Both Edwards Brothers Inc and Malloy Incorporated have long traditions of being family owned businesses in the Ann Arbor area. Over the years, each family has helped grow the respective businesses into the multimillion dollar organizations that they are today. In their own words, Herb Upton and Marty Edwards give some insight into how this was accomplished.
“I Think It’s the Right Move”
A quote from Herb Upton above sums up his thoughts on the merger between the two book printing companies. Herb helped grow then Malloy Lithographing Inc. from 500,000 dollars per year in revenue to over 35 million today. According to Upton, they accomplished this with a very “can do” workforce of resourceful people who made it work. He offers his golden rules for running a business.
Do the best job you can taking care of customers
“Customers are very hard to get and easy to lose and competitors are always around ready to take them away from you.” Upton also said that it’s important to build strong relationships built on trust with buyers: “If there’s an opportunity to help them out, to make them look good, it’s a smart thing to do.”
Take care of employees
“You need to be sensitive to employee needs, be supportive,” said Upton. “It’s a lot more pleasant to work in a place where people are happy. If people aren’t happy they’re disruptive, they’re not cooperative. If you can avoid all that stuff it’s not only a whole lot more pleasant place to work, it’s more productive.”
Focus on profitability
Upton believes that if you do a good job taking care of customers and employees, it goes a long way toward achieving profitability. Part of that formula involves having good people in supervision, which he feels Malloy has always had.
Final words from Upton on the merger
“The merger will bring some change; people should try to pull together and make things work. They should not think of themselves as Malloy people or Edwards people, bet as being all on one team now.”
Teamwork Makes it Happen
You and I spend a high percentage of our waking hours at work, so I think most would agree that we would be wise to do what we can to make work a good experience for each of us. That suggests the question: How can we make EB a good experience?
Generally, psychologists and professionals in the management field talk about job enrichment, job security, job satisfaction, and a host of other elements that combine to make us feel “right” about our jobs at EB (or any other job for that matter).
There’s another slant worth exploring. If we can agree that it’s both an opportunity and our duty to serve customers, we can look at work from another point of view. Winning customers, satisfying them, and earning more of their business becomes the name of the game.
Winning customers is best accomplished through a team effort rather than as a result of a group of unrelated individual inputs. That’s what teamwork is all about. The Japanese have been very successful because they understand this fundamental of business. Every employee in many of their companies regards himself as a member of the team that exists to win and serve customers. The result? Fine products built at competitive prices, growth, job security, job enrichment, and job enlargement.
How do they do it? Is it merely because their culture is so different from ours that they build fine products and work well together? I doubt it. They win because they understand what work is all about—serving customers.
That’s no mystery. You know that and so do I. lately, it’s this very awareness and understanding among EB employees that has led to the excellent results we’ve been reporting during the recession.
Who is doing this? You are. You , your supervisors, fellow employees, and management. What does it all add up to? Very simply, a winning team. Your team.
Pictured above are John Edwards and Bill Upton. John is a 4th generation Edwards to be at the helm of the company. Bill is a 2nd generation Upton to be running Malloy Incorporated. Together the families open a new chapter in the book printing industry as Edwards Brothers Malloy.