With 22 years onboard, Phil O'Donnell is one of the longest-lived employees of Strand Lighting. At various times, he's been, among other things, managing director of Strand Asia and president of Strand Lighting. In November, he embarked on a new phase of his life at Strand, as he became the company's CEO. Here, he answers a few questions about his new role and the future of Strand.
1. How will your daily duties change in your new position?
I'm now looking at some areas of the business, e.g. finance and manufacturing in Europe, which I was not deeply involved in before. I'll be less actively involved in the details of the sales operations as well.
2. What are your goals for Strand Lighting in the year 2001?
Our goals for 2001 are to continue our sales growth, to successfully introduce and develop more new products, and to continually improve our manufacturing/customer service operations.
3. As one of the industry's most international companies, are you targeting any new global markets?
In geographical terms we already have quite comprehensive coverage. In terms of markets for certain types of products in certain areas, there are clearly opportunities for growth which we will be pursuing.
4. Strand has almost totally reinvented its product line in the last few years. You've had particular success with network and dimming systems. What are you looking at next?
We are working on programs for both control and lighting fixture products.
5. It's been a year of many big-ticket projects - Millennial celebrations, the Olympics, and the political conventions. Where do you think this industry is headed in 2001?
The bulge in activity represented by these types of projects, and much of the Millennial year activity in general, was not essential for us. With the global diversity we enjoy, we expect to see cycles of activity with continual ups and downs in various areas. We do not foresee a worldwide post-Millennial slowdown per se in the types of business we are typically involved in, although from the "large events" perspective there may well be one.