Develop a Strategic Plan to provide focus for your business.
David Bowes, former president and CEO of Finish Thompson, Inc., logged 30,000 miles in preparation for the 20 marathons he completed before his unexpected death while battling cancer in 2007. The Decision Associates team always admired his focus, and his persistence, in reaching personal health and business goals.
David knew there could be no shortcuts if you want to be the best at what you do. You want to be the leader in corrosive fluid transfer while using innovative research and development techniques? You want to engineer and manufacture specialized pumps that are the best in the world? You want to remain profitable for five decades without having a single layoff? Then you’d better make sure every step you take leads you in that direction. He was always thinking long-term.
Today, Decision Associates has the privilege of working with David’s son, Casey Bowes, who worked as the company’s director of international sales, and later as manager of all sales and marketing, before assuming the position of president and CEO at Finish Thompson. During the strategic planning process led by Decision Associates that began in 2004, Casey’s Dad began offering him positions of increasing responsibility — not just to test his mettle, but also to immerse his son in the company operations and culture.
Now Casey is learning from other respected mentors within Finish Thompson, many who’ve been with the company for more than 30 years. He’s also looking for ideas and best practices from colleagues outside the company. A participant in one of Decision Associates’ PEER groups, Casey has a new group of confidants with whom he feels comfortable discussing everything from cash flow and cost-cutting, to human resources and marketing. The group meets monthly to bounce ideas around.
How are things going? Read the company’s newsletter this month, and you’ll see that Casey has a lot to say about the number … zero.
Today, zero represents the number of Finish Thompson employees that have been laid off, the number of regular hours worked per week that Finish
Thompson has reduced, and the percentage of wages and salaries that have been cut at Finish Thompson in 2009. In talking to others in our industry and outside our industry, this is not the norm. Zero is a number Finish Thompson should be very proud of.
In a competitive market and challenging economy where the finish line keeps moving, Casey’s father would likely be cheering from the sidelines.
Say we sell Coca Cola®, Casey says to a member of his PEER group, flipping the tab on an ice-cold drink, In the past, we would have decided to grow sales by adding Dr. Pepper®. But our work with Decision Associates has shown us that, no, you’re going to grow by making your Coke® even better. So we’ve taken our pumps, and instead of adding a model or two to try to grow sales, we’ve gone back to our most popular models, and made them better, and that has, no doubt, made our sales go up and made us more competitive in the long run.