Generation next

| Print |  Email
Articles - April 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
0412_Tactics_04
// Photo by Adam Bacher

Those broom handles and rat traps may never get made, but that’s beside the point. The point is that 72-year-old Diebold Lumber isn’t just cutting wood and letting the excess fall where it may. It’s remade itself as the kind of lean, efficient manufacturer that knows every small savings and every small increase in margin is critical.

Lawson, a successful lawyer, met Patrick at Patrick’s youngest daughter’s wedding. He was the best man. Lawson later did some information technology work for Diebold, went off to law school and eventually found his way back as vice president of sales.

Patrick says Lawson has brought more of a sales focus to Diebold. “They’ve never had to sell themselves,” Lawson says. “The customers always found them by reputation.” He’s attending trade shows and keeping his ears open for any opportunity.

Another new initiative launched by Lawson and Patrick is a board of advisers made up of veteran business people from within and without the wood products industry. These are all people Lawson has connections with, and they come together regularly to brainstorm ideas and solve problems for Diebold. Patrick calls them “the gray-haired board of advisers.”

Lawson hopes all these efforts are pointing toward a big payoff. He and Patrick are working on a deal that could see a company bring its re-manufacturing work to Diebold instead of  China. That would prove there is plenty of room for innovation in Oregon’s oldest industry.



 

More Articles

Labor Pains

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Thinking about starting an internship program? Be careful. Navigating unpaid internships can be tricky.


Read more...

Carbon Power

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Researchers in a multitude of disciplines are searching for ways to soak up excess carbon dioxide, the compound that contributes to global warming.


Read more...

The city as startup

Guest Blog
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
011415 citystartup-thumbBY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Startups in the growth phase are associated with a fresh infusion of capital — human and financial — a curiosity factor and products to disrupt the market and drive demand. Portland’s economy gives off the same aroma.


Read more...

Will Medford Ever Be Cool?

February 2015
Friday, January 23, 2015
BY DAN COOK | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A real-estate developer and a Lithia Motors executive aim to revamp the city's forlorn downtown.


Read more...

The Carbon Calculus

February 2015
Friday, January 23, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Carbon pricing is gaining momentum in Oregon, sparking concern for energy-intensive businesses — but also opportunity to expand a homespun green economy.


Read more...

Corner Office: Marv LaPorte

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

The president of LaPorte & Associates lets us in on his day-to-day life.


Read more...

Leading with the right brain

News
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS