Archive for September 2011

Pinnacle Studio Ultimate v15 for Free

September 29, 2011

We’ve talked before here about Pinnacle Studio Plus video software. Today, just by luck, I saw online that Fry’s had Pinnacle Studio Ultimate v15 for $69.99 — plus $70 in rebates. Ends today. I got our copy. Better hurry.

Happy Anniversary and Thanks! It’s 10% Tuesday!

September 29, 2011

What the heck is 10% Tuesday?

Before I tell the story, let me first say thanks to those whom this story is about.  I mean this from the very bottom of my heart, sincerely thank you. Your sacrifice in no small part helped build Innovative’s culture, shape our values and cement our resolve to stand together in the face of adversity.

Here are those I honor today with this blog:

Mark Sta., Jesus S., Stephen W., Jason S., Jack M., Ken S., Klent P., Lonnie M., Brad S., Michael D., Jeff R., Britt W., Pepper H., Tim M., Adam R., Tammy G., and Todd M., Michael M.

Adversity? 2008 just sucked! It was tough on businesses and families alike. Innovative’s monthly sales through June of ’08 averaged $785,619. Then the wheels fell off. By the time we got into the first quarter of ‘09, it was apparent we had to make some dramatic moves to keep the boat afloat.

Sales in May ’09 hit a 28 month low of $485,425. That’s a 61% drop from our average month in less than one year. Try paying your bills with that kind of drop in income.

The challenge was the fact that our team was Legendary! Hell, we’d literally walked on fire together! I knew I had to cut payroll. I couldn’t cut people.

I got everyone together in our conference room. We conference called anyone not able to be there physically and I unveiled the plan. We would all take a 10% pay cut. I knew with that single move we could make it through the recession.

Getting the 10% back? That was put in the hands of everyone there. I committed to them that as soon as we put together a three month run that totaled $2.1 million, I’d put the pay rates right back to where they were.

I didn’t sleep much the night before this meeting. It was the single toughest meeting I’ve ever had. Looking those 18 people in the eye, people I really cared for, and telling them I was cutting their pay…that sucked hard.  See video interview about this by Inc. Magazine click here.

The positive feedback I got from the meeting was overwhelming. What an emotionally charged meeting; possibly our most inspirational meeting to date.  I really think just letting everyone know with this plan, we could make it without any layoffs did wonders for everyone’s peace of mind. Our families could sleep a little easier.

On September 29, 2009,( just 7 months later) we shipped $1,728,932 in that month alone. We smashed the $2.1 million quarterly goal. Tuesday September 29, 2009, Tim Mueller hosted our daily Hoopla with the theme, “10% Tuesday.” That was one hyped up, high fivin’ Hoopla! Tim had taped white sheets of paper and post-it notes all over the walls of the office simply stating, “10%.”

Did you know our telemarketing department was born that day? That’s another story.

BTW…We’ve broken our quarterly shipments record each and every quarter since Q3, 2009! Let’s keep that rollin’.

Love you guys! That’s those on the team then and all on the team now.



Innovative-IDM Names Vice President of Sales

September 28, 2011

Innovative-IDM Names Vice President of Sales

Tim Mueller, company co-founder, promoted to newly-created position

Carrollton, Texas – Innovative-IDM, one of the Southwest’s leading distributors of factory automation and controls parts and a four-time INC 5000 Award recipient announced today it has promoted Tim Mueller to Vice President of Sales for all branches. Innovative-IDM has branch location in Dallas-FtWorth, Houston and Memphis.

Mueller, 41, brings 18 years of factory automation experience to the position with the company he helped found in 2000. Prior to assuming the newly-created position of Vice President, Mueller was the company’s Regional Sales Manager. Prior to Innovative-IDM, Mueller worked at Minarik Automation and Control.

“Tim’s positive attitude, dedication to having fun, and selfless desire to help those around him made it easy to select him for this very important position,” said Gene Gray, president of Innovative-IDM. “He’s done nearly every job in this company and has developed into a very capable leader.”

