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Congratulations!


Written By: Steve Whittington, Vice President of Marketing and CommunicationsMar 01, 2011

On February 24th 2011, Ryan Sailer, General Manager of Southland Trailer Corp. won the NATM (National Association of Trailer Manufacturers) Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

I personally nominated Ryan and extend professional congratulations.

I first met Ryan when he was 16 years old and I was the Marketing Manager for an umbrella organization that included Southland Trailer Corp.  Ryan had been “told” to help with set up for images in a photo shoot. What immediately struck me was his poise and ability to organize. Ryan immediately started to help with the layout of the shoot and was not afraid to make suggestions as to how he thought the trailer looked best.
 
At first I was a little taken aback - a kid suggesting to me, a former VP of a Marketing Agency, how to conduct a product shoot.  Luckily, with an open mind I listened and used Ryan’s suggestions. He knew trailer; he had been loading and helping build them all his life and now he pulled them all the time.  In fact, in those days, standard issue when a Sailer boy turned 16 was a truck, I suspect with the motivating factor to have them pull trailers.
 
Monty Sailer (Founder of STC) trained Ryan (his middle son) well over the years, and  I would like to think during my time at STC as Marketing Manager and then General Manager and finally VP of Business Development, I may have helped in the process as well.  What I have seen in those eight years since I met Ryan has been the remarkable development of a future leader in the trailer industry.  Ryan’s contributions to date are many and will continue to grow but below are some of the highlights in the two (only two!) years he has been GM of STC.
 
Manufacturing:
He was part of the initial Project Team for Lean Manufacturing at STC (Project Consolidate), of which STC won an Alberta Manufacturing award.  (Previous to his role as GM.)
Under Ryan’s Leadership as GM of STC he has taken the organization and manufacturing of trailers to a new level. Project Consolidate was only the start of the lean process and Ryan has been the ongoing leader. Notable to date in this process is the integration with an Enterprise Resource Planning system into the manufacturing environment and implementation of a new paint prepping process.
 
Product Development:
In the past two years under Ryan’s leadership STC has rolled out 20 new models (that is almost 1 a month!)
   ·     Light duty Engineered Beam trailers
   ·     Roll trailer concept complete with cargo, flat deck and bin
   ·     New Monster Dump
   ·     Re-engineered the entry level cargo offering of STC
 
Education:
At every opportunity Ryan educates the industry on the following:
   ·     Safety – issued with every STC trailer is required PDI checklist to the STC dealer group, which forces the dealer to educate the customer on trailer safety
   ·     Manufacturing process of trailers, how a consumer can spot a well built trailer versus one that is not i.e. VHB tape, Phosphate acid wash process
   ·     NATM certification and what it means to the customer and how a manufacturer achieves the certification

Why is all this important?

Flaman aligns with manufacturing leaders. Clearly Southland Trailer Corp is a leader. Together Flaman Trailers and Southland Trailers hope to continue to bring you, our customer, innovative and industry leading products.

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Posted in Division News | More articles by Steve Whittington


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