Acquisitions and Subsidiaries

10 years of KLINGER Advantage: A leading provider in fluid control

Focusing on safety and plant reliability, KLINGER Advantage has become an important partner for various industries in the U.S. Gulf Coast region. An interview with General Manager Steve Stratton.

Steve Stratton, General Manager of KLINGER Advantage, has been with the company ever since. Founded as Advantage Technical Services in 2002, the company started as a specialty valve distributor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They joined the KLINGER Group in 2013, soon growing into a leading provider of fluid control equipment and services to the U.S. Gulf Coast region.

As General Manager, Steve Stratton has been overseeing the growth of KLINGER Advantage.

How long have you been with KLINGER, and how did you get where you are?

Steve Stratton: This is my 35th year with the KLINGER Group. I started in Ohio (1988), the fluid sealing side, and I have worked all over North America including Canada. I moved to Texas in 1995 (Primarily Fluid Sealing). During 2010, I received a request from Scott Peters, Managing Director of KLINGER Thermoseal, “find a valve distributor we can acquire.” Upon completing the acquisition, I moved from the fluid sealing to 100% fluid control. During my 35-year history I’ve progressed from inside sales, regional sales management positions to the general manager position for KLINGER Advantage.

Over the past 10 years, what major milestones have come to mind?

Steve: Within KLINGER Advantage, we have grown sales organically and promoted personnel internally. Our people, our staff—I wish I could clone them all. If you were to present our growth to a Wall Street investor, he would say, ‘Jeez, three to four times growth in sales over the course of 10 years, no increase of head count…good investment. The small group of people we have is the nucleus of our company that has taken our business from A to B. KLINGER Advantage is an incredibly elite group of employees, I consider them family members that happen to work for the company.

KLINGER Advantage team

What long-term plans are you putting in place?

Steve: We have an industry people shortage issue, let us call it ‘people critical mass.’ We have colleagues 50 and older, we have a group of ‘youngsters’ 30 and younger, with a void in between (Ages 31 – 49). Due to the previously mentioned void, there is not a lot of history or experience passed down. Our plan is locating and hiring the right people—hire to keep, hire to retire.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Steve: I have been with the KLINGER Group for 35 years. Great people, great organization. I remember when Dr. Thomas Klinger-Lohr came to our plant in Ohio. I just graduated from college (1988). He introduced himself, then went around the office and chatted with everyone. When he came back the next year, he remembered my name. I thought to myself, 'This guy oversees more companies than I will ever imagine being responsible for, however he remembers me after a year?’ That impressed me, but that is the KLINGER organization. The team of KLINGER Advantage is an excellent group; it has nothing to do with me. It is those people doing what they do, every day. I am just lucky to have them on my team.

Contacts mentioned in the article:

Steve Stratton, General Manager of KLINGER Advantage

Scott Peters, Managing Director of KLINGER Thermoseal

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What products does KLINGER Advantage offer?

- Valves

- Actuators

- Instrumentation

- Safety Devices

- Special Valves

- Vent Silencers

- Accessories for Fluid Control

- Gaskets

Which industries is KLINGER Advantage serving?

- Chemical Industry

- Petrochemical Industry

- Oil and Gas - Downstream

- Energy

What is KLINGER Advantage especially known for?

KLINGER Advantage focuses on plant safety and reliability. Combined with innovative products, experience of our specialists and customer relationships, KLINGER Advantage develops specific solutions for each application and industry.

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