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January 08 www.bus-ex.com 99 Center and also held several management positions during his 22-year history with Butler Manufacturing. Along the way, Winkler became a supporter of Toyota’s “lean manufacturing” production system. “It’s really about fi nding ways of doing more with the resources you have, getting customers and employees involved with the process, and coming up with a solution,” he said. In fact, Winkler’s leadership style refl ects much of Charlie’s approach to running his company, with humility and vision. “My career aspiration was to be a leader,” he said in a company publication at the time of his appointment. “I knew it was important to have a good understanding of how various aspects of a manufacturing company works. Now, when I’m working with various functional VPs in an organization, I can have real empathy and speak to their needs. Walking in another man’s moccasins for a mile is something very valuable.” MilbankManufacturing quickly bring new ideas to the marketplace. It’s all about time to market.” At its Gardner manufacturing facility in Kansas City, for instance, Milbank puts its products to the test with triple-digit temperatures, torrential rain that sprays up, not down; 2,000 pounds of force, and the effects of more than 20-30 years of wear and tear in a single day. These tests are administered within the company’s own testing lab, which is certifi ed by Underwriters Laboratories, the industry-leading product safety testing and certifi cation organization. Although relations of founder Charlie Milbank help to run the company at the executive level, the team brought in Lavon Winkler to bring the company through yet another change. He was promoted from COO to the position of president and CEO in 2006. Before coming to Milbank, Winkler was president and CEO of Mid-America Manufacturing Technology

100 www.bus-ex.com January 08 Illinois Auto Electric expands to meet changing demands. Brigid Ford reports What started as a small auto repair shop in 1915 has evolved so much that its founder might not even recognize it now. The one thing that hasn’t changed about Illinois Auto Electric Company is ownership—that remains squarely in the hands of the Sirotek family—a constant that has allowed it to adapt to the diverse needs of its customers. Today, IAE has expanded to four operational divisions and is counted among America’s largest independent sales and service facilities of transportation, industrial equipment, and outdoor care products. Transportation clients are served by two divisions, Illinois Auto Central/Great Lakes Thermo King and IAE Power Products. Its Thermo King business, which started in 1956, is conducted through two locations in the greater Chicago area, with Illinois Auto Central offering a guaranteed maintenance program, Qualcomm satellite communications installation and repair, tractor service, total trailer repair, fifth wheel installation and repair, and parts delivery. As a leader in the heavy duty fleet market for over 50 years, IAE also offers a number of truck equipment lines for the leasing, transit, trucking, refrigerated fleet and off-road equipment markets. IAE Power Products started in the locomotive supply business in 1947 with fuel injection products. Over the years, it has expanded its railroad product offering to compressors, governors, starters and many other parts. Today it represents many major distribution clients, including Gardner Denver, Woodward Governor Co., and Longwood Elastomers Co., among others. The division is constantly increasing its new product offerings through such alliances, with a focus on exceeding the expectations of its customers. IAE Power Products also remanufactures locomotive components in its own AAR approved shop. For its outdoor equipment customers, IAE has its Midwest Engine Warehouse division. Products and services from this division reach a wide range of customers, including service professionals, contractors, landscapers, municipalities, arborists, cemeteries, golf courses, do-ityourselfers, catalog houses, manufacturers and mass retailers. Midwest Engine Warehouse is an authorized central sales and service distributor for Briggs & Stratton, and a distributor for Oregon Cutting Systems. This division’s capabilities include customized distribution services, EDI and shipments in excess of 7,000 orders per day (typically shipped same day). It is highly committed to customer service and training with modern education centers and factory trained instructors and technicians. The company offers world-class, OEM-approved training to customers on a continuing basis which assures outstanding service support for all the products the company distributes. Most recently, IAE has brought together its more than 90 years of experience to create THAHT Company, a value-added supply chain partner. Through THAHT, which stands for Time, Honor, Qualitydistribution