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5 Questions with Ken Marino President and CEO, Orbel Corp., Palmer Township

1 How are the local and national economies?

1 How are the local and national economies?

We look at the economy from the lens of a precision metal-forming company supporting demanding applications. Fifteen percent of our business is overseas, 73 percent is outside the region and 12 percent within the Lehigh Valley.

Orbel’s markets currently are very strong. We have a number of new projects in the development pipeline that will continue to fuel our growth well into the future. All the regions that we participate in have companies that are investing in a number of interesting new projects.

2 Are businesspeople confident? Why or why not?

The groups we are working with see the future in a positive light. Consumers are looking for new products to enhance their lifestyle.

Our primary market [is that of] components used in the wireless markets. Today, there are many players working to find a way to connect their products to the internet in a meaningful way. They are excited and believe that their product has a spot in the marketplace.

3 How do you connect with and convert new customers? What’s the key?

Our initial connections come through our salespeople in the field, along with presenting the company on the internet. Offering strong customer service when a potential customer makes contact is critical.

Getting the customers’ engineers in touch with our application engineers as quickly as possible is the key to our success.

4 What advice would you give to a business about staying abreast of technology?

Technology is accelerating at an incredible rate. When I look at the products Orbel is working on, it becomes quite clear that the rate of change and development will only quicken.

New ideas and tools are brought to the market daily. Technology has to be chosen wisely. Make sure the new technology has a payback in your operation.

Often, we miss the amount of cultural change and training costs required to bring a new technology online. The best way is to tread slowly, deliberately and with purpose.

5 What is the best piece of career advice that you have ever received?

You need to understand the unique proposition that you bring to an opportunity. Make sure you leverage your skills to the hilt.

 

Editor’s note: Appearing periodically, 5 Questions With spotlights a professional’s take on the economy and an industry. If you have a suggestion for a subject for this feature, please email Bill Kline at billk@lvb.com.

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