Gerald Leary and Chairman Tetsuo Koike from KSK stop to take a
photo at the 2014 FABTECH Show in Atlanta
2014 has been an up and down year for KAR. It began
slowly, picked up in the second quarter, fell off in the third
quarter, but ended strongly. For the most part, we met our goals
for the year despite the poor export markets in South America,
Europe, Russia, and the Mideast. By the fourth quarter, we were
finally able to begin manufacturing and shipping the large
order for Saudi Arabia. This order will give us a good base
for the first three quarters of 2015. In addition, our quotes and
conversions to orders climbed nicely in the last quarter.
This will add to the good start in 2015.
While the export markets for
our machinery softened, the North American markets for railcars,
trailer bodies, shipyards, drilling, fracking, and pipeline work
have grown. In fact, 2014 will be the second largest year
for Cutting Machine sales at Koike Aronson. During the year, we
gained market share with the Steel Service Centers in North
America. The addition of the new Klean Sweep slag removal
table gives us the real potential to increase this market share
at a more rapid pace.
The well-being and health of our employees is
one of my major concerns. In 2014, we experienced too many
close calls and lost time accidents. While we implemented
remedial actions to correct these situations for the future, we
must all be more diligent about safety. Anything more than
zero accidents and close calls should be concerning for all KAR's
On the other hand, is it very gratifying to
see the implementation of and participation in the Koike Wellness
Program. I am optimistic that it will yield many benefits,
especially as we expand participation.
The bottom line is that all of our employees
have contributed greatly to our growth and success over the
years, and they should make every effort to stay healthy so they
can enjoy the returns on their efforts.
As we approach the 2014 holiday season, I
continue to be optimistic about 2015 and our ability to succeed
CEO and President
Koike Aronson, Inc.