rate customer service. Focusing on spray foam, reliable waterproof membranes, coatings, adhesives, cast polyurethane, and tailor-made Chemical solutions, some members of the sales team share the secrets of their success.
Luke Egely (Technical Sales Manager)
How did you get your start in technical sales, and how is technical sales different from other sales positions? Elastochem has an incredible sales and technical team, and I was able to bring my experience to these two important areas. My role is to expand our tech support to our fast-growing Western part of Canada. I have a solid hands-on background in application and equipment, as well as strong knowledge in building science and insulation materials. Being equipped with both sides of the industry allows me to provide our customers with on site and virtual service when they bump into trouble with their spray equipment or when they have building enclosure concerns. Being able to see both sides of the industry allows me to bring a quality level of service that goes beyond conventional technical support.
My start as a technical trainer began at the Okanagan College where I helped develop a curriculum for residential insulators. The program covers everything from essential trades skills to industry specific subjects, such as building science, exterior insulation applications, SPF equipment training, certification, as well as thermal barrier applications. Spending three years at the college cemented for me the need to share my knowledge and experience with others in our industry. My dream is for insulators to be recognized as a red seal trade. This would start with a high level of training before applicators enter the field, providing contractors with a pool of professionally trained and qualified technicians that could help them succeed in their business. I have seen the industry evolve immensely and believe that we are getting close to achieving this!
Why is your job so important? The first project I was tasked with at Elastochem was to assist on a removal and remediation project for a spray foam job that went horribly wrong.
Luke spending time with his family at a barbeque.
My role was to manage 12 contractors that had volunteered to correct the damage caused by unqualified installers, which to this date was the worst spray foam job I’ve seen. My project management background allowed me to bring these companies together, who were typically in competition for a shared objective; to rectify a wrong and re-establish the reputation of a great industry. This project really brought to the forefront the need for professionally trained and certified applicators, and unfortunately a worst-case-scenario of what could happen if a job is handed to poorly trained installers.
What does a typical day on the job look like for you? My typical day varies. It normally includes a multitude of phone calls assisting customers and planning site visits to support Elastochem customers. I also work diligently on promoting Elastochem contractors and products on social media. Meeting and interacting with all the incredibly knowledgeable people in our industry has been educational and heartwarming. The people we work with in spray foam are the most welcoming and helpful people you will ever meet, and I am very fortunate to be a part of this amazing community.
Have you ever had a unique request from a client that you have managed to accommodate? I was once asked to spray foam an outhouse which we later coined the “Tash ma Hal”. Another time, I was approached to create a giant golf club out of spray foam for a charity golf tournament. The club was almost eight feet tall and looked like it was built for Paul Bunyan.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of working at Elastochem? This is an easy question to answer. The first is that it is a Canadian company. I love my country and want to support any business that employs Canadians and works to improve the country we live in. Elastochem products allow Canadians to live in homes that are energy efficient and durable. Both of which are societal issues that demand our immediate attention. The second aspect is Elastochem is family owned and operated. The DiLoreto family are a group of hard-working people that care about their employees and their customers. While it’s common that CEOs are disconnected and unreachable, I don’t think there has been a time when Sam, the President, hasn’t answered my call or called me back in short order. I feel valued and in turn, that feeling promotes engagement and buy-in.
When you were growing up, what did you dream of becoming? When I first entered college, I absolutely loved science and began working toward becoming an organic chemist. However, I learned in the first year that being stuck in a lab was not for me. As such, I turned to a business degree and three months before graduation I started my own SPF company. I sold my company to my largest client after my first year and took on a partnership. Within three years the company grew to 11 spray foam rigs on the road. I decided to complete my master’s in business administration with Queens University’s Smith School of Business which gave me the tools to launch a consultancy focused on business development. This path led me to the RIT program and Home Performance Stakeholder Council curriculum development, and the rest is history.
Benoit Lacas (Sales Representative Quebec)
Do you enjoy your job, and if so, why? Sales is a great fit for me because I love to help customers with their projects. The product line I get to sell is top notch. The premium products are easy to sell, and I feel good about being able to offer high quality products to my customers. Most importantly, I work with a great team that provides support to sales, making my job so much better.
What motivates you? It was exciting for me to join Elastochem for the launch into Quebec. I have been part of this very large expansion for the company, and it motivates me to be part of such an important development and growth for the business. Starting from nothing just over a year ago, we now have infrastructure in Quebec that includes tech support, architectural support, and a growing customer base to support the opening of a new warehouse in Montreal. It is a unique opportunity to be part of the team to expand the business to a whole new region.
