Industrial Automation Companies, Transaction Support

Family-Owned Businesses: Succession Planning

Posted on April 7, 2021 by

Clayton & Mckervey

Clayton & McKervey

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In this episode of The Sound of Automation podcast, Frank Lashier III, COO of Dominion Technologies Group, Inc. joins us to talk about the challenges of transitioning a business within a family.

Podcast Transcript

Announcer:

Welcome to the Sound of Automation, brought to you by Clayton & McKervey. CPAs for growth-driven businesses.

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

Hi, Bryan, welcome back.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Hey, Denise, how have you been?

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

I’ve been fine. I just was listening to the Sound of Automation, and it sounds remarkably well. Good job.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Well, thank you. We’re figuring this out.

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

Yeah, we are. It’s a lot of fun. So it sounds like today, you’re going to be talking to one of our clients, a family run business.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Yes, yes, bringing in one of our clients, and actually, our first remote podcast. So that’s pretty exciting stuff.

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

Great, good, good way to kick off 2021 using the technology.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Exactly.

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

So, when it comes to family owned businesses, you know something about this, I would think.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

I know about it just in being able to work with our clients and really, that’s one of the exciting parts to me about the client base that we work with in service, because what we’ll find here, as we talk to Frank later, the small to mid-sized family owned business, this is the biggest retirement asset that a lot of these people have, this is something they’ve built from the ground up. And so there’s not only the professional aspect of it being a business, but also the personal aspect of this is something personal to you. And so all of those decisions that you have to go through in any kind of ownership transition or things like that, they’re now just amplified because-

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

I would imagine.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

… it’s got that personal element to it. And as we talk about with Frank here shortly, now not only are you transitioning, but you’re transitioning within your own family. So now you mix in those family dynamics and all that other stuff.

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

Yeah, it makes an interesting holiday conversation, right?

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Exactly.

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

You’re always with your family, at work and at home.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Yeah.

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

You probably see a lot of trends in this space. And I’m wondering, how do families make it work?

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Like everything, right? There’s no secret sauce to it, other than planning.

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

Okay.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Planning, you’ve got to have your expectations out right. And that’s what we’ll see, right? You’ve got a parent starts a business, they’re growing it and I think there’s always that, “Oh, well, my kids will take this over someday,” right?

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

But then maybe that area of business isn’t an interest to your son or daughter, or they’ve got a different vision for where the business should go. And so you’ve got to really have those conversations kind of early on, to make sure everybody’s aligned. Because if it all starts off where me as the parent, “Okay, I think the business is going to go like this. And I’m going to hand it off to my son, and it’s going to grow like that.” And the son is thinking, “Okay, yeah, now I can go off and do these other things with the business.” That creates a lot of strife. And so you’ve already got the challenges of how do we transition this and value it and move it from me to you-

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

Sure.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

… but now [crosstalk]

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

The family dynamic now.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Yeah, exactly.

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

Yeah. Okay. Do you have a sense of how long Frank’s been working with the company?

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Frank, I think he’s been with the company probably coming up on 15 years or so, I can’t remember the exact date. So we talked about it briefly during our prep for this, but I mean, he’s been around the business his whole life.

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

Sure.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Kids getting brought in when mom and dad have to go in and work on weekends and stuff like that. So I mean, he’s been around the business his whole life, but he’s been with the company probably 15 years or so working as an employee.

Denise Asker, Director Mkt., & Practice Growth:

Well, I’m excited to learn from him and hear how he makes it work and a little bit about his plans for the future. So thanks for bringing him on, and we’ll talk soon.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

All right. Thanks, Denise. Joining me today is Frank Lashier of Dominion Technology Group. Frank is currently their chief operating officer. But more important than his title, is the fact that Frank is a member of the family that owns Dominion. And so today, he’s going to be here talking to me about just some of the challenges of having that transition of ownership between family members in a family run business. So Frank, I guess, starting off, if you wouldn’t mind, just give me kind of a little bit of the background story of Dominion, kind of how your family got involved with it and some of those early challenges, and then we can get into some of the more specific things that you’ve run into trying to transition within your family.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

Yeah, for sure. Well, first of all, I just want to thank you for having me on the show. I really appreciate it. So Dominion was founded in 1965. It was a small machine tool shop. My family is not the original owners, my father bought the company, but he actually started at Dominion when he was 18, working on the shop floor as a pipe fitter.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Oh, wow.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

