By Mark Inboden
This past week on LinkedIn, I came across a post that got my attention. There was a CEO quoted as saying, "I think that the minute that you have a backup plan, you've admitted that you're not going to succeed.” My first thought was, “Has this person ever worked in the "real" world?” Second thought, “Do I have any stock in this company?” and if so, call my broker and sell!
Maybe this is the thinking of people who have no real “skin in the game.” As a business owner, one must execute on their plans, but also plan for the unexpected. Some of these startups have “unlimited” cash to burn (most of the time “OPM" or Other People's Money), and the mindset is often about creating revenue, and not a company that will last. Most “small” business owners pay everyone first, then themselves. Most of the time, they just add to their “retained earnings” and leave most of the profits in the company. They are working to build something that will last longer than a “IPO cash out.”
As we head towards our 58th anniversary in October, I can tell you for certain that UCEC was founded with “old school” values, and we are working to ensure that we are around for many more years. We have put plans in place to implement new technology and processes. Most of the time they work. If not, we do have a backup plan, as our customers come first. Their needs have to be met regardless of a failed plan. We succeed because we work for our customers whether we use Plan A, B, or C...we just get it done!
Mark is President and CEO of UCEC.
More Leadership Content from UCEC
In October, UCEC will celebrate its 60th anniversary.
From the beginning, the founder of UCEC, Howard Lacy, felt that he could make a better control panel at a better value than the control panels he was purchasing from others. My father-in-law, Chris Kitsos, took this concept beyond the municipal markets, and provided even better control panels and customer service to the private industry. It is amazing to think about how far UCEC and industrial control panels have come since 1958. We can all be proud of the role UCEC has played as a leader in our industry.
Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoy this special time of year with your loved ones and friends. I am very excited about what’s in store for 2018, and for the opportunity to work with all of you to make it happen. Thank you to our customers, vendors and employees!
Whew! It's been quite the ride in 2017 with a very busy shop, working with talented co-workers and of course, the reason for what we do: creating our valued customers' electrical control panels. Here's a look back and a few stories that made our year.
Our customers often bring us cutting-edge challenges—and we love it! Recently, one of our vendor partners CPI came to us with a project we couldn’t resist. CPI’s customer wanted to revamp the HMI (Human-Machine Interface) screens that are installed in each of their electrical control panels at a large beverage canning facility. (Side note: UCEC is fortunate to work with many partners. Meet more of our vendor partners here, here and here.)
Editor's Note: This fall, we published a series of posts about how UCEC is preparing for the future. We heard from our Executive and Management teams, and after reading their vision for UCEC's next chapter, we're pretty jazzed for what's ahead. Below, please find the entire series.
Growing up, my family was a model “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” type of clan. Throwing things away was not an option. It’s a character trait I’ve passed on to my kids, and also one I’m proud to say that UCEC observes whenever possible.
What does the UCEC customer of the future look like? One things is sure: they are getting younger! From newly minted engineers to mid-career engineers to factory management teams, our median customer age is skewing downward.