Positive attitude, ongoing education prove valuable for Mark Juelich.
For 37-year-old Mark Juelich, director of American Warehouse Systems (Minneapolis, MN), a positive attitude is as important as a positive bottom line. “You have to have a good attitude day in and day out,” says Juelich, who has led American Warehouse Systems since its founding in November of 2003 as an autonomous division of Toyota-Lift of Minnesota.
Leading a global integration company that does extensive work for the Department of Defense is a far cry from Juelich’s first job after graduating from the University of Minnesota: selling home appliances. “In retail sales, people walk in the door and they’re ready to buy your product as opposed to having to knock on doors and convince them to buy,” he notes. During his nine-month stint as an appliance salesman, one of his customers commented that he was in need of an outside salesperson. Juelich took the job a little over 12 years ago and found his calling in the world of material handling. He took valuable lessons from that retail experience, saying it helped enhance his interpersonal skills.
Setting A Good Example
Juelich’s day starts at 6 a.m. when he wakes and helps his wife get their three children off to school. Juelich then makes the 30-minute commute to work, where the first order of the day is to check e-mail and voicemail. The rest of his day can vary a lot, depending on if he’s wearing his sales hat or his management hat. In a sales role, Juelich has a small territory which he oversees, and he may meet with new clients, helping them develop the best warehouse solution for their needs. Other times, he meets with other members of the management staff or business partners. Other days find him on the road, visiting clients across the globe.
Despite his hectic schedule, Juelich credits his positive attitude for keeping him centered, because he knows American Warehouse Systems’ employees look to him as an example. “When you have a negative outlook, people can tell—and it can affect the morale of your entire company.” Juelich believes that good managers don’t always have to be happy, but effective ones will try to never show they’re having a bad day. He notes that managers shouldn’t shy away from conflict, since it’s an inevitable part of daily work and daily life. “It is your duty to find the silver lining and let everybody who works for you know that the silver lining is there,” he explains. Juelich hopes that those who come to work for the company will see the “can-do” attitude of fellow employees and be inspired to excel by more than just a paycheck.
Always Teaching, Always Learning
Juelich says that he’s learned a lot about the material handling industry due to the valuable networking opportunities provided to him by his involvement with MHEDA. For example, Juelich attended MHEDA’s inaugural Strategies for Selling Storage & Handling and Engineered Systems conference, an experience he says has returned valuable professional contacts and insights.
A pre-law major in college whose degree was in German and international relations, Juelich says education is an important part of any business, but especially in a field like material handling. He regularly takes additional business classes and encourages employees to do so by offering an educational reimbursement program for classes that are applicable to their position. Growth and learning are keys to success in material handling, says Juelich, as is determination. “My number one lesson in this business has been ‘don’t quit, keep pushing toward your goals.’”