And that was mid-70s, late 70s, right out of high school. And he worked at Dominion for a few years, and then he went to a different company where he learned controls engineering, like software, electrical drawings, and a lot of mechanical stuff in that role as well. And then in 1984, he founded his first company, it was a controls company, based out of Sterling Heights, Michigan, and his biggest customer for years and years and years was actually Dominion. I mean, he was integrated within Dominion for all those years. And then, in 1999, the old owners of Dominion were looking to retire, and they had some family that was working in the company that just didn’t want to do this. They didn’t want to follow in the footsteps. So my father actually bought the company in 1999. And I officially started in the company, officially, in 2006. Well, I grew up in the company basically, as I’m sure some of the listeners out there will know, if you have family that owns a business, a lot of the time hanging out with mom or dad is actually at the business, so-

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Yeah. Exactly. Well, and this is kind of interesting when I look at it, and when we were planning for these calls and trying to figure out different guests we could have in and things like that, Dominion to me presents that unique case, is that it was a family owned business, and then it was acquired by an outside third party. But then now, it’s going through that same transition within the family. And so I’m sure, and as we were preparing for this we talked about some of the challenges that your dad ran into when he took over, and how, really, some of those are a lot different than some of the challenges you see now. It’s almost like he established some processes and got things in place, and now you’re trying to find that, how do you take the company to the next level? So just kind of curious from your perspective as you see this, what are some of the big challenges that second-generation owners run into?

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

Well, I think, especially for me, that the biggest one, it might be an interesting case just for Dominion, but the old owners started going through a little bit of a transition with their family. And there’s carryover from that first transition with the old owners who are still employees that work at Dominion. So, in the transition from my father to myself, the biggest hurdle that we faced off right out of the gate, was the current employees that were aware of what happened the last time, and basically, just gaining their trust. And rightfully so, I mean, they never expected me to want to take over I think, they just kind of saw… It has the same parallels as what the old owners where in their mind, Frank’s just going to work here and then one day, they’re just going to sell the company.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Yeah.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

So the biggest hurdle out of the gate was gaining the trust of the employees and letting them know that, “Hey, I’m here for the long run, I’m here to take this thing over, I’m here to put my own vision on what I want Dominion to be.” And like I said, right out of the gate, that was the biggest hurdle that we had to try to get over. And like you said, in preparing for this, we kind of talked about this, and a lot of what I think solidified it for them to know that I was here for the long run was, I started on the shop floor. I didn’t come in right out of high school working in an office, pushing papers, and “pretending to have a job” kind of like the old owners’ kids did. So yeah, I was out there on the shop floor Saturdays and Sundays, wrench in hand, ready to work on machines, just trying to learn what this business was from working inside of it, not just being a kid growing up in [inaudible].

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Yeah, and it’s interesting, because I think you do see that a lot, right? Or at least you hear the stories of the kids who are just kind of using the parents’ business as the bank, right? That, “Hey, this is always going to be there, the money is going to be there.” And that can be really disconcerting for the folks that work there because, hey, this is where their livelihood comes from and they’re reliant upon that family to help provide for them, and like you said, if you’ve got folks that have remained with Dominion all those years, I mean that’s 30, 40 years of employees being with the company, they want to make sure that they’re being taken care of.:

And everybody has, even I know your parents have this, this pride in the business that they built. But the employees have that same pride, and so the steps you took to go out there kind of extend yourself, get to see what they do on a day to day basis, like you said, shows them, proves to them, “Hey, I’m invested in this too, I’m not just looking at this as my retirement strategy, I’m looking at this as something that I want to build upon my parents’ legacy, and continue to grow the business.” And so, yeah, getting that trust of the folks that are working with you can really make or break that transition.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

Yeah, and another interesting point on that. So like I said, I started on the shop floor, and then I transitioned into working with engineering, both mechanical engineering and controls, so software engineering type stuff. And when I transitioned into working in the offices with the engineering team, it was right when the recession hit in 2008, 2009, that timeframe. And I think one of the biggest things that kind of gained trust, even though I don’t think we intended it to gain trust of the employees, but when that hit, I mean, everybody, as you guys are all well aware, it was hard for everybody and we had to temporarily lay some people off, and the first person to get laid off was myself. And so I think that showed the employees that I’m not just here, like you said, as this is the bank for Frank. That was never the intent. And I think that one instance of that happening really showed the employees that, “He’s one of us, he’s not this owner’s son out on an island doing his own thing.”

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Exactly.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

I think I became one of the “Dominion family” when that happened.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Yeah, and it’s interesting, and there’s something else you’d mentioned too, that maybe you can touch on a little bit. Because to me, having come from an engineering background, and you could see it as new employees came in, even just at the starting engineer level, right? If you didn’t earn the trust or the respect of the folks working on the shop floor, or the people working in the manufacturing plant, you can almost see the different trajectories of employees as they went through, because yeah, you might not be working with the people out in our test lab or the people out on the plant floor every day, but their opinion carries weight.

