2:35 pm
August 20, 2013
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Executive Outlook 2013: Recognize And Embrace Possibilities For Innovation

0813eomilwaukeeYou will hear many viewpoints from brilliant minds all over the world as to what is holding up our long-awaited economic recovery. Whether conservative or liberal, politician or economist, everyone has differing opinions and theories on why we continue to maneuver our way through a challenging economic environment. The truth is, we don’t know exactly why there is a logjam or what is holding back a full-scale recovery. 

Those of us at Milwaukee Tool believe our clear path out of the lingering gridlock is through innovation: The key to the continued growth of our industry lies in consistency of delivering value and productivity to end-users through innovative products that save time and money.

When we look at the economic landscape today, specific geographic markets are doing significantly better than other markets throughout the United States and Canada. Southern California, Northern California, Texas, Miami, FL, and Vancouver, BC, for example, are coming back strong, while other areas are still very slow. Durable-goods manufacturing was the largest contributor to U.S. real GDP by state growth in 2012—and those companies that focused on delivering new and innovative solutions within their industries were rewarded with growth.

At Milwaukee Tool, we continue to ask ourselves what we can deliver to help professional tool-users be more profitable, safer and more productive on their jobs across the board. Ergonomic features, performance capabilities, quality and durability are just the beginning. As a tool manufacturer, without focusing on these important aspects, users of your products are not going to view you as a credible brand. 

Above and beyond that, we want to win by changing the game with productivity through innovation: That is really our core strategy across all product lines. Whether it is through game-changing technology like you see in our M12 & M18 FUEL cordless lines, or strategic partnerships that drive a dramatic shift in predictive maintenance, as you will see from Milwaukee in coming months on our Thermal Imaging line, we are constantly looking for ways to do things differently than we have done in the past to provide the best solutions in the industry. 

By creating new-to-world products and driving productivity solutions, Milwaukee Tool has seen double-digit growth year over year—despite the challenging economic conditions. As a result, to support this type of ongoing growth, we have invested $25 million in our U.S. manufacturing footprint. With an intense focus on our core users, we have been able to find growth in a struggling economic sector by seeking out opportunities in less developed categories. 

It is our philosophy that there are always possibilities for innovation—and we believe this holds true across all levels of the economy, from supply chain to manufacturing. Accordingly, we feel that if more companies would embrace a similar approach, the capital structure would begin to improve through collective effort and collaboration.MT

More Executive Outlooks:


Enrique Santacana, President & CEO, ABB North America


William J. Stevens, President & CEO, Motion Industries


Steven P. Richman, President, Milwaukee Tool Corporation


Poul Jeppesen, President and CEO, SKF USA Inc.


Ralf Kraemer, CEO, Klüber Lubrication North America


Mike Laszkiewicz, Vice President & General Manager, Power Control Business, Rockwell Automation, and Chair, Manufacturing Council


Jay A. Burnette, President, Waukesha Bearings Corporation


Rich Heppe, President, Industrial Motors, Nidec Motor Corporation


Steve Sonnenberg, President, Emerson Process Management


Wes Pringle, President, Fluke Corporation