Thursday, October 18, 2007

Building Bridges to China - Chinese Engineering Intern Helps Loeb

Selling equipment to more than 10 overseas countries sets a new record for Loeb this year. When I was young, I remember listening to my father talk about selling machinery to Central and South America as if these were far-away places—what with all of the shipping challenges. Today, it’s commonplace for Loeb to sell equipment to these countries. Overseas markets have become our new frontier—from selling aseptic packaging equipment to Ghana through the African Development Foundation to sending a baking oven to Papua New Guinea (which took six months to get there!). Yes, the world is becoming smaller and smaller each passing year.

This past summer, we took on an intern from China named Yunguang Chen. A student at Purdue University majoring in Packaging and Food Sciences, Yunguang quickly became know as “YG” in our office as he helped us build our growing overseas customer base. YG came to Purdue University to study because the quality of equipment and environmental standards are so low in his hometown of Nanjing, China. He hopes to take what he’s learned about capitalizing on pre-owned machinery back to his country to help them boost their understanding of quality food production under safer conditions.

All of us at Loeb have enjoyed learning from YG, as well as sharing our knowledge of the industry. Of course, we’re still wondering how he came to love country music so quickly, but that is another story…

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Capitalizing on Your Network

I am proud to be a member of the business organization EO (Entrepreneurial Organization) www.eonetwork.org which provides opportunities for principles of non public companies to share experiences, including sharing best practices, lessons learned, coordinate seminars, hire speakers etc. In Chicago we have some of our current and hopefully future clients that are also are members. If you do not know the following companies please review their websites, there might be a benefit to you to know them.
  • www.brucepackaging.com
  • www.foodevolution.com
  • www.goldenwalnut.com
  • www.kernalseasons.com
  • www.popocrnpalace.com
  • www.senortamale.com
One of the interesting trends that I have seen is that as I build relationships with other members that have no direct links or interest in the pre-owned capital equipment and financial world that I live in, I find that I am receiving great insight by listening to their experiences and applying them to my situation. Sometimes they start sharing an experience that seems to have no relevance to my situation but at the end of the conversation I’m frantically recording random thoughts the conversation provoked that will have a direct benefit on the situation.

The really interesting part of this is how often I am having a conversation with someone that I barely know about a situation that either they or I are dealing with as business owners and then one of us refers someone that might be able to help either directly or through experience sharing. The power of this is that we are helping each other with no direct benefit to ourselves or our bottom lines. Net net…we are all members of this organization knowing that we have valuable information for other people and that we will receive it in return, thus the ideal networking scenario.

This experience has made me think about our network of contacts here at Loeb and what a powerful team of people we have in that network. From Bankers, Bankruptcy trustees, lawyers, leasing companies, Real Estate brokers, Co-Packers, manufactures, logistics companies, equipment movers, Engineers or highly talented people that unfortunately have been laid off, the list goes on and on.

Since I have seen the power of capitalizing on your network first hand, I wanted to make sure that it was clear to you that our network here at Loeb is open for your use, please do not hesitate to use us as a resource, we might be able to help you fill that vacant position, solve a logistics problem or many other situations that have nothing to do with pre-owned equipment or financial services, you will be surprised at who we know. So if there is a situation that you or your team is dealing with if we cannot help, it will be our pleasure to introduce you to someone that you should meet from our network and the only benefit to Loeb is helping us strengthen that network.

Below are some web sites that discus networks if you are interested in learning more on how to capitalize on your network visit: www.Linkedin.com or www.Koolse.com.