Innovative-IDM offers automation and motion control parts, repairs and field service for industrial electronics, contract manufacturing of electrical and pneumatic controls, and AC/DC drive systems integration solutions.

Memphis, You’re On! Customer Training Classes

September 28, 2011

Today was the first ever customer training class sponsored by Innovative-IDM in Memphis (picture below). Headed up by Mike Moore from I-IDM and Andy Steltman (machine safeguarding trainer from Omron STI), class started this morning at 8:30 and will go until 4:30.

Also going off today is Day 2 of pnuematics training at our Houston location. That electro-pneumatics class is being taught by the effervescent Raul Gonzalez of SMC, who trots the Western Hemisphere extolling the virtues and vices of pneumatics.

Congratulations to our customers for taking the time to invest in themselves through professional training.

What Drives a Business? Customers, of course. (No mistake here.)

September 27, 2011

I hinted here a few weeks ago about our new office nameplates. Well, now they are here. Thanks to the ever energetic Vanessa Muse for affixing them around the DFW office to precise planned dimensions and heights. Houston office will get them in a week or so.

I was asked if there was a mistake on the nameplates. Why is everyone’s title listed as “Customer Service?” No mistake. Without customers Innovative-IDM doesn’t exist. Without a focus on customer service, there are no customers.

We have a staff meeting at our Houston and DFW locations EVERY MORNING to remind us about our customer-focused mentality, and to compliment each other for serving customers.  Simply put, we try harder to exceed our customers’ expectations than the next guy, and that customer focus is engrained and rewarded in our culture.

Short story: We ALL work at customer service; it’s all of our jobs. Even our president’s nameplate (below) reinforces that notion to all of the troops. Consider what drives your business, who pays your bills, who provides your employees and their families with jobs and paychecks.

Consumers are statistics; customers are people. Treat them well and they will treat you well. — ph

Buzzard Nesting with American Express and INC 500

September 27, 2011

I think Buzzard was sad to leave Washington DC. He flew into my office today and nested on an INC magazine and glared at my American Express card. I think he was trying to tell me he wanted to go back to the East Coast, where he just saw Innovative-IDM honored for being one of the 5000 fastest growing private companies by INC magazine. Buzzard is misguided; he means well, but he’s misguided. — ph

DFW Customer Appreciation Event

September 27, 2011

We’re having a customer appreciation event in Carrollton Oct. 6 for our DFW customers. Email me at pepper.hastings@innidm if you can make it.  Omron, SMC and Yaskawa are helping us host with food and prizes. Houston event is Oct. 13, the following Thursday.

One of the Many Uses for Extruded Aluminum

September 26, 2011

People kept leaving the toaster oven on high, forgetting to turn if off when they finished. Now, we don’t have to worry about it anymore. Buzzard watched Michael do the deed last week.

This is one of the many uses of high quality, Parker IPS extruded aluminum. Innovative-IDM’s contract manufacturing division can construct work stations or safety guards to your specifications using extruded aluminum.

Buzz and President Lincoln

September 23, 2011

Amazing! What an incredible monument for a man that meant so much to our country. Abe, you rock!Even Buzz was impressed.

And who is that with Buzz? Yip that’s Flat Stanley! Sweet.  Maybe even Legendary!

Vietnam Memorial – Buzz and New Friends

September 23, 2011

You wouldn’t believe how much carrying Buzz around is like having a new baby with you. Over the day nearly 100 people asked what the back story was behind Buzz. Random people asked to be photographed with Buzz.  At one point when Buzz was posing for a picture by the Lincoln Memorial several people snuck behind me to get their picture with our company mascot.

I found my Uncle Fred’s name on the Vietnam Memorial wall. Thanks Uncle Fred for all you gave. BTW…I want to go duck hunting with you when I get to heaven.