Interviews Jason-McLaughlan-Western-Fence

Published on May 17th, 2019 | by Brandon H

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Jason McLaughlan

Jason McLaughlan is the owner and long serving President of Western Fence Co, Inc. The Murray, Utah based company prides in being the oldest and one of the best-known residential and commercial fence companies in the state. The family company was established back in 1948 by John McLaughlan and family. Over the decades, the firm has built a solid reputation for offering quality products, impeccable workmanship and unbeatable prices. The fences constructed by the company highly experienced craftsmen are made from wide ranging materials, including aluminum, wood, wrought iron and vinyl. The other services offered by Western Fence include production of bespoke CNC Plasma Cuttings, fencing panels and installation of gate operators.

In the early 2000’s the company experienced serious cash flow problems and lacked inventory. Jason (A fourth Generation McLaughlan) and business partner Allen Le La Cheur bought the company in 2003 and immediately began efforts to revamp the business. He began by paying off the bad debts and built a new store. In 2007, Jason became the sole owner of the now profitable company after buying the stake held by Allen. Today, Western Fence is BBB accredited with an affirmative A+ rating. The company is also a paid up member of the American Fence Association (AFA). His areas of interest include construction, management and renovations.

What are your favorite books?

I have lots of interest in building construction and remodeling. I have read several books dedicated to these areas. My latest readings are “Building Your Own Home” by David Snell and Michael Gerber’s “The E-Myth Contractor”. David Snell’s book offers simple tips on how to build a home from the ground up. The latest installation by Gerber, “The E-Myth Contractor”, is a must read for building contractors and anyone who wants to know the ins and outs of sell a remodeling concern. The book teaches readers strategies to succeed in business. I would certainly recommend any of these books to any builder taking an extended vacation from work.

What’s your favorite film?

This is tough considering the number of great films I have watched. One that stands out is “Margin Call” released in 2011. I loved the cast and the plot, which center around stock trading.

Describe your typical day.

A lot is expected of me as the President of Western Fence, Inc. Having been in the position since 1994, I must admit I understand what takes to make things tick. Besides the work experience, my technical education background and learned business skills have been crucial assets. The business is very busy with so many things happen throughout the day. Remember we have a production space; showrooms and a sizable number of workers in our stores. On a typical day, my work plan includes:

  • Going through the day’s in-tray
  • Analyzing budgets, procurement and financial reports
  • Chairing strategy meetings
  • Checking progress reports and signing out project completions
  • Working with team leaders to plan and implement short and long term plans
  • Exploring growth opportunities by calling and meeting potential clients

How could you improve your business?

The fencing niche is a multi-billion dollar industry with a huge growth potential that includes franchising and licensing. Western Fence is continually expanding its business to match customer needs and expectations. Part of the reason the company has grown fast stems from aggressive brand awareness and strategic positioning. We will continue to appeal to our target base through our website, email marketing and powerful billboard advertising.

Our internal research also shows the provision of high quality products backed by excellent customer service plays a big role in customer retention. We usually run discount offers for fence repairs and maintenance during the holidays, and these have proved very popular with our clients. We are currently chasing a certification in the fence and gate design and are all set for approval. This will help us break into markets that lie beyond our borders and grow the business.

What’s one piece of advice you can share with others?

The fencing business is highly ideal for people who are conscious about security and the functionality of their properties. If you are keen on building a successful fencing company, my advice is get some basic knowledge of building and construction. This critical knowledge will help you create an efficient workplace while adhering to safety regulations. It is also helps to have the aptitude to offer accurate estimates on build materials, cost and construction time frames.

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