The health crisis caused by COVID -19 has made me a better business leader. It has pushed me to do a better job of looking at all my businesses through the eyes of our biggest stakeholders: our customers, team, and community.
Eight Markers to Help WEMCO Members Survive and Prosper in the Pandemic and Post-Pandemic World BY DAVE MARQUARD, OPM, MBA, BS EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN / OWNER, APPLIED COMPANIES, LLC Yes, the vaccines are coming and promise hope. But for now, the most daunting business challenges since the Great Depression are at our doorstep. What indicators or factors determine whether your business is going to have 10% or 100% of your pre-pandemic revenue and profits? The Jackpot is E-Commerce Hopefully, you are in e-commerce in a big way. It was one of the technologies that was growing well before the pandemic and the pandemic has massively accelerated its growth. For example, many of the baby boomer generation resisted shopping online until their favorite stores closed or they feared the virus or both. Now they use e-commerce religiously. To help me run and grow my own businesses I keep a sharp eye out on what McKinsey, the Wall Street Journal and other business experts say about current best business practices. Here is what I am picking up. I have distilled the best of what I have read and experienced into what I think of as 8 indicators or markers. For purposes of this column, I will call them Marquard’s Great Eight. As you read them it will reinforce the necessity of embracing and accepting change and transformation to stay relevant. 1. Be Aware of Consumer, Ultimate Consumer and Channel Changes Capture an image of pandemic
By Dave Marquard November, 2019 I had attended forty consecutive AWS Welding/Fabtech Shows until the streak was snapped a few weeks ago because of an important meeting elsewhere I had to attend. No one can physically be in two places at the same time, although today’s technology allows us to “beam up” our presence from afar via electronic robot cameras. It’s a technology my companies are investing heavily in because of the immense potential it has for allowing us to dramatically cut travel and expense costs. In my absence from physically being at Fabtech I thought a lot about what I missed most about it. I missed walking the aisles, meeting people and seeing the latest welding technologies a lot—but oddly enough I also missed the entertaining shows I often found while walking those aisles—especially the magicians hired by companies to attract people to their booths. Many magic tricks are based on illusions. The magician makes you think you saw something that didn’t happen. The hand is quicker than the eye, and artful magicians use distraction to their advantage in creating illusions that befuddle even the most observant individuals. My background and training as a cop probably makes me more observant than most. Even today, decades since I left policework, I still notice open doors, broken windows, people in industrial uniforms, anything that might seem out of place as I drive through neigh
By Dave Marquard, WEMCO Tech Chair June 8, 2019 – Curiosity has often driven me to action. In 1982 I purchased one of the world’s first portable computers, the Osborne 1. It weighed almost 25 pounds and didn’t have an on-board battery. It had to be plugged into a wall outlet to power up and use. However, it was still classified as a portable computer because it could be hand-carried. The Osborne 1 shipped with a large bundle of software worth almost as much as the computer. That software included some of the most powerful and pioneering programs of the day such as D-Base2 for data sorting; SuperCal, an early spreadsheet, and WordStar, a leading word processor application that had a dominant market share that lasted until the mid-1980s. I was a young VP at a small welding equipment manufacturing company, which while a market leader in its small niche, could never seem to break out of a slow growth cycle. My new “computer aided” ability to process large amounts of data, prepare “what if” scenarios, and then sum it all up quickly in a word-processed proposal, was enormously helpful. It enabled me to make a positive contribution to the company that impressed my superiors, peers, and subordinates. The Osborne 1 enabled us to form teams that used its data enhancing speed benefits to efficiently develop new products. By the end of