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Rep. Tom Petri "impressed" by PPI tour

Chris Havel
Jun 02, 2009

Rep. Tom Petri ‘impressed’ by PPI tour

Brillion business’s ‘emphasis on service’ stands out


By Chris Havel
The Brillion News
BRILLION - Rep. Tom Petri met two objectives in one trip.
The Congressman was able to catch up with an old friend, Bob Endries, while touring the new addition at Professional Plating, Inc. While Petri’s schedule didn’t allow him to attend PPI’s May 15 ‘Open House’ to celebrate its 30th anniversary, it did afford him an opportunity to take the tour Tuesday morning.
“Thirty years is an important milestone,” Rep. Petri (R-WI) explained. “I think it’s a way of selling the competence of the companies (PPI and Endries International).”
Endries and PPI general manager Larry Dietz guided Rep. Petri on the 45-minute tour. While Dietz enlightened his guest on PPI’s most recent innovations, Endries spoke of the company’s commitment to Brillion.
At a time when some companies are threatening to pull up stakes and move their operations south for a sweeter deal, PPI is as committed as ever to Brillion.
“I would do anything to keep this business here forever because of the people,” Endries said. “We’ve been blessed with excellent employees and good working relations. In 36 years, we’ve never had any rumbling of organized labor. Our people wouldn’t do that to us because we’ve treated them good, or tried to treat them good. We’ll do anything we can to stay in Brillion.”
Endries acknowledged that taxes in Wisconsin “are atrocious.”
“They’re not really very friendly to business at all,” he said. “I think with the (government) spending in this state, they feel like every business has a lot of money. But government doesn’t run anything like a business. We run lean. We hold ourselves accountable. I don’t think government has the same discipline as we do in business.”
Endries noted that business, like government, has the freedom to succeed.
“But (businesses) don’t have the freedom to fail,” he said.
Given PPI’s success - it is coming off its best sales year - failure isn’t an option.
“I’m quite impressed with the emphasis (PPI) is putting on service,” Rep. Petri said. “You’re not selling a commodity. You’re meeting people’s needs and they’re willing to pay for it. You’re saving them money in other areas. That’s impressive.”
Dietz said PPI talks constantly about being the easiest business to deal with.
“You can take your ball and go home, or we can say, ‘We can do something here. We can train. We can teach. We can trust. We can gain that work.’ ”
Dietz cited several customers, including Harley-Davidson, who believe in PPI.
“They (Harley-Davidson) wouldn’t be talking to us if they didn’t trust us,” Dietz said.
For his part, Rep. Petri seemed genuinely impressed with the way PPI handles its business.

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