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Women in Industry: Janelle Anderson

COMPANY: McGee Storage & Handling
TITLE: Co-Owner, CEO and CFO
YEARS ON JOB: 19 years

As a small business owner, no two days are the same. Many days, I’m steered down a new, unplanned path. As the CFO, I’m accountable for the company’s financial well-being. I manage our monthly operating budget and help determine when and how to invest in our strategic growth plans. I play an instrumental role in setting corporate policy and procedures, hiring and onboarding, along with employee benefits. I manage several outsourced partners, that assist me in several aspects of our business. Prior to McGee, I had a long career in consultative sales and sales management, so I continue to serve in a Sales Management capacity at McGee. Last, but not least, I assume the lead with all contracts (legal matters) and negotiate when dealing with large client purchasing contracts.

Organization

The ability to multi-task and re-prioritize daily is essential to driving a small business forward. I’m highly organized and focused so that a significant amount of work is completed in a short amount of time. Effective leadership keeps the momentum going – Demonstrate a strong work ethic, the willingness to take risks, to take on investments and raise the bar for everyone. It’s important to us that we create an attractive work environment and develop a team culture that is mutually satisfying for everyone. Treat everyone as true professionals and develop strong values that identify the team as a whole.

Communication

Communication keeps us unified and better coordinated so that we can meet (exceed) our customer’s expectations. We have an Open Door policy, so spontaneous conversation and collaboration can occur daily. Monthly team meetings bring everyone together for essential training and updates. We use software tools that keep all members of our team in the loop on current projects, and when necessary, we loop in the customer contact(s) into the process. Strong, effective communication has proven successful in fostering long-term customer loyalty.

Tools of the Trade

As a company, we make every effort to leverage proven hardware and software tools to maximize communication and efficiency every day. McGee has an established infrastructure that has been supported by the same IT professionals for years. We use AutoCAD for design layouts, along with packages/portals that select manufacturers have requested of us. Our vendors provide a wealth of on-line information and tools for us tap into. To coordinate project installations, we utilize Smart Sheet (cloud-based). For Customer Relationship Management (CRM), we have recently deployed Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Women in Material Handling

The world is changing, and our industry needs to step-up and diversify to better reflect the demographic changes occurring across our customer base. We need a new generation of women to join in and help us mature in our views and push forward with the best minds and teams working together. You have a leg up, simply because you offer a different perspective. Don’t be afraid to bring your ideas forward and own them. Once you dive in, I recommend you seek out and leverage the experience of those that came before you, to make your impact even greater. If your company is male-dominated, try to find a senior level, male mentor/sponsor who is willing to meet with you monthly during the on-boarding process, and later quarterly (or biannually) to provide you with career development guidance. We need both men and women “champions.”