We visited the Garmin Corporation today and met with Kevin Rauckman, CFO, Laurie Minard, VP of HR, and Ted Gartner, Senior Manager of Corporate Communications. Ted started off the activities telling us about Garmin and the beginnings of the company. Laurie pointed out that their mission statement, which was written within the first year of the company’s existence, has never changed. It still holds true today, 20 years later. This company believes in Vertical Integration; they in-source everything. They own their own manufacturing plant, packing and shipping, etc… Keeping everything in-house is important to Garmin. One of their biggest challenges is recruiting the best of the best. They have high standards in recruiting. However, once in, the benefits are great and they treat their employees with respect. Their employees WANT to work there and WANT to do good things for the company. They also value “face time”. Teleworking does not fit in to their work force. Garmin employees want to know who they are working with and they feel they can not get to know employees they can not see face-to-face. They have strong training programs that involve extensive mentorships and follow-up. Garmin also believes in efficiency. Their technicians/specialists on certain pieces of equipment are adjacent to the testing/quality control areas so problems in testing can be addressed immediately. They know their supply and demand and keep on top of it, including knowing how long it will take to get a production line up and running to produce the needed inventory. It is no wonder Garmin is on top of the navigation systems market. They treat their employees right, stay on top of the leading edge of navigation technology, and listen to their employee, customers, and any other avenue available to them.
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