The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 28


SOUTHWEST MATERIALS HANDLING

has been the cornerstone for the success of the company."
Even as the world changes and the
industry evolves, Harper believes that
there is no substitute for genuine relationships and real communication.
"There aren't personal relationships
today like there used to be," says
Harper. "I'm not saying relationships
don't exist today, but we have to work
very hard to make that a reality some
days. And that's a shame because it
makes your job more enjoyable if you
are comfortable with the relationships
that you have with your manufacturers
and with your partners. It has changed
dramatically and I suspect it's going to
continue to change."
But through that change, Harper and
Southwest have made concerted efforts
to maintain those relationships.

Quality Check
"Before we even begin to consider
any manufacturer relationship, my general philosophy is to get on a plane and
fly to the location and meet with the
key people," Harper says.
Although this step requires an investment of time and money, Harper believes
the due diligence always pays off.
"We don't want to jump into a relationship that is going to hurt our customers or our company, today or in
the future."
Even beyond the way technology
has changed the nature of communication and relationships, there is another
factor that has changed the dynamic
as well.
"People don't last very long in companies," Harper says. "You sometimes
call up and ask to speak with the person you've been working with and
they're not there anymore. And then
that relationship-building process starts
up all over again. It's a challenge."
Boughton adds, "We encourage our
sales team to do as much face-to-face
as possible. Whether that's cold calling and making sales face-to-face, or
hand-delivering proposals or taking
customers to lunch. If there's an install
on a job being there for the install. It's
28

MHEDA | themhedajournal.org

important to us that we continue to
be there after they've signed on the
bottom-line, so to speak."

A Company Built
on Quality
The company's mission statement
is: A Company Built on Quality. That
mantra is printed on its business cards,
website and all literature.
"That can be expanded on," Harper
says. "It means quality people, quality
customers and quality product offering
and service. After all, we are the company built on quality. We have always
and will continue to always be driven
by quality."
More and more in recent years, customers are looking for complete turnkey service and a one-stop-shop for all
of its material handling needs. Since
the beginning, Southwest has sought
to provide that.
"With a lot of our customers, that
puts us in a different light," Harper
says. "The customer has the ability
to visualize that and we promote it to
our customer. We've got a pretty broad
line sheet."
And while a true full-service operation is pretty rare in the industry, it's
especially so in a major city.
"In a major market like Dallas, it's
different than smaller marketplaces,"
Harper points out. "We've tried our
best to be that broad-service provider.
With various changes to manufacturers
and suppliers, some days we are that
and other days we aren't as complete

as we'd like to be. But generally speaking, we are broader-based than most
of our competitors."
New sales are just a part of the equation, however. Southwest prides itself
on its customer service and after-market offerings.
"If a customer calls in the morning,
it's possible he may get serviced that
same day. He will get serviced by the
next day, for sure," Harper says. "Much
of our competition is three or four days
response time. We're actually being
able to respond to our customers within
24 hours and that's an exception rather
than a rule in our industry."
Maintenance is another area where
Southwest works with customers to
ensure they're up to OSHA standards.
The company implements programs to
help ensure that customers are aware of
safety issues for their protection and to
meet and exceed OSHA requirements.
It's that personal touch that keeps
customers coming back year after year.
"People want a small, family-owned,
hands-on company to work with sometimes," Harper says. "They're tired
of being a number in a big national
corporation."

Loyal Employees
Those tenets of integrity, relationship-building, and personal service
have permeated the company from
the top down. It's no coincidence that
employees who join the company join
for the long haul.
"We have had numerous employees
whose tenure was more than 20 years,"
says Harper. "Our parts manager who
retired in 2015 was with us for 31 years.
My son, Kenn Harper, has been with
the company for 29 years. We go into
every hire with the intent of it being a
long-term relationship."
That's why the company has an indepth interview process complete with
personality and capability profile testing.
"We go through the testing process
and we of course look at their work history," says Harper. "One of our goals,
which we're currently in the process
continued on page 30


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016

Chairman’s Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Editor’s Note
Ask Your Board
2016 MHEDA University Calendar
Women in Industry
Mheda Mvp And Mvs Recipients
Mheda Member Profile
@Work
Women @Work
Industry Pulse
Sales Success Stories
2017 Critical Impact Factors
Planning The 2017 Critical Impact Factors
Making Sense Of “All The Things”
Mobile – A Necessity For B2b Marketing
Big Challenge For Small Business
How To Make Millennials Loyal To Your Organization
Returnable Racks And Containers Are A Big Trend In Environmental (And Cost-Effective) Packaging
Sales Intel
Generating Adequate Profit In Turbulent Times
New Members
Spotlight on Association News
MHEDA Milestones
Index of Advertisers by Product Category
The Last Word
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - cover1
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - cover2
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 3
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 4
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 5
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 6
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 7
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 8
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 9
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 10
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Chairman’s Perspective
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 12
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - From the Desk of Liz Richards
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 14
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Editor’s Note
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 16
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Ask Your Board
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 18
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 19
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 2016 MHEDA University Calendar
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 21
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 22
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Women in Industry
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Mheda Mvp And Mvs Recipients
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 25
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Mheda Member Profile
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 27
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 28
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 29
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 30
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - @Work
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 32
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Women @Work
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Industry Pulse
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 35
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Sales Success Stories
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 37
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 38
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 39
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 40
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 41
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 42
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 43
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 44
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 45
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 46
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 47
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 48
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 49
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 50
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 51
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 52
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 53
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 54
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 55
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 56
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 57
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 58
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 59
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 2017 Critical Impact Factors
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 61
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Planning The 2017 Critical Impact Factors
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 63
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Making Sense Of “All The Things”
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 65
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Mobile – A Necessity For B2b Marketing
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 67
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 68
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 69
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Big Challenge For Small Business
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 71
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 72
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 73
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 74
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 75
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - How To Make Millennials Loyal To Your Organization
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 77
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Returnable Racks And Containers Are A Big Trend In Environmental (And Cost-Effective) Packaging
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 79
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Sales Intel
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 81
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 82
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 83
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 84
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 85
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Generating Adequate Profit In Turbulent Times
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 87
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 88
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - New Members
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 90
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Spotlight on Association News
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 92
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 93
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 94
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - MHEDA Milestones
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 96
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 97
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - Index of Advertisers by Product Category
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 99
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 100
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - 101
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - The Last Word
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - cover3
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2016 - cover4
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