Alan Wilkinson, who will succeed Norman Gottschalk Jr.
as president of Marmon Distribution Services Inc. in February,
will continue the companys succession planning and focus
on updating employee skills, improving productivity and growing
the companys various businesses.
Wilkinson is a 35-year
veteran of the company, which his father, W. Lamar Wilkinson,
ran from 1979 to 1989. The younger Wilkinson started out in the
warehouse, performing every job except driving a truck. He is
currently vice president.
"Norm has left a great
legacy. He has been a great mentor" and created a sound
succession plan, Wilkinson told AMM Sept. 10 during
the Metals Service Center Institutes Economic Summit in
"We have more people
retiring in the next few years but we have a lot of young
people coming up. Well invest in those people by sending
them to MSCI courses and Marmon training. We will push them
through the organization, giving them the tools they need to
grow and succeed," he said.
Also ingrained in the
organization is the 80-20 rule: 80 percent of sales come from
20 percent of customers. "We will continue to carefully 80-20
our inventories and maintain them to allow for long-term growth
between those customers and our company."
will push the value-added processing operation model into its
subsidiaries as well. For example, "(Bushwick Metals LLC) is
getting far more into value-added and it will be a growth
engine for them," Wilkinson said. "We have to find ways to
increase productivity, so well continue to upgrade our
equipment and research technological improvements that help our
people work smarter instead of harder."
prospects, "we will continue to pursue strategic bolt-on
acquisitions through all facets of Marmon Distribution. That is
something we constantly look at. Bushwick acquired a company
last year and that is paying great dividends."
As a leader, Wilkinson
will seek to have everybody on the same page. "We are focused
on the long term and dont have a plan of the
day. If everybody goes their own direction, nothing gets
Wilkinson has steel in his blood. "My mother and my father both
worked at J.M. Tull (now part of Ryerson Inc.). Thats how
they met. My mother was in payroll and my dad was in counter
sales. They ran into each other in the hallway one day. Since
the day I was born, every meal Ive ever eaten was
furnished by the steel business."
Then theres the
third generation: Wilkinsons son works at Marmons
Butler, Pa., warehouse.