Ray O'Connor, president and CEO of Tope on Positioning Systems (TPS), rates as a contrarian who does not follow the crowd. His company acquired Sokkia Co. Ltd. in February 2008 - several months after the U.S. economy had sunk into the current deep, prolonged recession - to form the world's largest leading supplier of surveying equipment. The transaction grew the largest division of Topcon, which happens to operate in an economic sector hit particularly hard by the downturn.
SPECIAL REPORT The vanguard of economic recovery Companies investing in productivity-enhancing positioning technologies are poised for growth By Don Talend T o business leaders, aggres- nity exists because most others have the bad times provide and being in sive moves may appear to fallen victim to irrational fears and a position to dominate the market be strategically counterin- are conserving funds. when the hard financial times end.” tuitive during an economic Ray O’Connor, president and Visionaries such as O’Connor real- downturn such as the world CEO of Topcon Positioning Systems ize that, more than ever, companies is currently experiencing. However, (TPS), rates as a contrarian who does embracing increased productivity firms that invest in new technologies not follow the crowd. His company through technology will drive the will not only position themselves for acquired Sokkia Co. Ltd. in February world’s economic recovery. The cur- explosive growth when macroeco- 2008 — several months after the U.S. rent economic recession provides a nomic conditions improve but will economy had sunk into the current rare window of opportunity for for- also lead the recovery by setting deep, prolonged recession — to form ward-thinking companies in the con- higher standards for productivity. the world’s largest leading supplier struction, survey, civil engineering In industries that use heavy equip- of surveying equipment. The trans- and agriculture markets. ment, such as highway construction, action grew the largest division of In tough times, increasing produc- companies have the opportunity to Topcon, which happens to operate in tivity through the adoption of techno- acquire new machine-control and an economic sector hit particularly logical breakthroughs can mean the telematics technologies, and position hard by the downturn. difference between success and fail- themselves for growth and market O’Connor indicates that, for con- ure. A factor that makes technology dominance once the recession ends. struction and surveying companies, adoption easier is the relative afford- A popular topic of discussion cutting-edge technology will be their ability of the new technologies — during the
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