The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2018 - 29

@WORK
EDDIE MURPHY
COMPANY: SpaceGuard Products, Inc.
TITLE: Owner/President
YEARS ON JOB: 10 years

I

began my career with SpaceGuard
Products as the Vice President of
Sales in 2008, right before the bottom dropped out of the market. I had
to make some very difficult staffing
decisions to allow us to survive during those years. I saw drastic changes
forthcoming in our distributor network and therefore needed to react
quickly with a plan to sustain business
despite the attrition and bankruptcies
that followed. After successfully navigating those challenges, I purchased
SpaceGuard in January 2012 with
a plan to invigorate our marketing,
innovate our products, and upgrade
our technology and equipment. I relish the fact that no two days are ever
the same. I may be in the field with
a customer one day, only to fly back
to our factory to negotiate insurance
premiums. I may start my morning on
the factory floor working on product
innovations, only to leave later in the
day to meet with a material or service
supplier. I take every new project as a
unique challenge, and love the hard
work it takes to succeed.

A Career in Material
Handling
I've actually spent most of my career
in material handling. I began my career
as an intern with Humantech where I
provided ergonomic and productivity
analysis and solutions to our customers. This experience was unparalleled
as I personally visited a wide variety
of industrial customers and listened
to the daily challenges management
and their employees faced. I still
look back at copies of the reports I
wrote back then when I see similar
challenges at my own company. My
internship ultimately opened the door
for some amazing years with General
Motors' Stamping Division. At GM, I

held various engineering and facility
management roles that put me on the
purchasing side of material handling
equipment with regional distributors
and integrators. I learned directly
about the many obstacles that often
delay purchasing decisions at a large
corporate customer which now helps
me support and empathize with our
distributors.

Communication
While the nature of interpersonal
communication has changed drastically
over the last 20-years of my career, the
foundation of what is important has
remained unchanged. I still believe in
people answering the phone instead
of an automated system. I also still
believe strongly in face-to-face interaction. While it has become increasingly
difficult to schedule office meetings, I
rely heavily on video conferencing to
sustain personal connections regardless
of where I'm at in the world. Our company also provides direct support in the
field for our distributor salespeople,

causing a number of us to be on the
road constantly. We rely on brief, but
clear, telephone, video conferencing,
email, and even text messaging while
on the road to support our customers
and the rest of the team.

Tools
Our customer base is diverse, beyond
just material handling, and the applications for our products are endless. This
forced me to create custom online quoting and customer-management software
that fit our specific needs. The software
allows customers, as well as my sales
team, to create custom configurations
of our guarding and storage products
to visualize what they are actually
ordering. It also provides real-time training as the design constraints are built
in for even the novice buyer. Internally
it has reduced the average time it takes
to build a quotation by 75%, saving the
valuable time of our staff so they can
better support and follow up with our
distributors using the CRM within the
application.
The MHEDA Journal | Third Quar ter 2 018

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