After the first half of the year was just slightly better than flat, things are beginning to pick up in the second half. August was an excellent month for new orders book, but more impressively it set a company record for shipped order volume, beating the previous high mark by nearly five percent. International sales are having a very strong year, on pace to finish ahead of last year by over 15%. Abdel Balkhir, Regional Sales Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa is leading the way with nearly 30% growth over 2015, despite some of the economic challenges in those parts of the world.
This accelerated growth in key markets is part of the plan. At Finish Thompson, we are big believers in strategic planning. Even our strategic plans have plans. But you can’t have a robust strategic plan without an ambitious end goal in mind; and our ambitious yet realistic goal is doubling company revenue over the next ten years. We believe we have the current products, and products in-development, and pricing to get us part of the way there. These characteristics are critical but not necessarily unique, because with the right expertise, effort and risk-taking, it’s possible for a company to come up with a quality product at a relatively competitive price. There’s a third component to our strategic goal of doubling revenue that we believe sets Finish Thompson apart from the field: superior customer service. Although we already provide superior service, we aim to do even better via employee engagement, because as has been said, “to win in the marketplace, you first have to win in the workplace.”
With this end in mind, Finish Thompson President Mike Towner and Manufacturing Operations Manager Dennis Barnard have launched the FTI Manufacturing Team Leader University program. This 12 week program will guide our manufacturing floor leaders through all aspects of current company core competencies, leadership roles, manufacturing best practices and company financials, among other topics, all aimed at encouraging the company leaders to better understand how their actions and those of their departments are directly connected to the overall strategic goals of the company. As they then connect these dots for their respective teams, it should become evident just how important and meaningful their roles are to the company’s overall success, leading to an increase in job satisfaction. More satisfied FTI associates should lead to more satisfied FTI customers and contribute to achieving our long-term goals.
In the field, Finish Thompson was recently pleased to announce the hire of Derek Castro as its Northeast U.S.A. and Eastern Canada Regional Sales Manager. Derek has many years of both distributor and manufacturer experience, having worked at ClearTech Industries and Hurricane Pump Distribution, Inc. in Canada and also PSG Industries in the United States. Derek brings to the job an enthusiasm for AODD and mag-dive pumps sales and an understanding of the importance of the manufacturer-distributor relationship. Derek will be responsible for managing FTI’s sales from the Mid-Atlantic U.S. to New England and from maritime Canada west to Saskatchewan, while Sergio Avila handles Western Canada in addition to his current role as Director of Latin America Sales.