R&R: Where are you based and how long has the company been in business?
Steve Peldiak: Watterson is based in Schaumburg, Illinois, with additional branch offices located across the United States. We have been in business since 2001.
R&R: What is your title and how long have you been with the company?
Peldiak: I joined Watterson as president in 2012; prior to that I spent 15 years working for a national retailer where I was the divisional vice president of facilities.
R&R: What trades/services do you offer retailers and restaurants?
Peldiak: Watterson supports over 40,000 retail and restaurant locations across the United States and Canada with comprehensive management of their property needs in the areas of emergency response, facilities management and environmental services.
At Watterson we take pride in our ability to support our clients with emergency response services typically within a 2-hour timeframe 24/7. We have a robust network of first responders that can quickly and cost-effectively respond to the smallest of losses or to a totally impacted property.
Our full offering of environmental services includes asbestos management and remediation, mold and indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns, stormwater compliance, due diligence, and other services such as oil/water separator and underground storage tank (UST) removals.
With our facilities management services, we offer our clients proactive preventative maintenance, structural assessments and construction management, reactionary repairs and comprehensive “dark store” turnkey solutions.
R&R: In what regions of the country do you conduct most of your business, or are you nationwide?
Peldiak: We offer our services throughout the United States and Canada, including the Caribbean. Our clients engage Watterson for support services across their entire portfolio of locations.
R&R: What makes your company’s “signature service” stand out in the industry?
Peldiak: With many of our company leaders coming straight from the retail sector or having served the retail sector for 20+ years, we are in a position to uniquely understand the needs of this specific client and respond accordingly. When I joined Watterson, my goal was to redefine the industry with the mindset of putting the retailer first. Our approach to the industry is the long view; we build strong partnerships with our clients and as our motto states, we do “whatever it takes” to meet their needs.
R&R: Name some highlights and successes from 2018 you’re proud of, and your plans to continue or grow that success in 2019.
Peldiak: Watterson was proactive in meeting with several of our clients prior to the 2018 hurricane season to formalize their disaster response plans to put them in the best possible position to prepare in advance and recover quickly after an event. Watterson was able to identify weaknesses within their plans and develop action items for immediate implementation. When Hurricanes Florence and Michael made landfall this year, our clients were more prepared than ever for these events. After seeing the successes from the pre-planning meetings for the 2018 hurricane season, Watterson will be looking to expand on these meetings in 2019.
R&R: What kind of feedback do you receive from clients?
Peldiak: Our clients consistently tell us that they know their properties are protected and taken care of in times of need with Watterson as a partner. We are consistently recognized by our clients for finding cost-effective solutions for their unique challenges.
The best feedback we receive from our clients is when we are recommended to their industry peers as a “preferred partner” which they stand behind. That is just awesome!
R&R: Why should owner/operators choose your company to be their next vendor partner?
Peldiak: Simply put, nobody does what we do better on a national basis. We have a unique service package to offer. We truly believe that our background and understanding of facility operations puts us in a position to successfully meet the needs of our clients.
R&R: How many retail/restaurant clients do you have, and is that sector growing for you?
Peldiak: At Watterson we strive to ensure that our clients are always supported at the highest level. This requires that we take the time to understand their needs and build/incorporate a team around them to execute as expected. Therefore, we are selective in our clients and our growth model. We currently support approximately 20 national clients, which represents over 40,000 retail properties. While I will not name our clients, they are some of the largest retailers in the nation and are leading the sector in their markets.
R&R: What trends are you seeing in the industry, and how do you predict 2019 to shape up?
Peldiak: While the retail and restaurant sectors continually develop, and change is a constant, we see the continued trend of finding cost-effective solutions a constant. In our business, we must always challenge what was done in the past and find better and more efficient ways to solve problems in the future.
— This article originally appeared in the December 2018/January 2019 “Signature Vendor Spotlight” issue of Retail & Restaurant Facility Business magazine. For more information on upcoming “Signature Vendor Spotlight” opportunities, please email Associate Publisher Scott Royal at email@example.com or call 404-832-8262.