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Talking With Pete Milbery, President of Neutrik® USA About Charlotte Relocation

Pete Milbery, president of Neutrik® USA, discusses the relocation of the company and its many benefits.

 

Q: Can you talk about the new facility and the transition from New Jersey to North Carolina?

A: Moving to North Carolina is a big change for all of us. It is a different environment and a different culture. We nearly doubled the physical size and we are now in an ideal location for Neutrik. Charlotte is a city that embraces multicultural demographics and therefore considered very cosmopolitan and we are a cosmopolitan company. When you call Neutrik USA it is much like calling our other subsidiaries as in you get a wide variety of accents. The people in our new USA headquarters have accents from the South, from the North East, from Germany, from the Midwest and even from South Africa.

Q: Why did Neutrik decide to move its headquarters?

A: It started with our search for a building. We wanted to be owners rather than renters. In doing our due diligence we considered many Eastern Time Zone Cities. We needed to stay in the Eastern Time zone for communications with our parent company in Liechtenstein. From there it was a process of elimination. In the end we were very impressed by the more than 800 European companies located in Charlotte and the 194 German companies that are located there. Another factor was transportation. It is much better in Charlotte than in our previous location. There are many factors but a big one is that we are now located right at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.

Q: How has this move benefited Neutrik’s customers and reps so far? How will it continue to benefit them down the road?

A: Our new building allows us to do things we could not do in our old facility. The transition to North Carolina gave us the opportunity to restructure our operations in a new and exciting environment. We have put in a conveyor system, banding equipment, automatic pallet wrapping equipment. The full benefit is yet to be realized by our partners because as with any move we first had to survive the whirlwind of change and the enormous amount of detail that goes into any move. The good news is we are now positioned to start focusing on the improvements for the customers and reps.

Q: What are the improvements to the daily operations at Neutrik?

A: Most importantly we have much more room to stock product for our customers. We can better organize the product we have so there is not the same product in multiple bin locations. All like product is in the same storage area. This helps us fill orders faster and more accurately. Other improvements include a new bar coding system, an automated scale, new packaging equipment combined with much more space and 5 bay doors for shipping and receiving. Previously we had 2 bay doors in our old facility and our shipping processes were not automated with SAP as they now are in Charlotte. For these reasons and others we will be able to ship product more efficiently and offer more services with a faster response time.

Q: What new training opportunities will be available for staff and reps?

A: For me this is the most exciting part. With so much new space we are developing a training center for our staff, our sales reps and our distributors which will greatly improve the training we provide. I could talk for hours about this topic, but in a nutshell we have developed product displays and many hands on applications for people to learn about how to use Neutrik products and it will give us a great way to bring our team together in one place to train for new product launches.

Q: Are there any additional services that Neutrik can now provide?

A: We are now in a better position to consider additional services requested by our customers. We have started providing some additional services on a case by case basis. For example special labeling or consignment programs that we do are customized in each case and evaluated on the specific customer situation.

Q: What is the company’s outlook for 2011 – what do you hope to achieve?

A: We are looking forward to a more stable year than we have experienced in the past 2 years. It is our belief that the market will be more predictable with steady growth throughout the year. The largest growth will come from our data and power connectors. This should help us focus on the supply chain so that we can make sure we have the right product on the shelf for customers at the right time.