Just a Minute with Ralph Deger President and Owner Bushman Equipment Inc.

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

Company Address: P.O. Box 309, Butler, WI 53007-0309
Company Website: www.bushman.com and www.westbendequipment.com
Industry: Manufacturer of custom engineered material handling equipment
Number of employees: 35
Education: Bachelor of arts degree in economics from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.; MBA in finance from Columbia University, New York City; CPA
Family: "My wife, Robyn, is director of marketing and secretary/treasurer of the corporation."

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
"We invested in intensive training for our nationwide network of independent sales representatives. They now have a very strong understanding of our products and how to apply them to our customers’ evolving needs."

What’s new at your company?
"Products that are customized to integrate with the end users’ material handling control systems. We have evolved from single-function equipment to integrated systems applications."

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
"We continually look for opportunities to improve and expand our talent base, particularly in engineering. This year, we have invested significantly in our front-office computer system and our Web page development. In the coming year, we are planning to make significant improvements in our manufacturing processes."

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
"Understanding our customers’ special requirements and creating engineered solutions that provide significant efficiencies for our customers."

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
"Website and Internet communication. We are able to exchange photos and working drawings with plant floor personnel to ensure a clear understanding of the customers’ requirements and the appropriate application of our customized products."

Do you have a business mantra?
"Assume that your customer expects to be treated as you hope to be treated by your suppliers."

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
"My father. He taught me the morality and work ethic that directs my life, both personally and professionally."

What was the best advice you ever received?
"Education is a never-ending process. If you are not going to school, formally or informally, you are not only falling behind, but you are missing a rewarding opportunity."

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
"At lunch in Beijing, I addressed a question to the customer’s senior staff economist. Unfortunately, the Chinese translator turned ‘economist’ into ‘communist.’ I quickly caught the error by observing our hosts’ expressions. Once the mistake was explained, we all enjoyed a laugh."

What do you like to do in your free time?
"Nothing beats a brisk wind to sail in the summer and a Colorado ski slope in the winter."

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display