Gary M. Springer, 80, passed away Monday, September 3, 2018. Gary founded Teadit North America in 1987, and he was the President until 2005. He was a kind man who was highly recognized and admired among those in our industry.
Marcello Cattaneo Adorno, Teadit Group Global Chairman, shared a few words in Gary’s honor:
“It’s been a week since Gary left us and I would like to share my thoughts on his influence on our company and our lives, as a businessman and as a person.
There is no doubt that many of the principles and ideas that drive TNA today were originally inspired by Gary. Right from the beginning of the company (then Sealcom), of which he was employee number 1, he clearly understood the importance of service as a lever that would allow us to differentiate from the competition and make the Teadit name known and respected in the North American market.
With hindsight, it must have looked like a real challenge … how to make a success of a startup with limited resources. He was relying exclusively on telemarketing, he had no brand awareness in this market. To compound the challenge, the supply chain stretched 8 to 12 weeks away, relying almost exclusively on a Brazilian manufacturing base that was usually adequate to supply the required quality level, but still at times subject to the frustrating hiccups of a developing nation with a young industrial base. From the outside, our competition was probably not that worried.
But Gary got it to work. How?? He set out two guiding value propositions for his customers:
1. We will ship on the same day any order received before 4 pm, and 2. We will hold enough inventory to avoid stock-outs (…we have the largest inventory in town!). And this was nearly 20 years before anyone had heard the word Amazon!
Gary stuck unwaveringly to his strategy, essentially unchanged, for nearly 15 years and this enabled Sealcom, by then renamed Teadit North America, to bridge the new century 7x bigger than on startup, growing from 1.5 Million$ in annual sales to approximately 10 million $ in Y 2000.
Today the strategy has changed a lot, and TNA has added new product lines, metal gasket manufacturing, a well-trained outside sales force, and a technical support function. Still, as I look at it now, the original value propositions are still well entrenched in the day to day activities that Teadit North America handles. When the going gets tough we know that we have a competitive advantage that carries us through soft patches in the business: unrivalled customer service, manifested both from the inside sales team and 100% reliability in deliveries of stock and specially made products which can shipped, when required, as soon as 30 minutes from order entry.
What about Gary the person? We came to respect his sincerity and straight talk when dealing with the many issues and conflicts that arise when running a business, coupled with great sense of kindness and respect for the person that was on the other side of the table.
At all times, he tried to be fair in his dealings with others, both inside and outside the company, and, equally important, he could show genuine interest in the problems of his colleagues and subordinates; over the course of his tenure at Teadit he made many friends not only in Houston, but also in Brazil and elsewhere.
Gary’s devotion to internal development gave those that worked for him the ability to grow with the company and gave the company the ability to grow with the people. He was looking for opportunities to increase an employee’s responsibility and value to the company. He knew this was the right way to develop people. He was always sincere in his evaluations and was clear in his visions of what he wanted from those that worked for him. He was and “Opportunity Provider” but also a “Quality Developer”.
Gary Springer laid the foundation for Teadit North America and his impact is felt throughout the Teadit Group. Though he will be missed, I believe truly that his legacy will live on.”
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