An excerpt of newly inducted President Mark Watson’s acceptance speech on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2003.
As a partner with three brothers in a second generation family business in Iowa we have had many successes in our more than 35 years in this industry. Our accomplishments have been the result of hard work, treating customers and employees fairly and using the resources and support provided by our involvement in SMACNA.
When I asked my brothers if they would support my becoming involved at the highest level of this organization, there was no hesitation on their part. We believe in SMACNA.
Three years ago when I began serving on the executive committee I began to think of the challenges the year of my presidency might bring. I certainly did not envision a world of such uncertainty.
The continuing recession certainly has taken a toll on the construction industry. With fewer projects available and contractors trying to maintain past year’s sales levels, bidder lists have grown with contractors from other disciplines and other areas of the country.
SMACNA can help us meet these challenges with their survival guide of products and services. Put these tools to work in your business and you'll be on the road to increased productivity and profits.
One benchmark our company swears by is SMACNA's Financial Survey. We would never consider doing our annual budgeting and planning without consulting this guide. This report will tell us if our office costs are outrageous, and if salary related expenses are on target. The time spent analyzing the numbers in this survey is a good starting point in determining where appropriate cost cutting can take place in your organization.
The Financial Survey may indicate you need to reduce shop costs. You’ll gain a competitive edge by consulting SMACNA's "Sheet Metal Made Lean and Clean" manual. Our company increased overall shop productivity by 25 percent thanks to this book.
This May SMACNA and our labor partners will present yet another survival guide for SMACNA contractors. Sheet Metal Industry Week in Las Vegas will be packed with technical, business, safety, and market opportunity workshops to give SMACNA contractors the competitive edge. Our Partnership Conference and Apprenticeship Contest will serve as anchors for this ground breaking event. So please mark your calendar for May 2-7, 2004.
I credit my service on a number of SMACNA committees and task forces with helping me to better understand the value of SMACNA as a business tool. It is through such service and exposure that future leaders can be identified. Your Board of Directors is contemplating a process of actively identifying and encouraging new leaders in SMACNA. You’ll be hearing more about this effort during my year as president.
From 1987 when I was first asked to serve on SMACNA's Business Management Committee, until moments ago when I became president of this highly-respected organization, I have been honored and somewhat amazed at your confidence in my abilities.
Indeed, we have a challenging year ahead, but with SMACNA's help we plan to do more than survive. We are going to grow and prosper.
My Dad’s philosophy of how to enjoy and get the most out of life was simple. You work hard, you play hard.
This year I plan on working hard for this Association. Jan and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible. We also plan on having a little fun along the way.