And if they just look at you as almost a hindrance to their job or something that’s going to prevent you from being able to accomplish it, it can impact your influence and other aspects of the business. So the one thing I thought was interesting, you said that you intentionally, even though you didn’t have to, you went in on weekends when you knew that folks would be working just to kind of show, “Hey, I’m in this with you, too.” And it’s funny that it’s usually those little things that start to add up and start to really kind of get that commitment from the folks that you’re looking to work with.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

Yeah, I mean, my philosophy has always been, and it’s not my philosophy, I shouldn’t say that. It was instilled upon me from my father actually. But if we have to have employees being here on Saturdays and Sundays coming down to the wire to get machines done, get them built, get them run off, get them shipped to the customers, I needed to be here as well. If I’m asking them to do something, I’m going to do it as well. That’s one of the big things that I think my father has always taught me is, never ask the employees, never ask anybody to do something that you’re not willing to do, because that’s just not fair. I mean, and that’s the case when it comes to working Saturdays and Sundays, that’s the case when it comes to sending people in the plants. Especially now, when it comes to COVID, it’s very interesting sending people on the road. And that [inaudible] threw a little bit of a wrench in things as well, but I’m not asking people if they’re not comfortable doing something, I’m not going to ask them to do it, and we work around things.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Exactly.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

I think that’s just, like I said, that was instilled in me from the beginning from my dad and just watching him as I grew up. And I think I kind of carried that on. And it was kind of, I guess, a subconscious lesson that I didn’t even know I was learning, until you get into doing something like this, and you start talking about it, and it’s very interesting to see where some of this stuff kind of developed.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Exactly. I got two little kids at home, and I catch myself saying all those things my parents used to say to me when I was growing up, and you kind of kick yourself and you realize you’re doing it, but it’s all those subconscious lessons you learn. And really that, I think, in reason when we started going through this, why I felt, hey, Frank, we really got to hit this hard, right? Is because all of the other things you want to do, and we’re going to get to this in a minute, some of the different challenges that you’re seeing versus maybe what your dad saw when he took over, you can’t accomplish any of those things, no matter how well you plan them out, how well you research them, if you don’t have that layer of trust, that level of buy in from the folks who are actually going to have to do it.

And so I thought that that was a good foundation for kind of our next topic here. So what are some of the challenges you see, because obviously, the business environment for you is completely different than it was for your dad when he bought the company, what are some of the big challenges that Dominion is seeing over the next, say, five to 10 years that you’re trying to address right now?

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

Well, I mean, I think one of the biggest challenges that we’re addressing right now, and we started doing it pre COVID, but I think COVID really kicked it off and it did for a lot of companies, I’m sure, but just introducing technology into the company. I mean, for lack of a better term, we’re an old school machine tool mom and pop shop at the heart of what we do. I mean, we build custom machines, that’s what we’re good at, that’s what we know. But we have to integrate technology into that, and the way I kind of look at almost anything when it comes to business, is it’s kind of a three tiered approach. I’m going to implement technology to better serve my customer, I’m going to implement technology to make my employees lives easier, to make them more efficient.

And then I’m going to implement technology to really entice future workforce for Dominion, because that’s one of the biggest things that we’re seeing now is just trying to bring in new young talent is proving to be, not an issue, but it’s definitely something that we want to really address and keep our eye on because it’s just getting more difficult to find the younger kids that want to come in and learn a trade, or even go into engineering. So that’s one of the big things that I’ve been focusing on in the last few years, is just how do I secure the workforce for the future? How do I make my products better for my customer in regards to technology? And how do I make my employees lives easier in a way, with also making Dominion more efficient at the same time?

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Yeah and it’s interesting, because we see a similar trend within public accounting. It seems like the recruiting class, it’s almost like college sports, right? You always hear this story about some freshmen in high school that’s given a… Or a scholarship offer by football coach, but we’re seeing a similar thing that accounting firms are snatching up good potential employees earlier and earlier in their schooling, and we really didn’t prep for this. So you’re talking about using technology as a differentiator and trying to attract some of that talent. I guess, have you seen any dividends for that yet? Or is it still kind of in the infancy stage?

