Across the last 55-plus years of being in the manufacturing business, we have developed business philosophies that have helped us make progress while keeping on track. I thought it would be interesting to give our readers a distilled list of some of these philosophies. We would quickly say that our ways are not the only ways or even the best ways in all cases; we would simply suggest that our ways fit us and who we are, and they are a collection of learning from our experiences.
In-source instead of out-source. We do as much of the manufacturing process in-house as possible. Doing the work ourselves allows us to quickly make product improvements and control product quality
Do our own product design and development. Making our own designs and not “reverse engineering” other product designs gives the opportunity to offer products that have original thinking while offering unique features, benefits and value to the customer.
Do our own manufacturing. As a Colorado family in the manufacturing business, manufacturing is our passion. We do not want others to do the manufacturing for us, either off-shore or close to home.
Put our family name on the product and make the name stand for excellence. We have always believed that the name on the product should be the name of the people who stand behind the product. Building a good name and good reputation is a treasured part of being in a business that lasts a long time.
Maintain financial independence to keep control. It is only possible to keep promises made and protect the investments made if the manufacturer keeps financial control. We have worked conservatively and carefully to self-fund our business growth and to avoid indebtedness to outside investors and bankers.
Keep business personal and operate family-style. We want to know as many of our suppliers, distributors, dealers and endcustomers as possible. That means answering phone calls, e-mails and letters, and welcoming factory visits as well as making visits around the world—wherever Walker Mowers are found.
Recognize God as the senior business partner of our company. We show gratitude for His help in developing the products and business opportunity we enjoy today, and operate the business with integrity befitting our Senior Partner.
While some of these ways are “high sounding” and may sound idealistic, I want to assure you that we are very much human, have made mistakes and failed from time-to-time. In fact, some of these ways were learned the “hard way” after failure. My dad always liked to say he went to the school of hard knocks. Today we are the beneficiaries of those earlier experiences and we keep learning.