J.W. Winco wins second prize in business challenge

July 12, 2010

J. W. Winco Inc., New Berlin, Wis., has won second prize in the "How I Got My Business out of Hot Water" business challenge from the Independent Business Association of Wisconsin (IBAW) and Reliable Water Services LLC.

The company's winning essay, written by Marketing Communications Specialist Diane Lau, described how upper management at J.W.Winco reacted when the economy and the industrial manufacturing industry declined in 2008.

"Until then, our business had been growing steadily. In fact, we just built a 40 percent expansion and redesign of our facility in New Berlin," Lau wrote. "Switching gears so suddenly from a growth outlook to survival mode was a huge challenge."

The essay described methods used by the company to ride out the storm, including upper management salary reductions, using employees for tasks previously outsourced, finding more cost-effective shipping, and chipping away at operating costs. It also explained the lessons learned during the recession, which the company applies now that the crisis is over.

"We had new focus on things like return on investment, efficiency, cooperation, and enthusiasm for selling," she wrote. "We know now that we have to apply consistent effort to constant improvement and never assume the status quo is good enough."

Flexo-Graphics LLC (Butler) took first prize, and Two Men and a Truck (Madison) took third prize.

J.W. Winco offers an extensive selection of inch- and metric-size adjustable levers; cabinet U-handles; plastic and steel hinges and locking mechanisms; revolving and retractable handles; hand wheel; hand cranks; conveyor components; leveling mounts; hand knobs; spring, ball, and indexing plungers; jig, fixture, and fastening components; toggle clamps; metric casters and wheels; universal joints; oil sight glasses; and metric tools for the industrial and commercial equipment industries.

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