BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week Scott Gierhahn

Scott Gierhahn, president and CEO of Schroeder Solutions
Address: 1920 S. Calhoun Road, New Berlin
Industry: Interior Services
Employees: 65
Family: Wife of 37 years, Debra. Three children: Amanda Stein, 33; Lukas, 30; and Joshua, 25. And a 3 year-old grandson, Holden.

What was the smartest thing Schroeder Solutions did in the past year?
“We hired Tyler Smith as our new vice president of operations this past year. His level of professionalism and enthusiasm make him a great addition to our team. His expertise and leadership will guide us toward operational excellence.”

What’s new at your company?
“We are in the process of renovating our showroom, our Learning Center, in order to continue to service our clients by showing them the latest and greatest in design concepts and products for today’s workplace environments.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“Yes and yes. We are always looking for positive additions to our team and will be adding a key leadership position within our organization. As for significant capital improvements, we are investing in our showroom as well as upgrading software, servers and our operational system. We are also creating a portal for clients in order to better communicate project progress and details.”

What will be Schroeder Solutions’ main challenges in the next year?
“Embracing change is always an exciting and challenging time within a business. While the new software will improve operations, the ability to manage the implementation of all of the new programs will require teamwork and patience.”

What are the most innovative trends in interior design for workspaces right now?
“We continue to see an interest in healthy work environments—spaces designed to encourage diverse work styles in order to keep employees happy, active and productive. This includes a variety of collaborative areas combined with spaces that offer varying levels of privacy. While collaboration tends to be highlighted, companies realize that people need quiet spaces where they can think and maximize productivity without interruption.”

What design project are you proudest of from your time at Schroeder Solutions?
“We are proud of all of our client projects because each one provides a design solution to meet our clients’ specific business challenges and support their growth and success. With that said, we are particularly proud of our own office space as it is a working showroom that supports our design process with our clients. It offers ample natural light for our employees as well as the latest in architectural products, flooring, wallcovering and furniture. It is a learning center for our team and for our clients.”

How does your company’s approach to interior design differ from your competitors’ approaches?
“Our relocation capabilities set us apart. We work with our clients to repurpose existing inventory and supplement the design with new product as needed in order to be efficient and budget conscious. This is a design challenge we enthusiastically embrace as it is in the best interest of our clients.”

Do you have a business mantra?
“The client is why we exist. We operate from the outside in and make changes internally in order to make a positive impact on our clients.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“When I was in the Boston Store Men’s Store training program in 1976, a man named Sam Allen advised me to go into outside sales. He said my personality would lead to success in that area of sales. From there I went to work for 3M Corp. Without his words of encouragement, I might still be in the world of retail.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“I had just sold and successfully installed a Minolta copier in a dentist’s office in Menomonee Falls. I immediately received a call and thought it was already a referral to another dentist. I was excited about this big sales moment until I turned around and saw a large group of people laughing at me in the conference room. It was the perfect sales practical joke.”

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