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Getting to know Wade Jones

Wednesday, 20 Feb 2019 ( #911 ) - McConnellsburg, PA, United States
News Story
Wade Jones
JLG Industries recently named Wade Jones as general manager of North America Parts, a newly created role. Forkliftaction News found out a bit more about Jones.

Forkliftaction News:  Prior to this appointment, what has been your biggest achievement?
Wade Jones:  Rarely are significant achievements the result of a single individual—they are the result of great teams. Some of the biggest team achievements that I have been a part of include the modernisation of the replacement parts business for JLG and growth of our Atlanta parts distribution centre. I’m very proud of the work that we accomplished in those areas, directly impacting the customer experience.

Forkliftaction News:  What excites you most about the materials handling industry?
Wade Jones:  We work with and create tangible things, which gives me immediate gratification in being able to stand back at the end of the day and see the results of our efforts. In the modern economy, so much of what is produced is not tangible. That’s not to say that there isn’t appreciation for those things, but I’m grateful to be in an industry where the impact can be seen and touched every day.

Forkliftaction News:  What is the most significant change you have seen in the industry in your time?
Wade Jones:  Operational systems have significantly changed the speed of business and, along with it, customer expectations. It has also driven efficiencies to such a level that any deviation has a significant impact throughout the network. I am not referring to just information flow, but also the business processes that it supports. Think of the dependence we have on just-in-time delivery, expedited freight, and integrated ERP systems — these things have all led to improved efficiencies in capital but has also netted delicate relationships that are significantly impacted by any deviations.
The operating efficiency necessary to remain profitable has also changed the distribution model in our industry. The end-user of our equipment must experience superior utilisation of the asset. Whether that asset is working in a distribution centre or digging a hole, it needs to be actively adding value to the business. Along with more productive equipment, this has led to a change in fleet management relationships between the end-user, distributor and manufacturer. Whether this results in leasing equipment with full maintenance or moving to a rental model, who owns the equipment has become less important to the end-user of the equipment.

Forkliftaction News:  What is the biggest opportunity that you see in your new role?
Wade Jones:  Most JLG equipment is deployed in rental applications. But whether rented or retailed, customers have many types of products they can invest their capital in, let alone many suppliers from which to choose. My role is to support the team in enabling the customer to maximise their return on capital deployed. High equipment utilisation and strong resale value require outstanding product support. JLG has long distinguished itself in supporting these areas and we continue to develop new and innovative ways to strengthen this competitive advantage.

Forkliftaction News:  Can you share one piece of information about yourself which would surprise our readers?
Wade Jones: Fresh out of college, I started my career as an engineer, working for a manufacturing company. It was a great 9-5 job that I enjoyed, but the organisation had a need for production supervision on second and third shift. With some doubt, mostly because I had never done the work, I decided to accept the new role. Taking on increased and new responsibilities, along with going to work when most of my peers were going to sleep or having fun socially, was certainly more difficult than expected and I second-guessed my decision numerous times. But that being said, it did create career opportunities and experiences that I otherwise may not have had, and, though not obvious at the time, was one of the more important career decisions I ever made.
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