Thursday, July 8, 2010

J.W. Winco Wins "How I Got My Business Out of Hot Water" Challenge

We’re proud to report that our company won second prize in a competition from the Independent Business Association of Wisconsin (IBAW) and Reliable Water Services LLC. The three winners of the “How I Got My Business Out of Hot Water” business challenge were announced at the IBAW monthly meeting on June 18, 2010.

The winning essay was written by your humble blogger, and described how Upper Management at J.W.Winco reacted when the economy and the industrial manufacturing industry declined in 2008. “Until then, our business had been growing steadily. In fact, we just built a 40 percent expansion and redesign of our facility in New Berlin,” the essay states. “Switching gears so suddenly from a growth outlook to survival mode was a huge challenge.”

The essay described methods we used to ride out the storm, including upper management salary reductions, using employees for tasks previously outsourced, finding more cost-effective shipping, and chipping away at operating costs. It also explained the lessons learned during the recession, which we continue to apply now that the crisis is over.

“We had new focus on things like return on investment, efficiency, cooperation, and enthusiasm for selling,” explains the essay. “We know now that we have to apply consistent effort to constant improvement, and never assume the status quo is good enough.”

If you'd like to read the entire essay, it is available on the Reliable Water Services website here.

Wisconsin companies Flexo-Graphics LLC (Butler) took first prize, and Two Men and a Truck (Madison) took third prize.


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