Monday Morning Memo 4-25-16


Good morning!  Today, I will explore the first of our four core competencies:  Sales & Marketing.  You may be thinking, “Well, doesn’t every company have to be competent in sales and marketing in order to survive?”  The answer is, “Yes” a company must be competent in sales and marketing in order to survive.  We are not interested in merely surviving.  We are looking to create competitive advantages.  It is not the fact that we have a sales and marketing plan, it is the fact that we truly market and sell differently than our competition.  Most of our competition is reactive to needs in the marketplace.  They focus on competitive bidding as their primary sales channel.  The volume of bids generated is their marketing plan, as this increases the market’s awareness of them.  They hope that this awareness will result in more opportunities to bid work.  Unfortunately, the primary determinant of who is awarded a particular project is low price.  Therefore, those most “successful” in bidding are able to capture the most work, but due to the focus on low price, there is little left over for reinvestment back into the company once the job is done.

At JLG, we are very proactive in our marketing and sales efforts.  We are out trying to “soften the ground” through our marketing long before a customer even knows that they have a project.  Be it through direct mail, lunch n learns, special customer events, our web site, etc, we expend an incredible amount of resources to build awareness in the marketplace.  With the ground softened, we unleash our sales force.  No one in the state has the sales force we do.  Our BDMs and PMs are not just uncovering bid work.  They are building relationships with our customers, which leads to specifying product and eliminating competition.  By doing this, we can add real value to the customer which yields higher margin work for us, and delivers at a market competitive price to the customer.  In the end, there is more money left to reinvest in the company to market more and grow our sales force.  It is this circle of value and reinvestment that truly differentiates us from the competition.

As you go about your week, think of how you, regardless of your role in the company, can “soften the ground.”  What can you do to communicate the value that JLG has to offer?  What can you do to build a relationship with a customer or potential customer?  When we leverage this core competency, the playing field starts out uneven . . . in our favor.  This is where it all begins.  Let’s go change the game!

Have a great week!

Dave Foellinger

President & Chief Operating Officer

Monday Morning Memo 4-17-16


Good morning! Today, I am starting a five part series on our 4 Core Competencies. This first memo is an introduction and discussion of what it means to be a core competency. Our four core competencies are: 

1. Sales & Marketing

2. Data Collection / Distribution

3. Project Management

4. Field Execution

But what does it mean to be a Core Competency? We believe that these four things give us a competitive advantage, because of our expertise or processes. The key is that it is not just the knowledge. Rather it is what we do with this knowledge. When we leverage our resources in these four areas, we can completely change the game vs. our competition. It is also important to realize that these are not independent parts of our company, like departments. These Core Competencies are part of every department and every role in the company. Over the coming weeks, I will discuss this in detail to create a better understanding of how each of these Core Competencies apply to you as an individual. Take the time this week to think of these 4 Core Competencies. What do they mean to you? How do you affect and leverage each one for a competitive advantage? How can you change the game? 

Have a great week!

Dave Foellinger

President & Chief Operating Officer

Monday Morning Memo (on Tuesday) 4.12.2016

OfficeGood morning!  “Walking out of rooms backwards since 1950.”  That’s a tag line that we started using a couple of years ago.  But do you know the origin?  Jack Laurie used to walk out of every room backwards.  This gave him the opportunity to inspect his work before turning out the lights.  It’s become cliché, but this is how Jack made certain that the work was done right the first time.  Jack realized the importance of a great service experience for his customers.  It is this same care for the customer and their experience that we need to carry today.

This tag line does not just apply to the men and women in the field.  It applies to all of us, and it applies to everything we do.  We need to ask ourselves, “Have I done everything possible to ensure the best experience for the customer?”  That customer may be the end user, or it may be another JLG employee who relies on your work in order to do their job.  Walking out of rooms backwards is all about checking ourselves and making sure that we are doing everything possible to make our contribution to JLG the best it can be.  Today, I want you to think about the work you’ve done and the work you have yet to complete.  Walk out of that work backwards.  Is it ready for the lights to turn off, or is there more to do in order to complete it or make it better?

Have a great week!

Four Easy Ways to Refresh Your Room

This time of the year motivates us to give our homes a deep spring cleaning. With that in mind, we want to share with you several of our favorite ways to clean our homes of the winter blues, and freshen it up a bit for the warmer months ahead!

Out With the Old

Replace wintery accent pieces with new ones in a vibrant color, such as turquoise or soft pink, or replace your throw pillows with new ones in a trending pattern or style.

Add Depth

Bring dimension to your room either with textured ceramics, such as vases, lamps and accent pieces, or add a chunky throw blanket to your couch. A blanket with the slightest bit of texture can really transform the look and feel of your room!

Freshen Up

Freshen up your room with a new coat of paint! A new color on your walls can change your room in an instant, and it also gives you a reason to update your room’s décor as well!

Spring Cleaning

One word; declutter. Get rid of any item that doesn’t serve a purpose. It will most likely be harder than you think, but it is worth it in the end!

What are your best tips or tricks for sprucing up your home for spring?

Monday Morning Memo 4-4-16


Good morning!  This morning’s memo is the sixth in a series of six about our Guiding Principles.  Remember, our guiding principles are the way that we define and communicate our culture.  They are imbedded in each and every role played in the company.  They explain what we are about and why we do what we do.  To review, we have 6 Guiding Principles.  These can be found on every Strategic Plan under the Statement of Principles.  They are:

  1. We are passionate about our customers.
  2. We all share in the results of the business.
  3. We have an open and honest work environment.
  4. We demand operational intensity.
  5. We are a goal oriented, results driven company.
  6. We retain the best people in our industry.

Our sixth and final Guiding Principle is:

We retain the best people in our industry – A fitting way to round out this series, don’t you think?  The most treasured asset of our company is our people . . . YOU!  Think about it.  We don’t have some secret technology or a tax preferred status to make us more competitive.  We don’t have an overhead structure that is difficult to replicate.  The only thing that we have that can differentiate us from the rest of the market is our people.  I’ve said many times, and I mean it sincerely, I have never worked with a more passionate, hard working, and fun group of people before in my life.  In order to keep it that way, we need to make sure that the great group we have stays intact.

Several years ago, our training and development was bad.  Let’s face it . . . it was terrible!  A JLG training program typically looked like, “Hi new person.  Please walk the plank into the deep end of the pool filled with sharks and alligators.  You seem like a great person, so I hope you are strong enough to make it.”  Even for those that survived, it wasn’t a good plan for employee retention.  We received some great feedback from all employees, and over the past few years, I’m proud of the progress we’ve made.  Every employee should now:

  • Have 4 to 5 KPIs
  • Have a GAP Analysis
  • Have a documented coaching plan
  • Have a regular Debrief/coaching session with their supervisor
  • Attend a monthly in-service training
  • Attend the bi-annual Summits for their functional area
  • Have regular Performance Appraisals – shorter, not as formal
  • Attend the Strategic Plan Rollout Meetings – twice a year
  • Have a documented and well understood compensation plan
  • Consistently be held accountable for performance with feedback and positive and negative consequences

This is a huge step for our company, so if you are not receiving any of the above, or if you are unsure, please get with your manager right away to understand the plan.

By providing more training, communication, and personal/professional development, along with a culture of high energy and teamwork, we hope to build a company with more tenure than any other in the industry.  I want you to succeed, and I want you to enjoy what you do.  This, along with our other five Guiding Principles, creates an organization that is virtually impossible to replicate.  Thank you.

Have a great week!!

Dave Foellinger

President & Chief Operating Officer