A Conversation With ... Scott Pavlish, Pavco Inc.


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Scott Pavlish wasn’t around when his family started Pavco Inc. back in 1948, but his leadership of the company in the last decade has been just as important. Pavlish is president of one of the leading developers of chemical processes in the metal finishing industry. Pavco’s decision in the 1960s to break away from cyanide zinc plating to a more environmentally friendly, low-cyanide zinc plating system fed the growth of the company. In 2006, Pavlish led the relocation of its operations from Cleveland to Charlotte, N.C., which fueled Pavco’s international business, which includes innovative technologies for nickel, tin, alloys, cadmium, chrome, copper and phosphate systems.

As a leading developer and supplier of chemistries for the metal finishing industry for more than 60 years, what are the biggest challenges your company has faced in the past decade?
Manufacturing bases moving around the globe at a faster rate, especially leaving the United States, creates a challenge for private companies like Pavco. We have to be very prudent when allocating resources to establish global operations to service our multinational customers. A second primary challenge has been dealing with increasingly disruptive regulations. Every step of our activity from raw material procurement through product delivery is becoming more inefficient, difficult and costly from exploding regulatory burdens.

What challenges lie ahead in the next 10 years?
The regulatory challenge is a certainty. Pavco will have a growing regulatory compliance department, which shifts resources away from productive use. Less certain, but potentially important sources of economic instability are the financial crisis in Europe, taming inflation in China and continued decline in the political landscape of the U.S.

Pavco is expanding its laboratory facility in Charlotte, N.C. Tell us what that means to customers?
We are very excited about the expansion and its positive impact on the industry. We are building a new pilot testing facility which will serve our customers in two important ways. Pavco will more effectively and efficiently help its customers test and evaluate coatings on their specific applications. We will also be able to deliver new technologies to the market quicker and with more certainty about performance characteristics. At the same time, Pavco is expanding the lab space in our development center by 50 percent to accommodate growth in personnel and activity in research. The primary benefit is the speed at which we can develop and introduce new advancements in technology.

Pavco is known as a cutting-edge technology company, but you also work hard to offer numerous value-added service to your customers. What are some of those services, and why is offering them important to you?
Pavco uses strong localized distributors across the markets we serve. This network creates tremendous value for our customers because we have local stock points, service laboratories and experienced technical service people in close proximity to the customers. Many suppliers have similar forms of distribution channels, but we believe our partners are the most experienced and successful group of companies in the market. We are very proud of what we can accomplish together when working with our customers.

What was your first job in the finishing industry, and how did you like it?
My first full-time job was in chemical blending for Pavco products. There was not much help from technology back then, so it wasn’t work that many people would admit to “liking,” but it was a necessary and worthwhile experience for me. My time in product development and sales were more fulfilling and memorable periods.

What CD or station is playing in your car, and what recent readings would you recommend to a colleague?
I was listening to Fox News on satellite radio, but the political environment became too depressing, so I switched to sports-talk to protect my sanity. I recommend reading Atlas Shrugged, a novel by Ayn Rand which is not only fascinating, but very timely.