In preparing for our company’s anniversary celebrations this year, someone asked me why I thought Genie has not just survived but thrived in the last 50 years. My answer was that we treat our customers’ needs the same way we value our business’s challenges — we react quickly, we solve problems and we take action.
Acting quickly has been at the very root of our culture. Around Genie, there used to be a joke that if Bob Wilkerson, who was our president for 30 years, had casually said in a meeting, "We need to get rid of our buildings," that every building would have been burnt to the ground before we all got back to our offices. Of course that never happened but that's the way we think of problems, we react, understand, solve and act very, very quickly. And, in my opinion, that has been the most important reason for the company reaching its 50th anniversary milestone.
Genie’s quick action would have been of little benefit if we didn’t align it with our customers’ businesses, primarily rental. For example, in North American, our rental customers need their new equipment in March and April because their customers do construction during the summer. So, as a company, we have a huge demand in the early part of the year for equipment, and then once our customers start working, that demand tapers off. It is an enormous challenge for manufacturers to have the ability to produce lots of equipment and then to seasonally ramp it down. But, that is what our customers need to have successful rental businesses. Genie action has always been aligned with our customers’ needs. I believe this weeded out the competitors who came and went over the past 50 years.
Add the inherent uncertainty in the economy and quick action becomes the key advantage for an equipment manufacturer. Over the last 50 years, there have been some tough economic times for construction, rental and aerial equipment. Genie has weathered these because we knew it was worse for our customers, and they would be there for us later if we were here for them now. We get the chance to take on the next challenge because we worked together with our global Genie customers to not just survive ─ but thrive ─ through the last one.