In 2012, Trey Aycock had been working in the furniture business in South Carolina for six years and the name McWaters kept popping up everywhere.
"I heard over the years about McWaters," Trey said. "Word of mouth around town was that they were a good company and I wanted something better."
So, Trey submitted his application and interviewed with the operations manager in Columbia, Chris Coates.
Two weeks later, he started as an installer with McWaters. Little did he know that in a few short years, he'd find himself in a management position in Savannah, Ga.
Trey had a lot of opportunities to grow at McWaters. But nothing prepared him for management as much as his experience working on the install for Ft. Bragg's 82nd Airborne headquarters.
Not only was it a time-intensive project—the team was working seven days a week in North Carolina—the construction portion of the project was getting behind schedule.
So, when three 18-wheelers full of furniture arrived, the building wasn't ready for the McWaters team to unload, assemble, and install the furniture. With only one floor complete, the team had to unload everything into one corner of the building and store it there until the construction was far enough along for them to start installing.
"It was my first big job as lead installer," Trey said. "It prepared me for management because I had to deal with all kinds of different changes, pressures, and people to coordinate with."
Trey carries the lessons he learned as a lead installer to his role as operations manager in Savannah.
He makes sure he meets with customers and his coworkers on the project before things really get moving. That way everyone can know what's going to happen from the beginning to the end of the project.
"With my background as an installer, I know the problems you run into if you don't plan everything on the back end."
"With my background as an installer, I know the problems you run into if you don't plan everything on the back end," Trey said. "By the time a project gets to the operations side, we're already expecting the unexpected, so it goes very smoothly."
Trey's been in the furniture business since 2002 and the biggest changes he's seen during that time are the advances in technology.
"It's nice to work for a company that really grasps the idea of change in this industry and is able to offer our customers so many different options for work environments," Trey said. "We give clients ideas instead of just simple, cookie cutter workspaces."
When Trey worked in Columbia, many of his customers were governmental clients, but in Savannah healthcare dominates the market.
Working in a healthcare setting presents a whole different set of challenges. When they're installing in an office setting, a business has the option of asking it's employees to work offsite for a day. They can even have McWaters work after hours in order to minimize disruptions. But that's not always possible in a healthcare setting, especially if that setting is a hospital.
"You have to keep the patients in mind first and foremost," Trey said. "You can't just park anywhere or go in any building, so scheduling is a must. You also have to keep the doctors and nurses in mind. So, being quiet, clean, and quick are our top priorities."
Trey's team uses that philosophy when they do work for the major hospitals in the area.
In true McWaters tradition, Trey makes customer service a priority. Customers can expect him to call to check in or schedule a time to come by after any install.
"I'm on a first name basis with my customers in Savannah," Trey said.
"We have each other's cell phones and they know they can call me any time day or night if they have any issues."