[ID] => 10953
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-04-26 09:52:27
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-26 08:52:27
[post_content] => HCB talks to Dave Morrow, director of product management at OPW Engineered Systems, about his job and the company.
How did you become involved in the world of industrial fluid-handling?
I had always been mechanical, but I majored in marketing and finance at the University of Cincinnati, so when I graduated I thought I’d work at a bank and even had an interview set up with Fifth Third Bank. Then a friend from college told me that he was applying for a job at OPW Engineered Systems and said that I should do the same. I was a marketing guy and had taken an industrial-marketing class in college, so that helped turn me on to this. When I started, I was a Regional Manager in the Northeast and lived in New Jersey, but it wasn’t Cincinnati. I wanted to come home and everyone knew it; my wife was from Cincinnati, we were West Siders. I was able to come back as a marketing guy, doing what I grew to love in school. And since I had run a territory, my pitch to OPW was that I know what the sales guys go through and I think I can help our guys do their jobs better.
What about the industry initially grabbed your attention and helped make it your profession?
The diversity is what drew me to this business. Gasoline, diesel, sulfuric acid, ethanol, LPG and even whiskey – you name it, if it’s in a truck or railcar we make equipment to move it. One of the coolest things we do is go into all of these plants and see different applications where things are made and help solve their fluid-handling challenges.
OPW has adopted the mantra of “Defining What’s Next” as its driving force. Describe what that means to you.
I believe in what we do, I believe in OPW and our customers understand who we are. What we need to do is execute through optimized delivery and use the expertise we bring to the market, and if we execute on those things, we’re going to win. It comes down to how do we better execute our business and how do we become the easiest company to do business with. We sell engineered products (fluid-transfer loading arms and systems, couplers, disconnects, etc.) and you can’t just open a catalog to a certain page and be successful at selling them; you’re going to need help to sell that product.
The goal is being able to serve all of our customers better, from the one with the clear-cut application to the one with a complex, custom application; we want to do it all, and that is unique to us. So “Defining What’s Next” does not have to be a new product. It can be a new way of doing business, redefining the ways that we can serve customers. There are opportunities there, and we enjoy working with our customers to identify ways to continuously improve and better deliver for them.
Can you provide an example of how that message has manifested itself?
The complexity within the industry has changed big time in recent years. We’ve always sold equipment that looks like it does today, but when we’d sell a carbon-steel arm, we’d use our carbon steel, we’d build it the way we build it, we’d paint it the way we paint it, we’d weld it the way we weld it. Today, given the broad range of industries we serve, many items can have very customized specifications. In fact, we’ve changed our business model in order to better serve a variety of customer needs.
For example, in the past, we used to work through all customer orders in the same manner, using the same process, which meant that clear-cut application lead times were sometimes impacted by complex, customized project lead times. One thing that we’re now doing is changing our loading arm business to three different product paths, which we’re calling StandardLine, ProLine and CustomLine. These are actually product lines within a product line.
The StandardLine consists of pre-configured, pre-engineered systems that are less complex with quick delivery guaranteed. With ProLine, we create a system that is customized to the customer’s specs, but blends in OPW’s standard specifications. This is what most of our customers want and the bulk of the orders we do every day.
CustomLine is also customized to specs, but is structured to also handle special materials, testing, components, etc. The CustomLine often has a longer lead time as it allows for more input from customers who have more complex requirements. If you can dream it, we can do it through our CustomLine.
With these three options, we’re giving customers a choice to see what makes the most sense for their business and situation. The goal is to create velocity across all three offerings and it’s working, for our customers.
On day one with the customer it’s now a different experience, but our people in the building understand what we’re doing and it has inspired them to find ways to be quicker. Engineering and manufacturing have come up with different ways to meet the needs of our customers. It’s been a pretty cool thing to watch take shape. This is new to the loading-arm industry, and other Dover companies have reached out to see how we’ve done this. It’s been really cool to see how our people and customers have reacted, and how other companies are also interested.
Guaranteeing personal and environmental safety at transfer terminals is of critical importance. How have you addressed those challenges?
That is definitely a huge focus for us, specifically for our quick- and dry-disconnect business. The thing that is unique about OPW is that we make everything from a simple Kamlok®
, which we invented and trademarked, to the Epsilon™
, the most robust dry-disconnect coupler in our portfolio – with a whole bunch of coupler models in between. Our approach centers around, ‘How do we grow that business and help more people make their sites as safe as possible?’ OPW and our customers know that any product on the ground is bad, even if it’s not dangerous. Even when you lose something that is benign, like vegetable oil, it can still create a hazard. Keeping that product in the pipe and off the ground is a huge focus.
When you’re away from the office, what do you do to unwind or relax?
My wife and I have three sons, two of whom are in college now, and we’d always spend a lot of time with them. We’re also big movie buffs and all about the latest movies. I love to golf, but don’t really have the time to make it happen. Also, when they were younger, my boys were soccer players and I would stay in shape by working with their teams at practice. Without that outlet anymore, in the past four or five years I’ve taken up running. It’s a good stress reliever and that’s when I do my best thinking.
[post_title] => View from the top: Dave Morrow, OPW
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[post_name] => view-top-dave-morrow-opw
[post_modified] => 2019-04-24 13:57:14
[post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-24 12:57:14
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