Editor’s Notebook: Work That Inspires

02 Nov, 2015

What do a startup sunglasses company, a former Olympian, and a $2.3 billion outdoors company have in common? The desire to be innovative, have fun and play, and grow successful companies from inspiring and business-friendly locations.
Eric “E.J.” Jackson, a champion kayaker and Olympian, called White County, Tennessee, home before opening his kayak manufacturing business in the county. Jackson travels all over the world and still competes, but is glad to return to his home and business in Tennessee. The company is currently undergoing an expansion to support a new line of coolers.
In Portland, Oregon, Shwood Eyewear’s leadership embraced moving operations from a suburban metro location to an up-and-coming neighborhood in Portland in order to cut down by 60 percent employees’ commute times. The company’s space supports the ongoing creative activities of this trendsetting firm, which is responsible for the wood frames you see blowing up the sunglasses and prescription eyewear marketplace.
And for the newly formed Vista Outdoor Inc., a spinoff of ATK, Farmington, Utah, was the ideal place to base its corporate headquarters. The publically traded company has 40 outdoor brands in its portfolio and has recently acquired Jimmy Styks’s paddleboards, and CamelBak, a hydration systems company. “We have a great landscape and outdoor space for our customers and ourselves to enjoy and test out the products that we make — it is right here in our backyard,” says Amanda Covington, vice president of communications and government relations, Vista Outdoor.
Learn more about the advantages of stepping outside of your building and almost immediately testing your products in “Partners in the Great Outdoors.”

Also Inside
It’s all about location, or at least that is what is proven out time and again by logistics managers who face tightening trucking capacities. One method of dealing with the challenges in the trucking industry is intermodal transportation, which is the fastest growing mode of transportation in the country. JLL tells us how companies are incorporating intermodal transportation networks into their supply chains in “Rail is Vital Link in Supply Chain Strategies.” Author Rich Thompson also provides an outlook for 2016: it’s all about Panamax.
In 2016, economists forecast it will be more of the same in the oil and natural gas sectors, where prices will remain at multi-year lows. Despite these challenges, most companies and communities are turning to lessons learned from the 1980s, when the industry crashed severely. They are consolidating operations, investing in infrastructure and resources, attracting foreign capital and diversifying their products and customer base. “Oil and Gas Seek Growth Despite Volatility” highlights how companies and their communities are adapting and taking the long view.

Rachel Duran

Rachel Duran is the editor in chief for Business Xpansion Journal. Contact her at rduran@latitude3.com.

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