My Take: They Have Your Back

EP Editorial Staff | August 1, 2009


You’re not alone in your efforts to get around the economic killing fields of the lingering recession. The 12 companies represented in our Industry Outlook 2009 “have your back.”

We always look forward to pulling together these special executive “roundtable” sections—this year’s has been especially enjoyable. This is because we’ve been assured, despite the myriad challenges they face in their own businesses as a result of the downturn, that these leading suppliers to the capacity assurance market are right there with you—their customers—in the middle of the fray. Like they always have, these companies are continuing to support you in countless ways, as you work to keep your operations up and running on proverbial shoestrings. They’re also working hard to help you build toward sustainable futures for your organizations. We know, because we asked them.

For this year’s Industry Outlook, we requested that the responding executives provide us with some specifics on just how they’re helping you weather the downturn and grow stronger. They told us a lot. Not surprisingly, among the common themes running through this section is that of “commitment”—regardless of the respondents’ particular types of products and/or service offerings.

  • Commitment to customer service: They’re striving to ensure that you have the right products and/or services whenever you need them, wherever you need them, however you need them. Their strong emphasis on value-added partnerships with customers is one of the things that has allowed end-user operations across industry to do lots, lots more with far, far less during one of the worst times in our economic history.
  • Commitment to innovation: If we’ve learned nothing else over the past dismal year, it’s that we can’t run our businesses as we always have. The ability to innovate and think in innovative ways—as it applies to products, services, processes, whatever—is more critical than ever before. Our “thought leaders” in this issue are quite explicit about this fact, and offer up some compelling examples of how their companies are helping both their customers and themselves innovate their way out of the economic ditch.
  • Commitment to the future: The recent down, down, down business cycle has affected everyone. As we go to press, though, the economy finally seems to be showing some signs of life again. The executives in our Industry Outlook appear to be rather optimistic about a coming turnaround. They also recognize that we’re all in this together and that helping both their customers and their own companies focus on matters of sustainability today is key to a strong recovery—and brighter tomorrows.

But, enough said. You don’t need me to interpret or analyze for you. Please take the time to read through our Industry Outlook 2009 for yourselves. I’m betting this section is going to do much more than provide some insight into your supplier relations. It’s also going to make you aware of some opportunities and practical solutions that will help you and your organizations become more efficient and more competitive now and in the better times ahead. MT

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