Hi I’m Paul Darley and thanks for tuning into our April issue of Inside Darley.
We’re just back from the annual meeting of the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association and they really had some great news coming out on the statistical end. Fire apparatus reported that orders were up 22% compared to 2012 and that was great news for 2013. Numbers were skewed a little bit based on some large export orders and some defense orders but even taking those out the domestic market looked to be up about 16%.
We also do a lot of surveying of our members on market conditions and they all said that economic conditions were the number one issue impacting their business right now. Many might call that a crisis.
In March of 2013 McKinsey released our first attachment today entitled “Ten Steps For Leading Your Company Out of a Crisis”. I can’t say that I embrace all the steps but I definitely embrace #2 which is “force yourself to criticize your own plan”, which we talked a lot about last month. Number 4 is “focusing on cash”, and number 5 is “create a change story” which is something that we here at Darley really embrace.
In fact our second article here is just on creating that story. It’s entitled “Success Starts With a Story” and was recently published in Inc. Magazine.
Also at FAMA they released for the first time the Fire Apparatus Safety Guide. This is designed to be delivered with new trucks and any fire department can go to FAMA.org and buy this safety manual. It covers everything from pump operation to driving the vehicle, maintenance and service. Really an incredible document created by a lot of hard work by FAMA members.
The last piece of great news was that Peter Darley my brother was named the Industry Star Achiever. He served as the FAMA president in 2010 so congratulations to Peter we are very proud.
If you’re like us you’re very busy getting ready for the FDIC show. That’s the largest trade show we attend each year. It will be held April 10-12th in Indianapolis, we encourage you to come by our Booth #1423 where we have over 3500 square feet of booth space and over 1000 feet just devoted to new innovative products. These include our new self testing hydrant booster pump which allows rural fire departments an economical solution for water delivery. We’ll have some new drone and robot products as well as feature our new relationship with iRobot, the subject of our third and final attachment today. It talks about their new throwable robot which fits in your backpack with some great fire as well as defense applications.
For many years Darley has partnered with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. We are really proud to partner with Pierce Manufacturing as well as 50 of our other suppliers and loaded up six compartments of a Pierce truck with all sorts of equipment to be raffled off all benefiting the NFFF. Thanks to our more than 50 vendors who participated in this contest with us. If you want to learn more about the NFFF visit http://www.firehero.org. We’d also encourage you to check our presentation with FAMA on Friday morning of the show in the 500 ballroom.
There’s just a ton going on on the Defense side of our business as well. On March 7th, DLA, the Defense Logistics Agency awarded us a contract for Special Operations Equipment valued at $10 billion dollars. Now it is an IDIQ (Indefinite delivery indefinite quantity) contract so we probably won’t see the entire $10 billion but it’s a great contract and contiuation of what we’ve been doing in serving our warfighters for the past 5 years and getting great response on our new 380 Defense Equipment catalog.
So thanks for tuning into this issue of Inside Darley if there is anything we can be doing to assist you we hope you’ll reach out to us.