Samuel F. Thomas, Chairman, CEO and President of Chart Industries, Inc. (GTLS), Interviews with The Wall Street Transcript

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - December 5, 2013 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Industrial Equipment, Aerospace and Defense Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs and Equity Analysts. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Defense Budget Uncertainty - Capital Equipment Technology Investing - Growth Opportunities in Data Security - International Consumption Growth - Professional Security Equipment

Companies include: Chart Industries Inc. (GTLS) and many more.

In the following excerpt from the Industrial Equipment, Aerospace and Defense Report, the Chairman, CEO and President of Chart Industries, Inc. (GTLS) discusses company strategy and the outlook for this vital industry:

TWST: What is happening on the cost side of your business, and what plans do you have to control costs in 2014?

Mr. Thomas: We've had an interesting period of time where, particularly related to natural gas and LNG, our markets and our potential markets have been expanding quickly, and so we have proactively added resources, particularly on the marketing, sales and engineering side in order to meet those opportunities. There are lots of new applications coming along, which we feel will create very attractive growth markets for our business. Generally we've been adding to our capabilities to make sure we can grow and serve those markets appropriately.

At the same time, we continue with our continuous improvement in lean manufacturing to drive costs out of all of our operations. We set rather stringent targets to improve productivity and reduce lead times and throughput times at all of our factories, and we've been pretty successful in doing that. We've found that we have to manufacture products close to our end users, so that as we've seen dramatic growth in China, it's meant that we've fairly significantly expanded our manufacturing operations in China. Several years ago, we did that same thing in the Czech Republic to serve Eastern Europe and Central Europe as well as the Nordic countries, and that served us very well.

We continue to use continuous improvement teams to share best practices both internally and externally, and implement those practices across the board. We've been in a period of relatively stable raw material costs particularly associated with aluminum, stainless steel and carbon steel, but we always have to guard against increases and strive to improve our efficiency in terms of the use of those materials. Probably the biggest cost driver we have is that in many of the areas we operate in, there are skill shortages or labor shortages. So we are in the position of hiring and training our engineering talent and our welding talent in order to develop the quality employees we need, and that's true both in the United States, in Europe and in China. Investing in these training activities to bring people up to speed and make them more effective quickly is a key driver for capitalizing on our growth opportunities.

TWST: What would you say is the most difficult aspect of being in your business right now, and how are you poised to deal with that risk or challenge?

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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