At the end of last year we introduced you to Keith Dewing, our US-based Director of Design and QA. The US team has expanded, and we’ve recently welcomed Dan Korgan and John Bischoff to BEDC. With Dan and John’s massive expertise and skill added to the team, we’re now at 97 years of US experience, and counting!
John Bischoff: 22 years’ experience, father of 12, varsity boys basketball coach Despite having 22 years’ experience in the industry under his belt, John considers himself the ‘junior' of the US team. But there’s nothing junior about John’s experience – he’s done pretty much everything there is to do in frame and truss design and manufacture.
Starting his career with a large lumber company on the east coast as a design trainee with no experience, John worked his way to designer, senior designer, design manager, and training & development manager where he was responsible for training new designers in the US and offshore. He trained 50 designers last year alone! But he’s also hands on, having spent time on the shop floor in his early career.
During his time, John says the biggest learning for him is to always listen intently to the people around you. It’s amazing what you can pick up listening to others talk about their craft. He also attributes his career success to his approach to customers, treating each one as unique. He says that you can’t fit your customers into a box and it's important to find out and understand what their specific needs are. His ethos is, if you sell yourself on service and not price, you’ll always have a customer.
If you take the time to get to know John, you’ll find out he’s a fascinating guy. A father of 12 ranging from 10 months to 21 years old, plus 2 grandchildren with one due in May, he knows a thing or two about patience, which has made him an excellent trainer. He also coaches a varsity boys basketball team at his local high school who recently won a state title!
John started with us on April 1 – we’re thrilled to have him on board and looking forward to him sharing his valuable insights with the rest of our global team.
Dan Korgan: 39 years’ experience, outsource supporter, furniture maker For the last 39 years, Dan has spent his time completely embedded in the truss industry. He knows just about everyone, and just about everyone knows him.
His first employer put him through college and then got him working in the design and estimation department where he stayed until 1997 when the company was sold. He started his own truss plant with two others in 1998, which he owned up till 2010, when it was bought by the same company who purchased the first company he ever worked for.
He started consulting in 2010 and worked for private equity firms across various locations. This included 3.5 years in Canada where he reconfigured a design team to create more effective partnerships across the organization, 4.5 years in Texas where he helped the largest truss manufacturer in the world (at the time) leading the design and engineering teams, and then got into outsourcing. Having spent a large amount of time getting outsourced teams set up and running in Vietnam, he’s absolutely hooked on this model and has experienced the value and benefits it can bring.
Over his time, Dan has started seven truss plants and successfully turned around three failing companies. There isn’t much about truss design and manufacturing that Dan doesn’t know. But one of the really great things about Dan is his desire to pass on his knowledge. He readily acknowledges that his generation hasn’t always done a great job of training the next generation, and it’s his purpose and passion to make sure he passes on his skills and wisdom. He says, I want to leave a legacy behind, not just a wake of bodies. And so, Dan works hard to support and mentor those he works with to make sure they have the tools and expertise they need to thrive. One piece of advice he always gives is to not be afraid of making mistakes because this is how we learn. Operate with consistency and urgency, don’t sleep in, get up with a purpose and get something done every day.
When he’s not sharing his skills with the truss industry, you’ll find Dan tinkering away in his garage creating bespoke pieces of furniture. He has every tool known to man and knows how to use ‘most’ of them. A keen golfer, you might also find him spending his spare time on the green.
Reach out and say hi So there you have it – (almost) 100 years of experience in the US market right here at BEDC. If you’d like to chat to Dan, John, or Keith and find out how BEDC can help transform your business, reach out today.