Base Case

By Sean Gallagher  |  Posted 2003-05-01 Email Print this article Print

A maker of old-fashioned mixers blends in new technology to stay ahead of the churn.

Lightnin: Base Case

Headquarters: 135 Mt. Read Blvd., Rochester, NY 14611

Phone: (585) 436-5550

Business: Worldwide supplier of "flow technology"—industrial and laboratory mixers and impellers.

Chief Information Officer: Richard Gray, vice president of information technology and e-business.

Financials in 2002: Parent company SPX Corp. reported $1.39 billion in sales and $219 million in operating income from Lightnin and other units devoted to flow technology.

Challenge: Improve speed and efficiency of product manufacturing.


  • In 2000, set goal of automating 80% of equipment and spare-part sales through manufacturer's reps with e-commerce—achieved and exceeded (85% in 2002).
  • Improve the quote-to-product delivery cycle time by 25%—achieved in 2002.
  • Reduce I.T. staff and investment in "nonvalue-added" activities—achieved; more than 50% of staff cut in 2002.

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    Sean Gallagher is editor of Ziff Davis Internet's enterprise verticals group. Previously, Gallagher was technology editor for Baseline, before joining Ziff Davis, he was editorial director of Fawcette Technical Publications' enterprise developer publications group, and the Labs managing editor of CMP's InformationWeek. A former naval officer and former systems integrator, Gallagher lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland.

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