LOCATION: 9650 S. Franklin Dr., Franklin, WI 53132
Year founded: 1915
Product or service offered: Electrical equipment
Projected 2009 revenue: $27 million
CEO, President/Owner(s): Thomas Klink, president
Leadership team: Stephen Paul, chief operating officer and VP of sales and marketing; Dan Allen, director of engineering; Ellen Schuh, controller
Target clientele: Electrical distributors
Business organization memberships: NEMA, NEMRA, NAED, Equity/EDN, MMAC
What has fueled your company’s growth?
Our employees. Over the last year they have expanded our product offering, which now includes magnetic and electronic ballasts and transformers up to 1000kVA. We believe our people offer the highest level of customer service in the industry.
What is the biggest obstacle to your company’s growth?
By far, working capital. While we want to continue to grow our company, the meltdown of the U.S. financial institutions could not have occurred at a worse time. Lenders need to look beyond their normal models for doing business and find a way to support smaller companies that are developing a global manufacturing and sales presence.
Do you plan any changes in your company in the upcoming months?
We will complete the consolidation of our production facilities to Mexico and the outsourcing of some production to China. We are also planning to add sales professionals. This will allow us to be successful in the near term. As the economy improves during 2010, we will have positioned the company properly to take advantage of the opportunities that should present themselves.
Who are the business people, locally or nationally, whom you admire? And what traits do those people exhibit that make you admire them?
There is no specific person, but there is a book; Keith McFarland’s, “The Breakthrough Company.” It explores how small and midsize companies should structure their organizations for success in today’s business environment. His chapters Crowning the Company and Building Company Character deal with themes central to Jefferson’s past and continuing success.
What is the outlook for the business conditions of your industry over the next several months?
The outlook for our industry is a slow, but steady recovery. Historically, our industry has lagged the general economy. For our industry, we do not believe this trend will change.
What is your company’s key strategy for rising out of the recession?
The changes in production facilities and increase sales professionals are the key components. We have improved our ability to be competitive with the facility changes. With the reduction in volume that has occurred recently, the addition of the sales professionals is important to recover the volume that was lost. We have not reduced our workforce in any other areas. Obtaining and integrating talent into our operation takes a significant amount of time and effort. We are trying to keep all of our talent in place, which will accelerate our recovery.
Congratulations from the strategic partners behind Jefferson Electric.