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Mueller and Sur-Seal: Stronger Together


One plus one equals three, not two. 

At least, that’s the way Chief Growth Officer John Grisdale and Chief Operations Officer Pete Futia have collectively and enthusiastically referred to the new organizational alignment between Mueller and Sur-Seal

“That’s the definition of true synergy,” John adds. 

John has been a part of the Sur-Seal team for one year and cares deeply about the future of the company, our customers, and our people. 

When asked why the Mueller and Sur-Seal alignment made sense, it was a simple answer for John. 

“Our cultures are so similar in regards to taking care of teammates and our customers. It’s a great company culture and we are well aligned .”

John Grisdale, Chief Growth Officer 

Connect with John on LinkedIn 

John goes on to say the key decision makers view the partnership as a combination of two great teams coming together to make one entity. “There are a lot of things that both parties are bringing to the table – best practices – and we are learning from each other. Both teams have really good insights and processes,” he adds. 

COO Pete Futia wholeheartedly shares John’s sentiments about the organization’s people-centric approach, a huge aligning factor in the companies coming together. 

“The lengths the three companies are willing to go to service their customers is unmatched

We pride ourselves on service and quality

We can arm a very dedicated, experienced salesforce with different materials, different suppliers and different markets where we are already winning. 

This is a huge value added for our customers.”

Pete Futia, Chief Operating Officer 

Connect with Pete on LinkedIn

From a logistical standpoint, the companies will gain a stronger foothold in the industry and have more reach on a national scale.

Pete weighs in on this as well. “I think it’s pretty matter of fact. This industry is very hard to acquire new customers. There are three companies: and believe it or not, there is not a lot of customer overlap, supplier overlap, or capability overlap. So, when you put these capabilities together with all three companies, the services we provide really give us the ability to accelerate that top-line growth with a customer base that is already there.” 

“Three companies along the east coast, plus two distribution facilities in Mexico, is a great way to extend our reach nationally and service a much wider geographical area.”

RELATED: Sur-Seal and Mueller: Expanding Custom Engineering, Converting and Manufacturing Capabilities

An Opportunity Presented Itself, and the Timing was Right

CEO Dana Waterman says the relationship between the companies has been pleasant and well-established. 

“The Sur-Seal and Mueller teams maintained a friendly relationship for years.  When the time was right, it was clear that the alignment between the capabilities and cultures of the companies would result in something greater,” says Dana. 

And that time was March 2022. 

Expansion and partnership has been something that both companies have been remaining vigilant towards in identifying right opportunities. 

Sur-Seal has had an ongoing interest in expansion through strategic partnerships, and in 2021, came together with Dover, NH based Spectex

The organizational trifecta for partnership and expansion includes:

  • New Geographical Territories 
  • New Capabilities and Market Shares
  • A Great Cultural Fit 

RELATED: Sur-Seal and Spectex: Expanding Custom Engineering, Converting and Manufacturing Capabilities 

The Cultural Fit Made Perfect Sense

Sharing Best Practices

Referring to Mueller, Sur-Seal and last year’s partnership between Sur-Seal and Spectex, John goes on. “We take best practices from all three entities, and we leverage them for all three businesses. We can take those best practices and implement them in any of our three locations.” 

Pete agrees. “The people I have personally interacted with in Cincinnati and Dover have been outstanding: high-quality, and very experienced in a bunch of different industries. [They are] all customer focused and people centric.” 

There’s a great energy and acceleration you get from partnering with two other companies with a similar mindset. There are also logistical advantages. There’s some of the same equipment, and some different. Different regions coming together. We’re more local to all of our customers now that we’ve come together. 

  • Longevity of relationships. 
  • Cost to switch suppliers.

It’s been amazing to see what strong minds with such depth of experience can do when they work together for a common cause. 

Engineering Capabilities, Sourcing Arm and Quality Parts Expertise 

The partnership greatly expands the engineering capabilities for both plants and all three locations.  

Mueller offers Sur-Seal four great advantages, including: 

  • High-Capacity Manufacturing
  • Geographical Expansion into Charlotte, NC 
  • Expertise in Slitting and Water Jet Cutting Capabilities  
  • Manufacturing of Acoustical and Insulation Foams 

Mueller’s efforts will be greatly magnified as well, as they are now poised to integrate the Sur-Seal benefits of: 

  • Formidable International Supply Base of Raw Materials and Finished Goods: molded, formed and extruded parts, extra adjacent componentry, and a consolidated supply chain. 
  • Geographical Expansion into Dover, NH (Spectex) and Cincinnati, OH (Sur-Seal). 
  • Additional Services and Parts: storage, kitting and parts assembly. 

Waterman weighs in on the advantages for all three companies: 

“For our Cincinnati and Dover based customers, the acquisition has expanded our high production capabilities into the southeast. We also have access to new equipment, such as water jet cutting.  And lastly, we can offer new parts such as stripping and acoustical/insulation foams.”

For our Charlotte based customers, we are now able to provide cost effective & quality molded, extruded or formed parts, as well as the additional value-added services of storage, kitting and parts assembly.”

The Big Takeaway

“I have a few favorite sayings,” Pete summarizes. “Pressure doesn’t only make diamonds, pressure busts pipes. The one thing I would tell you is when the chips are down, I think you can count on our team. I can’t tell you how proud I am of every person in every corner of that building in every site that we have.” 

The people-centric approach has worked for both Mueller and Sur-Seal since each company’s inception. 

“The secret sauce to any business is the people that are committed to a common cause that are well-communicated to what the objective is and are willing to make the effort to serve a customer or that next opportunity,” Pete emphasizes enthusiastically. 

And while it may not necessarily be an industry secret, it’s a foundational concept that many companies are aware of yet fail to deliver on – something that seems to never have been a problem with the passionate, caring leaders and teammates behind each of these thriving organizations. 

And John concludes with one final emphatic statement that points to a bright, successful future: 

“We’re bigger and stronger. We’re able to service our customers and future customers better today than ever.

One plus one equals three, not two: that’s the definition of true synergy. 

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