Brian Black to Join Skyjack as VP of Sales
From new product introductions to promising corporate financial results, there’s been a buzz about the aerial work platform industry lately. Skyjack is no exception. Last week, the Guelph, Ontario-based aerial lift and telehandler manufacturer previewed its largest articulating boom lift at The Rental Show. This week, Brad Boehler, president, reports that the company has lined up key personnel to provide management expertise in several departments—and it is continuing to look for more.
Brian Black will join the Skyjack team next week as vice president of sales—a newly created position for Skyjack, as it is splitting the heads of sales and marketing into two roles. In an interview with Lift and Access, Black laid out his action plan for the next few months, which includes managing worldwide sales of Skyjack products and expanding the company’s footprint outside North America. “I would see us getting more involved in the Middle East, Latin America [an area of specialty for Black], and also in the Far East,” he said. In North America, he will be working on developing closer relationships with major rental companies.
Over the next year, Black said that part of his attention will be placed on analyzing the sales team that Skyjack has in place. “I’ll be focusing on new product development with marketing and management, taking a look at the communications programs that we have internally and externally, and helping Brad drive the business,” he said.
Black has spent 25 years in the aerial work platform industry with several major suppliers, including JLG and Genie. He was most recently director of sales at Teupen. Principally, the work he’s done in the past has been centered on international sales. “I’ve done everything from pioneering products in the field to opening channels for distribution, including finding dealers, training them, and helping them to be successful,” he said.
As sales ramp up, Boehler intimated that manufacturing outside of North America is a good possibility for Skyjack—particularly if there is an established worldwide distribution channel. “We’ve managed to fill our worldwide efforts out of our current capacity, and we’re going to continue in that vein in the immediate future,” he said. “Certainly, we are looking at manufacturing outside of Guelph and North America. We are looking at opportunities in various parts of the world right now.” Another possibility for Skyjack down the road may be exploring joint venture projects overseas with companies that are manufacturing complementary product lines.
Black’s aerial work platform expertise, knowledge of foreign languages (he speaks Spanish and Portuguese, with working knowledge in French, German, and Russian), and relationships he’s formed over the years have been a draw for Skyjack, and Boehler said the company is looking forward to leveraging Black’s relationships. “Skyjack is a very relationship-oriented business, and that’s the way we want to stay,” Boehler said. “We want to be the company that is the easiest to do business with that will give you the best return on investment with your machinery.”
Other Personnel Updates at Skyjack
Since Boehler joined Skyjack in 2003, product safety has been a key focus for the company. After moving into his role as president, Boehler has named Ian McGregor as his replacement as product safety manager. Prior to this position, McGregor was a design engineer with Skyjack, as well as an engineer with the company’s test and validation group, where he became familiar with standards and compliance issues. Most recently, he was the product safety engineer before moving into the product safety manager position. The safety department also will be growing, as Skyjack plans to hire product safety trainers and support staff to help handle product safety requests from owners and users.
The company also has hired Ed Lambert as its vice president of engineering. Previously, Lambert worked for large OEMs, including John Deere and Case-New Holland, and smaller companies, including Buhler Industries. “For us, I think he’s a good match because we have a large company structure in place, but we’re also are rebuilding the product development process,” Boehler said. By rebuilding the process, it will enable the company to get the right products in the market in a potentially shorter time frame.