Zbb had about 20 cars in the back parking lot (all cheap) and about 14 cars in the front lot (all cheap). Tier had on car in the front by the offices (Mercedes 550 SL) and about 12 along the side (all cheap). Why do I think the management of the two firms will not see eye to eye?
tier's plant was a well kept small building od cheap construction but not necessarily cheap to buy. it is the concrete block one sees in Wisconsin industrial parks. ZBB is in a metal and masonry facility (steel walls over a short concrete block lower wall apparently built in two stages probably for another company in the past. Nice to see that they were reroofing about 2/3 of the plant as roofs are expensive and firms in trouble don't tend to spend the money.
The people going into ZBB (it was the end of lunch time) looked like factory workers in Wisconsin. Anyone for a beer and fishing? The cars at Tier were pickup trucks and compacts. Not what one expects from tech people making a buck.
Hard to imagine a company supporting a significant market cap operating out of one small building and one not so large a building without any recent sales.
Overall the maintenance of their buildings looked goo, but the only sign of wealth was the guy at Tier's 550 SL.
I look at a lot of buildings and after a while they tend to talk to you. Given that this is Wisconsin and habits might be a little different there. Besides a large market cap for a company in little facilites the thing that impressed me was the obvious mismatch between a 550 SL and the cars at ZBB. Maybe the 550 was not the former owner of Tier, but if it was then it is discomforting.
NICE DAY TO DRIVE AROUND DAIRYLAND.
That car is the owner's car. That was probably bought from the money he got from AMSC when his patents were bought out by them 6-8 years ago. Same money he used to get the new business started. And who are you to judge the credibility of a business by the cars of employees. You take some psch courses with your mba?
He could have inherited the car, but that is no reflection on his ability as an engineer or business man.
How's it going Jeffrey? Making some nice sales over there at Tier?
Onto something else. I don't think Jeff ever said anything about your ability as a business man or your skill sets were impacted by the car he (you) drive. I think what Jeff is alluding to is that the car you drive and the fact you park it out front while all your employees park on the side with modest vehicles are a cultural difference between TIER and ZBB and could have some conflict down the road. I can see his point, but overall I see yours and others (and my own) that the car is completely irrelevant ~~ now parking it out front as if to say 'I'm better than the rest of the folk that work here' I don't care for. Maybe closest spot, but not up front.
What would be interesting though is for a blind test of your analysis skills ... where people provide you pictures or say cell phone footage of a building and parking lots without signs indicating who owns it.
You knew it was ZBB and have knowledge and opinions of what the company is before your ever saw the buildings. We often only "see" that which confirms our biases or expectations.
Not to mention the Facebook CEO who lives in the house he grew up in that's a 1500 sq ft normal house. I don't make anywhere in the ballpark that execs make, but I make a decent living and drive a hyundai santa fe b/c of the warranty, solid mpg and it has the best ride by far of anything I've driven (It's my second one actually). It's irrelevant the cars people drive to work...completely ridiculous imo. The people are not that well paid, we all know this, they will be well paid via their stock if the thing takes off. Rich has bought a million shares, I doubt he is poor. People come from different values and money impacts people in different ways...some take their money and become arrogant toward lesser folks and think they are above others ~~ usually have to pay for their friends ~~~ others are wealthy and you will never know it b/c they are down to Earth regular folks...which is what I hope the management team of ZBB is and by those I've met that's seems to be the case.
No offense Jeff, but you think too much like a lot of people in this country who right now don't have a pot to p--- in! Too many people think that just because they have a big pay check means they can go around flaunting how much money they make. We all know this is immature and is a sign of someone who is in desperate need of acceptance and attention. I was a district sales manager for a large company in Milwaukee. I sold expensive power supplies that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and made very good money at it. Our engineering manager (MSOE Grad)
rode a Harley Davison motorocycle and a beat up old 1995 Chrysler. Our top mechanical engineer also an MSOE Grad and a PE, drove an old Dodge Charger. Our top design engineer still drives a beat up old pick-up truck that constantly needs repair. They all make top pay for their professions. By the way, I presently drive a 2007 Scion XA that gets roughly 42 miles to the gallon. Start thinking about people like Warren Buffet, here is a guy that still lives in a modest home in Omaha, Nebraska and drives a modest car. He can have anything he wants. The difference between people like him and people who think like you is, they work very very hard for their money, live modestly, don't flaunt their wealth but instead share it with others less fortunate.
Yeah, it's a lot of speculation to tell a company not to go overseas b/c they aren't tried and trude in the US. If they are testing the V3 in S Korea to increase efficiencies then they have 4 Australian employees they can put on the ground over there. They also just hired a few engineers perhaps for this exact reason. I'm not gonna complain about doing a JV that is giving us a 3 million cash infusion. They have been pretty methodical with their plan so far so I don't see any reason they weren't prepared for this as well.
you raise a valid concern, but my sense is that they realize that and have factored that into their business plans. China is China of course, but the Korean partnership and the markets that partner addresses are not homogenous by a long shot. The business cultures, operating environments, acceptance levels of renewable energy, and economies are all somewhat different in Asia. Seoul is the most modern and technologically advanced city in the world, so I am pleased that their new JV is out of there. Korean firms have varying levels of acceptance throughout ASEAN and the rest of Asia, and I would imagine they will focus on the markets that they do well in and are accepted in.
Unless I've missed something I am not aware yet of a sales effort announced or planned in China - they have 2 pilot/test deals announced but not yet shipped, right ?
I believe they are maxed out with the available footprint on the lot per city building code, so it is what it is.
I would amost be more concerned with what they are going to be able to handle INSIDE the building. The relations heating up in China followed by the new inroads in Korea are fine, but each will most likely require a person (minimum) to manage. Those people will need to be well versed in not only electrical engineering and power storage, but savvy (and present on the ground) in the respective countries. Who on this staff can handle that?
Prudent organizational maturity practice dictates that you get your act together with a tried and true product/process/support program PRIOR to branching out overseas. What evidence of solid performance in any past installations exists? Just an opinion.