Changing your image is tough, especially the older you are. It makes no difference if you’re a person or a company; it’s still a struggle. So why rebrand a company that is 43 years old? Mostly timing. The timing is right — right now.
Here are my reasons:
Manufacturing renaissance. I believe this industry is on the verge of a renaissance. After surviving one of the longest and most severe recessions in history, Americans finally are changing their attitude toward the “Made in America” brand. We cannot just be a service country — we need to make stuff. All the pundits are saying that the reshoring initiative is real, and many major OEM’s are bringing their manufacturing back to the United States.
Family synergy. My son Ryan, who recently graduated from college, has been working for the company full-time for over a year now. He brings a fresh perspective and an unbiased approach to our technology and processes. He also has great mechanical aptitude, understands fit and function, and has a concerted interest in the business. So far, we are trending in the right direction and the dynamics are very positive.
The MakingChips Podcast. As you may or may not know, I co-host a successful weekly podcast with my good friend, Jason Zenger of ZENGER’S Industrial Supply. Our mission is to give back to manufacturing leaders by sharing relevant industry experiences that provide our respective companies some interest and promote new customers. It has been so well received. The podcast has gained a significant amount of listeners and accolades in just six months. We are now starting to accept sponsorships, an untapped territory that we believe will fuel the exposure of CARR and ZENGER’S. MakingChips certainly has branded us as industry thought leaders and has raised our awareness of new opportunities.
A robust network. Over the last ten years I’ve worked hard at building a strong network of intelligent professionals through Board service, committees and strategic networking. Many of these folks are now my good friends. We meet regularly, formally and informally, talk about our successes and failures and lean on each other when we need advice. The diversity of this group exposes me to marketing, sales, financial, educational and of course, manufacturing pros that help me make better decisions in my day-to-day grind. It’s like having my own private Board of Directors.
Change. It has to happen because it’s all around us. The way we run our businesses has changed dramatically in just five years. Technology is driving this change and we must adapt. If not, we’ll swallow up and go away. I think back to when my dad was President of CARR; there were no marketing efforts at all. He would say “the business will come” and it did — for a time. Today there is absolutely no truth in that statement. Unfortunately, it is a lot more difficult to find a quality customer and retain them for years. The way our society buys things is completely different. We used to pick up a phone book — now we type in a few keywords into a Google Search.
Vision and strategy. We’ve never really had a formal one. It’s time to make it happen. It’s much more complex. It’s a global economy. Your customers can easily be anywhere in the world. The competition is greater than ever and the speed in which we quote, prepare, acknowledge, procure, and ship has never been faster or more streamlined.
Marketing savvy . It took some time and effort, but I am now finally confident in my marketing skills to say I understand, can execute, and be successful at a rebrand. All the tools are in place and align with my vision and strategy. Right now just feels right.
- Jim Carr | President
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