State of the Nation
By E. W. Phares II
The company has now finished the first 10 months of fiscal 2012 and it’s with pleasure I inform you your company continues to do extremely well. All operations are operating in the black and our share of market areas where we have been concentrating has improved nicely.
Penetone sales have improved considerably and we are now profitable YTD with an outstanding turn around over the last 90 days. Although our military sales have dropped due to the cut back in requirements in the middle east, our other major areas are growing nicely with pulp and paper doubling sales and profit from where it was last year. Further dramatic improvement has been made in the oil and gas field and we anticipate that our sales in this market area will be well above not only last year, but our profit plan. Reduction in some of our raw materials, specifically D’Limonene, have greatly enhanced our profit in numerous products. We anticipate finishing the year strong and in an excellent position for continued growth in 2013.
Sales in Canada continue extremely well and we are nicely ahead of last year. Our new product development in both the food and barn areas have been accepted enthusiastically and our sales to this market are running approximately 20% ahead of plan. Further our introduction of new products in the Western tar sand fields have had dramatic acceptance and we expect continued large expansion.
Petron sales are on plan in both sales and profit with continued acceptance of our products not only in the U.S., but in Asia and South America. Continued sales activities have opened up additional new accounts and new markets to help counter balance the beginnings of a drop off in the demand for not only steel but also cement and copper. This outstanding sales development activity on the part of Petron group has kept our continued growth and profit to be the biggest contributor to the company
We fully expect the company, despite the poor economic conditions worldwide will have an excellent year in 2012.
Once again, congratulations to the West Team on the outstanding results that have been accomplished.
Marketing Plans Don’t Just Happen
By Bruce Muretta
Marketing is a course of action to bring a product or service to market. Sounds simple. It isn’t. The marketing process requires innovative ideas, knowledge of market, competition, existing product availability, company resources, and, ultimately, the plan to effectively create the action.
The starting point is the idea of identifying a market potential. This crucial first step requires knowledge and vision. At Penetone most ideas are developed by our sales and Marketing VPs, Mike Bradford and Mike Nelson. Often Woody Phares interjects ideas from his experience and reading of business publications. Other contributors are Phil Figdore with his product knowledge, sales personnel with their field experience, and the GM with his overall view of operations.
Courses of action can be outlined in four broad areas: (1) lower price products; (2) improved product introduction; (3) meeting customer’s changing requirements; and (4) need creation, the most difficult and innovative approach.
Lower price plans often arise from the daily efforts of the sales force. Often difficulties arise from customer reluctance to change from existing effective products. We have to rely on significant price savings, excellent service and equal or improved products.
Innovative product development is crucial to convince a customer to make a product change. Mike Nelson’s approach on “stickies” removal is a classic example how a superior product has gained major business by effectively cleaning while allowing the continuance of the manufacturing process.
Customer needs change constantly due to internal and external (mostly environmental) requirements. Again, existing products or product innovation is the answer.
Need creation is difficult requiring extensive knowledge of customer requirements and the environment they operate within. Chad Tennant has effectively altered a customer’s buying approach by delivering a better product utilizing creative sizes and purchasing techniques.
Crucial factors of an effective marketing campaign require research of the existing market to determine if there is potential for success. During this process, analysis of internal resources of people (marketing, management, lab, plant and sales time requirements), products and advertising is required. A formal plan with commitment of resources, time requirements and costs has to be developed for analysis and review. This is difficult as Penetone often competes with larger companies with extensive resources and budgets. Our excellent products and superior service somewhat levels the playing field.
Canadian and US operations have exchanged successful marketing plans to each other. The synergy of the two operations has given each company new markets with minimal cost outlays.
The final development stage is the assessment of the plan by Penetone management. The major factor to consider is the potential for success with the resources committed. Here a plan has to compete among other internal marketing plan to win the limited resources available.
From a Tortoise to a Hare
By James Tormey
Last year I attended an equipment show in Las Vegas with the intention of finding a filling machine that would encapsulate all our filling needs in sizes from five hundred milliliter to four liter.
The reason behind this move was over the years more and more of our products were filled manually, due either to viscosity or excessive foam. In some cases we had to send our products to sub-contractors to be bottled. We needed to increase our efficiency and flexibility.
Of all the machines I saw at the show the unit that fit our needs was a bottom up filler that could fill the sizes we were looking for. Change over from one size to another takes less than half an hour. The ld unit took a minimum of four hours to make the same changes.
We ultimately found a supplier in Quebec that could manufacture the unit we were looking for, as I did not want to have to pay a flight and hotel bills should we have technical problems that we could not resolve.
We found a company called R.V. Fillers that could build the machine. The price was higher than I was willing to pay, but through negotiations was able to get the price needed to proceed with the project.
The machine is a ten head straight line filler. Each of the nozzles has its own pump and each pump is controlled electronically. Changes to filling speed, depth the nozzles dive in to the container, and speed of the nozzles lifting out of the containers are made from a control panel on the front of the machine, making it very easy to use.
After running the machine for a month with amazing results, we decided to bring two products we were having filled by a subcontractor back here. These products are Westokleen RTU and Oven Cleaner. Both products are packaged in 946 milliliter bottles.
The products that were manually filled are now filled in record time using the machine. And the loss factor built in to the filling has virtually disappeared, making this machine not only cost effective, but will pay for itself in less than a year.
Audit Results are In
By Jim Bittner
ExxonMobil’s quality audit team spent three days auditing Petron’s laboratory and manufacturing facilities and procedures to determine compliance with their Third Party Product Integrity Manual. The three day audit included a review of Petron’s ISO processes as well as interviews with Petron employees in all departments.
Petron’s manufacturing group scored a 3.6 out of a possible 4.0 points on the audit. A score of 3.6 is considered a very good. We are proud of the efforts our production and warehouse employees put forth each day throughout the year to ensure we remain in compliance with ExxonMobil’s requirements
Endeavor Flew Over the Penetone L.A. Office
We extend a belated welcome to Marion Jobson, Shipping & Receiving, Edmonton. Petron welcomed Glenn Berwanger, Componder, Sarah DeShambo and Andrew Koopman, Lab Technicians.
Petron also would like to welcome its new Production Manager, Kiran Batchu, who joined the organization on August 6, 2012. Kiran has a BS degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Kiran was previously employed in manufacturing management at Gen Probe GTI Diagnostics in Waukesha, WI. Kiran brings over 15 years of experience managing all aspects of manufacturing and production and has extensive experience in ISO, GMP, and FDA quality system regulations.
Kiran will be responsible for the day-to-day production management. Additionally we look forward to her contributions in improving our ISO processes.
Alexandre Marenger Davis, Sales Rep., West Penetone, celebrated his third year of service and Luis Suruy, Maintenance Mechanic, Penetone, reached his 25 year milestone. Congratulations.