Jud McKinley is executive vice president of IRN Inc., a leading consulting firm in Grand Rapids, Mich., that serves automotive suppliers and middle-market manufacturers. His work focuses in three areas: improving sales and marketing effectiveness; helping companies successfully sell to the so-called new domestic automakers; and significantly improving new program and product launch.
He came to IRN (www.think-irn.com) after 22 years as vice president of sales and marketing for Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Summit Polymers Inc., a multiplant, automotive supplier of injection molded interior trim. While heading the firm's sales and marketing function, its annual sales grew from about $20 million to more than $350 million.
McKinley was instrumental in transforming relationships with several Japanese automotive original equipment makers and keiretsus to grow from a traditional customer/supplier structure to a more innovative partnership. These types of critical relationship adaptations with customers helped facilitate their move from being a basic producer of plastic parts to leading the design and development of several major automotive modules.
During his tenure, he was responsible for the identification and formation of global alliances for design/engineering and manufacturing in Europe, South America and Asia. He also played a key role in helping firms establish new manufacturing locations in Asia. McKinley is a recognized expert in how to develop and grow business with Japanese OEMs and suppliers.
The 15-person IRN, founded by Kim Korth in 1983, currently provides market intelligence and strategic support to more than 200 firms.
[NOTE: McKinley is speaking at the Forum for Korth, who had to withdraw due to a last-minute conflict.]