Gene Gray, president of Innovative IDM talks about the challenging decision he made to survive the recession and the need for balance between work and home.
00:07 Gene Gray: I'm Gene Gray. I'm the president of Innovative-IDM. Started the company on April 3rd of 2000, and we're a company that sells services and products. We're about 56% products and about, you know, the balance of that being services. But we help factories that have large automated processes, a lot of... Or, we help companies that build the machinery that goes into those plants with the different things that spin, move, go back and forth, or the control systems. So, we have roughly about 90 employees today. We entered last year, about August last year we had 30.
What has been a tough decision you have made at Innovative IDM?
00:51 Gray: We had a big meeting in March of 2009. It was what I thought would be one of the toughest... It was one of my toughest meetings I've ever held with the company. We had to figure out how we were going to make ends meet, on such as dramatic loss and revenue. And so, I look through it, and I see we really had, and always have, operated real lean. I said, "Well, how am I going to make... How am I going to make this work? Where are we going to come up with this revenue? Or the profits?"
01:22 Gray: And so I made a decision at that point that everybody in the company was going to participate equally in a pay cut. And so I brought everybody together in one of our training rooms, and I said, "All right. Here's the way it's going to happen." I said everybody in here gets a ten percent pay cut today. Said, "If you need to find another job, if you can't pay your bills, I understand. I'm okay with that. I'll help you. I'll write out... I'll go interview with you." I said, "But there's nobody here that's not pulling their weight. We're just in a bad situation with the economy." And so by making this one adjustment, we'll be able to get by on what we're selling on a monthly basis today to make it through the economy. And so we came out of 2009 only having a 4.5 percent decline in gross profit from the year prior, and that was a huge success for us.
What is one of the key factors to your success?
02:16 Gray: I think there's... I believe that what helped me be successful is a couple of things. One is I'm not afraid to fail, and if I don't get it right, I'll keep changing until I do. What's continued to make me successful as a CEO, or as a president, as a leader is balance. If you look forward going home at night, and you look forward driving to work in the morning, you're going to be a lot more successful. And so if you keep those in balance, things spin a lot easier than if one of them is out, 'cause they impact each other so much. And so you do have to have balance. It's very, very important.
Last updated: Aug 23, 2011
ANDREW MACLEAN is the video editor at Inc.com. He previously worked at MediaStorm and did his graduate studies in video production at Syracuse University.
He can be contacted via email at: email@example.com.