Bill Martinson has spent 27 years as a ‘trusted business advisor’ all across northwest Minnesota
By Lynn Shelton
Enterprise Minnesota's Director of Marketing and Legislative Relations
(Lynn Shelton, director of marketing and legislative relations, Enterprise Minnesota)
Every organization has at least one iconic employee whose accomplishments and personal style are admired by all. We have several at Enterprise Minnesota. One of them is Bill Martinson, who has been one of our business advisers for 27 years, which is to say from the very beginning. Working from his home, he represents a large swath of northwest Minnesota, bordered by Canada to the north, North Dakota to the west, Bemidji to the east, and going as far south as Fergus Falls. Needless to say, Bill is no stranger to “windshield time.”
He specializes in product development, manufacturing technology, business strategy and analysis, financial analysis, facility design, and operations management. He serves as a business development consultant and has been a facilitator on several of our Minnesota Manufacturing Peer Councils.
Bill holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from North Dakota State University and an MBA from Moorhead State University. Before joining Enterprise Minnesota, Bill served as an engineer for White Farm Equipment, a systems engineer for Steiger Tractor Company, and general manager for Wahpeton Canvas Company.
He recalls as a new employee there was no onboarding routine since no one had ever boarded! “We were created for a purpose, but there was no one to train us, and we didn’t have any products. We had to develop expertise because we didn’t have it in-house.” While Enterprise Minnesota currently has a much-envied lineup of manufacturing experts, in the beginning, it was all subcontracted through third-party providers.
Bill recalls that Enterprise Minnesota grew along with the surging interest in lean enterprise. “There are probably a lot of people who think that’s all we are,” he says. “We have added a lot of capabilities, but it takes a long time to change your positioning in the marketplace.”
The key to his success, he says is to be a trusted service advisor, especially in rural areas. “We represent our clients’ interests,” Bill says. “There is nothing more satisfying than feeling like you have truly helped a company, in whatever way they define their needs. I never cease to get over the satisfaction I get when a company feels that I have really helped them.”
He admits that travel time—he typically drives 3,000 miles each month—is one of the challenges, the biggest of which are his sojourns to the Mother Ship in Minneapolis. “There are so many of them, I almost have a mental block. I try to break it up. Last summer, I stopped in a restaurant halfway down. There was a guy in there. He said, you know you need to take a break every two hours. That’s what I do. I have to break it up. That’s a long trip.”
For more information about Bill Martinson and Enterprise Minnesota’s consulting services, please visit www.enterpriseminnesota.org/consulting-services
How to Develop Your Future Leaders
**Exclusive to Manufacturers**
Thursday, August 3, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Century College - East Campus
3300 Century Ave N, Room E2313
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
What to Expect
Manufacturers know that the growing skills gap means they can no longer count on hiring applicants who will have the skills they need. Instead, they urgently need to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities of their current employees. Equally important, manufacturers need to focus on the unique competencies that comprise leadership skills.
Please join us to learn insights about the critical components of talent management and the steps necessary to develop a successful leadership development program. Upon completion of the workshop participants will be able to:
- Define talent and talent management
- Identify the talent management life cycle
- Describe key components to talent management
- Explain the impact leaders have on an organization
- Depict steps to developing a leadership development program
- Create an action plan to implement within their own organization
This event is exclusive to manufacturers and is free of charge. Registration required.
To register please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-455-4239