Prince Corporation: Teamwork and Leadership Supporting Global Growth into the Twenty-First Century
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I began working at Prince Corporation in June of 1992. At that time, Prince was a privately owned $300 million company with 1,800 employees. All Prince facilities were located in Holland, Michigan and our customer base consisted almost exclusively of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. Our product capabilities included any interior trim component of a car or truck except door panels, instrument panels and seats. As I write this now, in October of 1996, Prince is a public company (recently purchased by Johnson Controls) with nearly $900 million in sales. We now have nearly 5,000 employees spread over five countries and we ship product to more than 14 different customers - Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Jaguar and BMW to name a few. Our capabilities now include door panels and instrument panels and if you include our new parent company, Johnson Controls, seats as well. Our tripling in size over the past four years will, however, pales compared to the possibilities of the next four years. With the Johnson Controls acquisition, the total interior of a vehicle became a reality instead of a dream. The infrastructure and critical mass necessary to compete in the global automotive marketplace was immediately available as opposed to just being words on a three year strategic plan. As excited as I was to join the Prince team in 1992, it does not begin to describe the excitement I feel for the organization today. For my Senior Individualized Project, I will document three examples of how I was involved in executing a solution to a significant issue. Two of the examples involved setting up a system that previously did not exist and the other illustrates an example of decision making based on financial data I provided. Each of these examples occurred during my current Controllership role, but I certainly relied on my past experiences for each one.