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A Letter from the New President

by Don Macleod

In March 1982, I joined Applied Motion Products as a project engineer, and almost 30 years later I am excited and honored to return as president.

My first assignment when I joined AMP was to design a stepper motor for a disc drive customer. Having recently graduated with a PhD focused on step motor design, I set out to design a superior motor. When the motor failed its first round of qualifications, I quickly realized that while it was well-designed, it did not meet the customer's needs and was not a right match. Eventually, after several iterations, we qualified the product and landed the business. This was my first lesson in customer satisfaction and it stuck with me over the years: The key to business success is to develop a deep understanding of customer requirements, and to make sure you stay focused on satisfying those requirements.

After several months enjoying 100% market share, the industry shifted. Memory requirements doubled and soon our motor was obsolete. Within a few months sales had slipped to zero and we had to immediately design an advanced version to support higher capacities. This was my second lesson in customer satisfaction: It is not good enough to rest on your achievements. You have to have a sustainable source of competitive advantage and continue to provide solutions to customer requirements over the long haul.

While there have been tremendous changes in the business landscape in the last thirty years, these two points are as true today as they have always been. Since returning to Applied Motion, I have been acutely aware of these lessons and I have made this the foundation of our growth strategy. We must become a market facing company, understand our customers' requirements and continue to provide solutions. Trends in factory automation present Applied Motion Products with a great opportunity; with our broad customer base, extensive network of distributors, strategic partners and experienced employees we are well positioned to capitalize on these trends and achieve substantial growth.

Don J Macleod, President
Applied Motion Products, Inc.

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