Legend Valve

Legend Valve

Legend Valve prides itself on its innovative solutions for customers, such as its new HyperPure flexible tubing.

By Chris Petersen

Since its inception, Legend Valve has been built around service. President and CEO David Hickman says the company’s ability to develop, design and patent innovative valve and fitting products to solve specific problems for its customers has been one of the company’s strongest advantages over the years.

Legend Valve continues to build on that legacy with groundbreaking new products like its most recent development, the HyperPure flexible potable water tube system. Combined with the company’s existing strengths, the HyperPure system gives Legend Valve a strong position for future growth and yet another platform from which it can provide solutions for its customers.

The company was founded in 1988 by Hickman and two colleagues who saw an opportunity to capitalize on their expertise in valves and fittings and create a company that would utilize world-class manufacturing capabilities to manufacture valve and fitting products that it designed or improved. Today, Legend Valve’s products are distributed through a network of independent manufacturer’s representatives and sold to plumbers and contractors across the nation.

Although Hickman classifies the competition as “too numerous to mention,” Legend Valve has a strong advantage over these competitors because of the depth of its offerings. With more than 9,600 SKUs in its inventory, Legend Valve can service a broad range of customers in areas ranging from plumbing to hydronics.

“Legend has a solution for the problems that each of our customers encounter in each of those areas, or a solution for their needs,” Hickman says.

Culture of Service

Also key to Legend Valve’s success is its focus on the customer, which Hickman says forms the basis for the company’s entire culture. “We like to say that Legend is an outward-focused company,” he says. “We’ve built a unique culture around service.”

Every decision the company makes is made with the customer’s best interests in mind, Hickman continues, and the company guarantees every aspect of its performance. Legend Valve’s goal is to ship 100 percent of its orders, 100 percent error-free and within 24 hours. If the company fails in any aspect of that, customers receive a discount. “Everyone claims to have good service, but Legend is the only company in the business to guarantee that,” Hickman says.Legend Valve box

Executive Vice President Walter Jann adds that Legend Valve’s commitment to technology and inventory also makes the company indispensible to its customers. Legend Valve provides customers with a high degree of connectivity, being capable of receiving orders through email or a vendor-managed inventory system. Customers can connect their internal inventory systems to Legend Valve’s computers and allow the company to manage their inventory for them.

Jann says this provides significant value to customers because it ensures they won’t be left having to back-order anything. “We truly understand that the service that we deliver and the service guarantees are more than just being a great company to work with,” Jann says. “It’s because we recognize that this approach takes cost out of the supply chain and makes our customers more profitable.”

New Innovation

Legend Valve has always been on the cutting-edge of technology, and its latest initiative in flexible tubing for potable water demonstrates that. Hickman says the HyperPure system is the result of years of study and close collaboration with The Dow Chemical Company. Hickman says potable water tubing had been on Legend Valve’s radar for nearly a decade, but the company didn’t want to simply follow the rest of the pack with a me-too product. “We wanted to do something different, but the technology had not yet evolved,” Hickman says.

That all changed when Dow introduced its new polyethylene raised temperature (PE-RT) resin to the European market, however. The new resin allowed for the creation of potable water tubing that was strong enough to be used in U.S. plumbing systems without the need for crosslinking, a process that requires either adding chemicals and/or additional processes to strengthen them. Working closely with Dow, Legend Valve developed extruder technology to manufacture HyperPure using the PE-RT resin and introduced the products to the market in August 2015.

Jann says the advantages HyperPure provides over traditional flexible potable water tubing systems are numerous. Without the need for crosslinking, the tubes are not only safe to use immediately without flushing or washing, but they are also 100 percent recyclable. As more contractors become conscious of green building trends, Jann says, products that are completely recyclable become more desirable. The pipes also can be fused permanently with heat, eliminating the need for connectors and making HyperPure more reliable than traditional systems.

Only a few states have not adopted the codes that allow for the use of PE-RT-based flexible tubing, Legend Valve is hard at work petitioning those states to do so, Jann says. In the meantime, Hickman says, the strong response to the HyperPure product from customers and the reaction of other manufacturers looking to add similar products to their own offerings make it clear that Legend Valve is leading the way once again. “Legend is the only company offering this product nationwide, but we won’t be the only ones in a few months,” Hickman says.

Poised for Growth

The HyperPure potable pipe system is expected to make big waves for Legend Valve, as it should strengthen the company’s position with existing customers and attract new ones, according to Hickman. “We expect that trend to accelerate,” he says.

The success of the HyperPure product, combined with the existing strengths of the company, bodes well for Legend Valve in the future, and Hickman says that as long as the company continues to focus on its customer service and its innovative solutions, the company should be in a good position moving forward. “Legend is an organization that has been very fortunate,” Hickman says. “We have a solid growth plan, and Legend is poised for continued growth.” 

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