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issue: November 2006 APPLIANCE Magazine

People
Jeffrey Day of Bystronic


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When it comes to waterjet technology, Jeffrey Day is right at the tip of the iceberg. As the recently appointed product manager of waterjet cutting systems for Bystronic, he’s ready to dive right in and get to work learning what’s going on below the water level. Just the “go for it attitude” you would expect from a 17-time marathoner and avid skier. You don’t finish 32nd at the Boston Marathon without that level of enthusiasm.
Day started diving into life early, snagging a chance job after graduating from the BBA University of Massachusetts. After a short time as sales administrator for a company marketing precision plasma cutting systems, an opening for a technical specialist came up. Day went for it. He’s been building on it ever since. Following the move to Bystronic, Day became interested in waterjet technology because of the amazing promise it holds for application.
The challenges of his position now? “Trying to convert raw technical information into clear benefit statements,” he says. It’s the age-old struggle to turn techno-talk into dollars and cents. Day’s easygoing conversational style is a definite plus in his role, and he says that he can always fall back on a simple strategy to customers: the WIIFM or “What’s In It For Me” approach.
As he’s never had a mentor (preferring to consult the infamous Dilbert for perspective on the current state of the business world), it makes sense that Day espouses a fairly hands-off management style. He says he likes to give people broad objectives, make sure they have what they need to get the job done, and then let them go to work.
Being product manager means he covers all aspects of the machine, so he feels as if he’s working in a small company within the company. The product manager is directly in charge of a product, not of people per se, so sometimes he has to get things done through influence rather than orders. Day’s trust in the employees and the freedom he allows gives everyone the chance to use their own skills and show what they can do.
Looking into the future, Day can see exactly what he needs to achieve. It took years to get the industry to recognize Bystronic as a laser cutting company, and now the same challenge awaits with regards to waterjet technology. “We have to get those people, plus totally different markets, to think of Bystronic in conjunction with waterjet cutting,” he says. With Day’s guidance and endurance training, Bystronic will be diving into the waterjet market and swimming far.

Suppliers mentioned in this article:
Bystronic Inc.
 

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