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

I mean, I would say it’s still in the infancy stage. But we started doing this probably two or three years ago, we opened up a new facility in a different location to try to entice people so they don’t have to drive two hours to get to Dominion. And then we started early on, like I said, two or three years ago, trying to implement certain procedures and processes in regards to technology that we could entice a younger generation, especially when it comes to engineers and software engineers and things like that. So we were already pretty well primed to work remotely and do things of that nature. And we started investing early on in that. But like I said, COVID really jump-started that whole thing to where we had to figure it out in a week.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Exactly.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

I think it was good that we had the basis of that already in place. So when COVID did hit, it was a smooth transition for us. So I saw the fruits of our labor when I think COVID hit and we transitioned within a couple days to 95% of our workforce working remotely, and it was a smooth transition. So, I’m seeing the fruits of, like I said, our labor coming true, and it’s a nice feeling, but-

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Yeah, exactly. Well, and I think like you said, and just by the nature of the industry I focus on and things like that, I mean, I read a lot about digital transformation and industry 4.0, and how that all is going to impact the future of work. But that, to me, is one of the big benefits is that now everyone was forced to go remote, right? It was always kind of a, I don’t want to say it was a talking point, but it was easy to say, “Oh, yeah, we offer flexible work life balance, and we got the option to do these things.”

But now that it’s really happened, because I think about a business like yours, where, okay, yeah, you may have the ability to work remotely, but do people really take advantage of it that now you’ve gone through this, you can say, “Hey, we don’t have to concentrate on hiring within Metro Detroit, we could grab candidates from Northern Michigan, from Ohio, from Indiana, really, we can focus on finding the person with the right skills.” And now, as you said, we’re using technology to allow them to work in the exact same way they would as if they were here in our office, working on site with us. So that’s pretty exciting. But at the same time, now it’s going to make things even more competitive, because if you guys can do it, your competitors can do it too, so.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

Yeah, it’s an interesting point that you said, it’s one thing to preach and to say in your interviewing process, or on your website, or whatever, that we offer a flexible work life balance, but it’s really another thing to live that. And it’s a fine line, it’s a very difficult thing to really do. But I think we do it well, just because we started… I mean, our first remote employee, I think was three or four years ago in South Carolina. So we have been doing this for a little bit while now. And then like I said, in the last year, we’ve really amped it up to where we’re having our work completed globally really now. And it’s interesting, it’s fun. It’s a different way of doing business that 20 years ago, you’d never had even thought it was possible.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Exactly, exactly. And that kind of comes back to some of the things of when your dad took over, he didn’t really have to worry about that. He had to find, how do I get people in the building? How do I get people at the desks to do the work? And now well, it’s exciting on one side, it’s this whole other realm of possibilities that’s opened up to you. It can be a little nerve wracking, too, because now you have so many options, and you got to filter through the ones that makes sense.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

One point I did want to make on that, just because we’re talking about second generation and things of that nature, one point I want to make on technology, and especially remote working and all that is, you’re going to have people within the organization that are not going to buy into it, you’re going to have people that are, for lack of a better term, the old school mentality of this is how we work. And that’s a very valid point, and even I take that point a lot, too. I mean, I’m not working remotely, I’m sitting in my office at work. So you’re going to have hurdles when it comes to that, and that’s where I think a good solid vision of what you want the company to be, you have to preach that, and it’s going to take time, it’s not going to happen overnight.

I’ve been talking about what I want Dominion to be for the last 5, 10 years now, with upper management, with the employee, with everybody really. And I think once you’re getting in the conversation, once you gain the trust and all that, it makes these things a little bit easier to have people buy in on, but you are going to have pushback on a lot of this stuff, and that’s okay. Don’t think that the pushback is negative all the time, because it’s not. A lot of it’s very valid information that you can actually use to develop your own plan, your own vision of what you want to achieve.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Yeah. It’s interesting that, I don’t know if you’ve ever read the book Switch, but I read that a while back, and it’s interesting, they talk about that. And I think everybody intuitively knows, right? If you’re making a change, you got to explain to people why you’re making the change. But usually, that’s something basic, right? Like, “Oh, it’s going to make my job more efficient, or it’s going to allow me to do this in half the time,” whatever. But really, the book advocates for going beyond that. And I think that’s kind of what you’re alluding to, is that, so now you’ve earned people’s trust, and now you’re showing them this vision of, “Hey, here’s where I see Dominion going. And oh, by the way, in order to get there, here’s some of the things that I need to do.”