Is there anything special about working for Elastochem? What makes Elastochem special is that they are a family-owned business, and they treat all of us like we are family. I think everyone who works here would say that their input is valued, work is appreciated, and we are all working towards the same goal of not just supporting our customers with superior products, but supporting each other too, in any way we can. The talent is very special at Elastochem and Sam has created a culture that attracts very talented people. Being part of a company of supportive, smart, and experienced people who are all working towards the same goal is something very special.
What products and services at Elastochem do you help sell? I sell the full line of Elastochem products, which includes the entire range of spray foam insulation, waterproofing solutions, parts, and equipment (we are a Graco distributor) and our Insulplus+ accessory line. From a service perspective we have a tech team that is available to assist our customers whether it is live or virtual and I help with ensuring our customers get the support they need so they can keep spraying.
Do you have any tips for someone starting out in sales? I have a few simple mottos that I live by as a salesperson: Be yourself. Be honest (with your customer and yourself). Always do your best to help your customer. Always remember you are not alone, and you have a team who’s got your back.
How do you like to spend your spare time? I love spending time with my wife and kids. As a family we enjoy having dinner together and we love going out and trying different restaurants. In Quebec we have long winters, so summertime is very important to us, and we spend as much time as possible outdoors and we especially love to go camping. During the winter, our son is very involved in hockey, so our evenings and many of our weekends are spent in the arena.
Joel Bonneville (Technical Services Supervisor)
What is the main objective of a Technical Service Supervisor? My role is focused on helping our customers achieve the best possible performance from our products. This can include anything from the training and licensing of new installers, creating technical documents, and troubleshooting support for the installers in the field.
What makes you good at this job? Flexibility is key to technical support positions. A successful technical support representative must not only possess strong technical knowledge; they must also have strong customer service skills. Having an in-depth understanding of our products and equipment allows me to solve client problems efficiently and reduce downtime. My history of customer service has taught me to listen patiently and calmly to help solve the problem, even when our customers are under stressful situations.
What skill set do you use every day on the job? By far, the most important skill set for any technical service representative is problem solving. Everyone who works in the spray foam industry knows that no matter how long you have worked in the field, there will always be a new issue that you haven’t seen yet. Being able to diagnose and tackle an issue you haven’t yet faced is the most important aspect of the job. Our clients rely on us to resolve their problems and to keep the job moving forward.
What has been the biggest achievement in your career so far? The biggest achievement of my career would be obtaining my Professional Engineers license. I have been fortunate to work with some extremely bright and skilled professionals during my career who have been kind enough to share their knowledge and help me get to where I am today. »
What problem does Elastochem help solve? Elastochem creates products which increase the performance and longevity of the projects they are used in. We have three main product lines; cast polyurethane, spray foam and specialty coatings. All our products are used to provide protection from environmental effects. Our Insulthane spray foam products can provide an all-in-one insulation, vapor barrier and air sealing product which provides excellent control of the conditioned space in buildings. Our R&D team focuses on features that help the contractor improve aspects of their business, such as increased yield and sprayability, while our technical team ensures our customers get the most out of our products.
What, so far, has been the biggest challenge in your life, on or off the job? Raising children is by far the most challenging and satisfying experience of my life. There are many books, movies, and stories about the challenges of raising children, but nothing gets you ready for the firsthand experience. The sleepless nights, hospital visits, and decisions that go into raising a child are a challenge, but the reward of seeing them accomplish something new for the first time is well worth the effort.
How would you describe an ideal day at the office? An ideal day starts with responding to customer inquiries and managing each case based on priority, followed by assigning tasks to our technical service team based on location and availability. My focus is always answering client service calls; usually the issue can be resolved remotely, but if their project is close by, I am happy to meet them on site. When I am not working on a service call, I shift my focus to work on larger projects, such as training materials and technical documents. If my schedule allows, I look forward to spending time on the production floor to see what upcoming products are being developed and tested.
Do you have any hobbies outside of work, if so, what? My two main hobbies outside of work are soccer and woodworking. Growing up, the garage was always a workshop instead of a space for parking cars, and I have enjoyed woodworking projects and tools. It’s a very satisfying and rewarding hobby that allows you to build something with your own hands that can be used around the house and hopefully be enjoyed for generations.
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