McWane, Inc. president and CEO Ruffner Page was among several of Alabama’s top business leaders who took part in the inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit presented by Yellowhammer Multimedia on February 19 at Birmingham’s Ross Bridge conference center. Ruffner was joined on the morning CEO panel by James W. Rane of Great Southern Wood, J. Michael Kemp of Kemp Management Solutions, Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance President Jimmy Parnell, and John D. Johns of Protective Life, who moderated the discussion. The Alabama business leaders agreed workforce development and improving infrastructure are keys to job creation in the state.
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions kicked off the summit Thursday night. Friday’s program started with a breakfast where Governor Robert Bentley challenged businesses and local governments to sell their region to potential employers and create an environment where entrepreneurism can flourish. McWane sponsored the lunch program featuring an interview with U.S. Senator Richard Shelby by Yellowhammer President and CEO Cliff Sims.
On a recent trip to India, McWane Chairman Phillip McWane and Chief Executive Officer Ruffner Page had the opportunity to see firsthand the McWane Services Private Ltd. (MSPL) operations that support McWane companies worldwide. They were impressed by the quality and support provided by each of the teams and the collaborative effort between MSPL and the McWane divisions in the U.S. They toured the Design, Product Development, IT/Help Desk, and Sales Support Services operations and discussed the various services with MSPL team members. There is potential for future expansion of these services to other McWane divisions that are not currently using these services.
The tech team currently supports Synapse, Zinwave, and Nighthawk and the goal is to expand these services to the Indian market. This is an example of how McWane teams 10,000 miles apart can work together to pool their strengths and develop products for both the U.S. and Indian markets. The tech team demonstrated the use of the iron mesh and the Multihawk for Phillip and Ruffner as well as the proposed plans for introducing these products to the Indian market. Phillip and Ruffner were pleased to learn that MSPL plans to open a remote office in Bangalore, India. Additional labs that will work on remote metering solutions, condition monitoring, and water solutions are also planned for the future.
Phillip and Ruffner also toured the valve plant and the valve testing and tooling facilities. The valve plant was set up in a record 6 months and is already supplying valves not only to South America and McWane Gulf, but has also entered the Indian market as well. The valves have been well received in the Indian market and we should see an uptick in sales in India in 2016 of the resilient gate, air release, check, and butterfly valves. In 2016, MSPL plans to expand the sizes offered and introduce and sell the metal seated and knife valves as well.
The two-day visit to Coimbatore ended with a dinner hosted by the MSPL team in honor of the visiting senior executives from the U.S.
As posted in the Birmingham Business Journal
McWane’s Ruffner Page shares tips on growth, management
Cindy F. Crawford Editor-Birmingham Business Journal
McWane Inc. President Ruffner Page talked to the Birmingham Kiwanis Club Tuesday about the national and international growth of the Birmingham-based manufacturer of iron pipes and fire extinguishers.
While talking about the company’s expansion into China and Colombia, Page shared the company’s philosophy on growth of the company and its employees.
Here are the top takeaways:
• If you want to grow and make a decision to acquire another business, your greatest strength is having a sense of urgency, but you don’t have to do anything to force the deal. For instance, don’t wait for the right market price.
• The most important quality they look for in an employee is their willingness to learn new things, give them time to do it and the common sense to innovate and get better.
• Give employees the confidence to try new things and get stable before giving them incentives to try something new.
• Practice humble management of the staff and managers have to know they can’t do it all themselves.
• When it comes to managing people, he said the company works hard to uncover talent that’s within its workers.
• Always be nice to people, because you never know when you’ll need them later. Page said he finds people he trusts 100 percent who work in various industries and businesses and establishes relationships with them to turn to when he needs help – many times for help preventing him from making bad decisions.
For instance, he met a man who was born in China, raised in India and now lives in Canada who has been very helpful as McWane expands into China, which he described as being dysfunctional and challenging.
McWane Inc. is the fifth largest private company in Birmingham with revenue of more than $1 billion, according to the BBJ’s largest private companies List. It has about 5,500 employees across its international footprint.
On Wednesday, March 5, 2014, Governor Robert Bentley presented the Governor’s Trade Excellence Awards to eight Alabama companies that are excelling in international trade.
The recipients are:
- Aladdin Light Lift Inc. (Huntsville)
- Archangel Systems Inc. (Auburn)
- ES Robbins Corp. (Muscle Shoals)
- Fagerman Technologies Inc. (Somerville)
- Hornsby Steel Inc. (Cleveland)
- McWane Inc. (Birmingham)
- Mitternight Inc. (Satsuma)
- PESA (Huntsville)
“The companies honored here today make up an important component of the state’s engine for growth, retention and job creation,” Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield said. “A sustained increase in exports plays a key role in Accelerate Alabama, the state’s strategic plan for economic development.”
The Governor’s Trade Excellence Awards Program was established in 2005 to recognize Alabama manufacturers and service companies for excelling in international trade. The objectives of this program include identifying Alabama’s successful exporters, promoting exporters as role models to the Alabama business community and increasing awareness of the impact of exporting on Alabama’s economy.
The awards program is coordinated by the Alabama Department of Commerce and the Export Alabama Alliance. The program recognizes small, medium, and large businesses, including new-to-export companies located throughout the state.
For the official press release, please visit: http://www.mcwane.com/news/news-releases/mcwane-receives-the-governor-s-trade-excellence-award/