And so now when they’re adopting the technology or buying into the technology, they’re not necessarily buying into the software application or the piece of hardware, they’re buying into, “I trust Frank, and he said that we need this to get to this point that we all want to be at. So I’m going to give it a little more time and buy in.” So I think that’s a fantastic piece of advice for companies out there that are dealing with these same issues.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

And like I said, it’s not an easy thing by any means, and you’re going to have pushback on it. Especially for someone, if you’re a second generation coming in and taking over family business, just know that there is going to be pushback when it comes to what you want to achieve. Well, that’s not necessarily a negative thing. I mean, you have to take what people say that have the experience in what they’re saying, and figure out how you can implement that into what you want to achieve. That’s the only way to make some of this stuff work, you can’t just force it through-

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Exactly.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

… because it’ll fail instantly.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Exactly.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

I know, trust me.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Well, and Frank, I guess, kind of our last point here. So I know just on what we’re seeing in the industry, right? There’s some consistent drumbeats we’re hearing, staffing, you already kind of touched on that that’s an issue, new technologies, things like that, digital transformation. But another one of the big messages that keeps coming up is exactly the point of this conversation, is business transitions, whether that be inter-generational, from family member to family member, selling outside to a third party, acquiring, depending on what state in the process you’re in, what is, from your experience, if someone is a business owner that’s considering, “Hey, someday I’d like my kids to take this over,” do you have any one or two pieces of advice for companies or business owners that find themselves in that situation, that they might find useful?

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

I would say the number one most important thing is succession planning. I mean, there’s no way to get around succession planning, there’s no magic formula of how to make a transition work between generations. It’s developing a plan early on of what you want to achieve, and ultimately, the end goal is to transition the company to the next generation. But there’s no way around that. And my father and I, we didn’t start off on that right away for the first couple of years, we didn’t really have a formal plan of what was going to happen, or what it was going to look like. And we both kind of came to the conclusion around the same time that, “Hey, we got to put some sort of a plan together, otherwise, how is this going to work?” And to quote, my father, he wanted a plan, because he said if we didn’t have a plan, he would never be able to retire. So with that, we put together a plan early on. I was mid-20s, or early mid-20s, when this plan was put together. And you have to be flexible in the plan, it’s not going to be set in stone because things do change. I mean-

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Exactly.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

… Everybody knows that. But we had a plan and we stuck to it. But the most important thing with having a succession plan, I think, is you have to share it with the company, you have to pare it down and share some version of that succession plan-

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Yeah, exactly.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

… with the company. Again, that helps with the buy in of the trust and all that. So that’s the most important thing. I think the other thing that is very important and it’s very hard, it’s almost a come to Jesus moment, but as a business owner and if you think you want your child to take over, you have to make the hard decision right away to say, do they have the drive? Do they have the ambition? Do they have the same intensity that I have when it comes to this business? And like I said, I didn’t always have that, so it’s not the be-all end-all, but you have to really know that the next generation wants to do this. Because if they don’t want to do it and you’re forcing them because it’s your dream to pass on your company to your child, it’s not going to work, and it’s going to not only impact you and your son or daughter, it’s going to impact the employees that you have at your company. And that’s one of the big things, the succession plan isn’t only between you and your child, you’re setting up the company for everyone that works there.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Yeah. Exactly.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

And the last point I’ll make on the transition is more geared towards the second generation taking over. You have to right away get a very deep understanding of accounting. And it’s funny, but if you don’t have a deep understanding of accounting, it makes things very difficult to do, just from a pure business standpoint, because you could think one thing and something completely different is happening. So without that knowledge of accounting and finance and planning and all that, it’s a tough road. I mean, but if you can get all that stuff sorted out, figured out, the transition will go fairly [inaudible].

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

As smooth as transitions can go, right?

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

Yeah.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

And full disclosure, I did not pay Frank to say that about accounting just because we’re in his accounting firm. But well, Frank, I really appreciate your time today and the insights, and I said early on, I’ve always said about this, is that hopefully, if anybody who listens to this walks away with one good idea that they can do something with or follow up on, and I think you gave everybody plenty of those to start with, so I really appreciate your time today and joining us, and just thanks again.

Frank Lashier, COO, Dominion Technology Group:

Yeah, thanks for having me. It was a lot of fun. I really appreciate it.

Bryan Powrozek, Senior Mgr., Industrial Automation:

Excellent. Thanks, Frank.

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The Sound of Automation Podcast

The Sound of Automation Podcast

Industrial automation businesses are the driving force behind Industry 4.0, and Clayton & McKervey is here to help.

Insights & Perspectives

Data-driven decision making: 3 key insights for business owners

What does it take to build a data-driven business? For self-reliant leaders who feel they’ve hit a plateau when it comes to scaling a business, adopting a data-driven approach can be a breakthrough success strategy. Using data in a more focused way helps good engineers become good entrepreneurs. It’s about creating balance. Here we take a look at key insights for business owners when using data in decision making.

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The Sound of Automation Podcast

Industrial automation businesses are the driving force behind Industry 4.0, and Clayton & McKervey is here to help.

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