In the 1980s, Dürr Systems, Inc. created a line of products to help combat paint pollution, and in 1988, they started the Environmental Division.
Stephen Blocki led a team of sales agents for the division and it enjoyed a period of expansive growth over the next several years, which culminated in the purchase of their two largest competitors in 1998 and 1999.
Over the next two years, the integration of the acquisitions proved disastrous, and in 2001, Dürr Systems laid off roughly half of its employees as the business restructured.
Blocki was offered the chance to stay as vice president of the Environmental and Energy Systems Division, which he accepted.
Blocki did not waste any time working to make the company profitable again. With a smaller management team, he had fewer restrictions and was able to let his entrepreneurial spirit shine. He quickly created standard operating procedures that empower others to drive the organization. He removed any barriers he could so his employees are not afraid to move forward with their ideas.
His priority was to empower people, remove obstacles and get out of the way, allowing his employees to innovate and providing them with the freedom they desire. He also put into place a risk management program where members of the project team meet at each stage of the process to discuss the risk involved and what they can do to alleviate any possible risk to ensure a successful, profitable project.
One of the most significant outcomes of this process was when he linked the goals of the sales force with the goals of the service and delivery group, creating a more unified team, driving better decisions, better service and profitability, not to mention an improved working relationship between the two functions.
How to reach: Dürr Systems, Inc., www.durr.com/en