A Very Special Performance

I want to tell you about an incredible real-life performance. Less than a year ago, I was fortunate enough to meet the president of Gosiger Northwest, a company that sells machining equipment (such as lathes and milling machines). Patrick Ofenloch is this president’s name, and he’s extremely passionate about his business, about performance in the workplace, about his team, and about doing great work. In fact, I’d say he’s passionate about life.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Patrick, and I could tell he was excited. His words were, “My company has won ‘Supplier of the Year by the National Association for the Employment of People who are Blind’ for work we did for the Lighthouse for the Blind of Seattle.”

Patrick went on to say, “The award is given to the company that helps promote and develop employment of non-sighted people. They also look at support, delivery, as well as cost reductions.”

“We have sold Lighthouse for the Blind six CNC machines. They all are run by blind people. Their business has continually improved to where they added a second shift and are thinking about adding a third. We were able to develop voice software as well as integrate things like larger CRT monitors, bar code readers, in-process automatic gauging, in-process cutting tool verification, as well as integrated inspection equipment. Really cool stuff.”

As I think about, I don’t know which is a more impressive performance, Gosiger’s or that of the people at Lighthouse for the Blind.

And get this: “We also shared all of the processes, support and software with another company in Arizona and Wisconsin. We have been doing this at no charge to the companies.” What? Give away what some would consider an advantage?

Has this resulted in more business for Gosiger? Patrick says, “What this has done is it has taught us so much more about the equipment we sell that it actually has helped us win more business at other companies.”

But even if it hadn’t resulted in more business, is that a bad thing? Should a business ever do something that doesn’t result directly in more business? I guess that’s a question that only the people in charge of the company can make. One thing I know from my own experience is that the more I “gave” away – the more I offered help to others – the more business just seemed to drop into my lap.

“This project led us to develop, together with Lighthouse for the Blind, some unique applications that we never would have thought of before, Patrick said. “When we started this project we had an idea of utilizing our open architecture CNC control, but were not sure of the outcome of success. As a result, the installation is cutting edge technology and has been an inspiration to all of us.”

Of course, there is huge personal satisfaction for Patrick: “It feels so freakin’ good. I am so proud of everyone I work with. The award says a lot about the team I work with… There is no honor higher than being recognized like this by one of our customers. It has been a career goal of mine to be thought of like this. This is what we strive for every day – to be our customer’s supplier of the year… I have achieved one of my career goals and it feels pretty good.”

Pretty good? That’s an understatement!

Congratulations to Patrick and his team at Gosiger Northwest. And to the Lighthouse for the Blind. Now that’s performance!

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One Response to “A Very Special Performance”

  1. Josh Reaume says:

    That’s really cool! Nice work! 🙂