When Mike Palm tells you he’s a jack of all trades at CRP Industries, he’s not lying. Just look at his resume. He started with the company in 1986 as a graduate of Shippensburg University, just outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He found a marketing assistant job at CRP through a newspaper ad. In the early days, he became involved in product development, digging into vehicles to look at parts that CRP could create. He also dipped his toe in cataloging, sales support and supplier development in CRP’s early years.
“I even learned how to drive a forklift,” Palm says laughing, recalling the memories of his various roles at CRP.
After 10 years of working his way up at the company, Palm asked himself, “What’s next?” His marketing mastery led him to find a role at Berlitz, a global supplier of language instruction, cross-cultural training and other educational materials, as its director of worldwide marketing. There, he gained experience in consumer marketing, yet always kept in touch with his CRP colleagues. After a decade at Berlitz, Palm, as he describes it, was lured back to the aftermarket by Daniel Schlidge, president and CEO of CRP, who presented a future-looking vision to Mike and told him how he could play a role in developing it.
Since 2005, Mike has been a staple at CRP working his way up to vice president of sales and marketing, leading the company’s aftermarket product management efforts and ensuring that CRP remains a respected brand in the industry.
In this episode of AMN Drivetime, presented by AISIN, find out how Mike and his team are doing that by getting close to the customer and looking ahead at innovations the company will need to produce down the line.
In this episode, Mike shares:
- How he started at CRP Industries and his experiences working at the company in “the early days” (0:40)
- Why he decided to leave the automotive aftermarket and what brought back to CRP from this experience (4:26)
- Why he returned to CRP and why he “wakes up everyday enjoying what I do” (9:18)
- The way his role as vice president of sales and marketing has changed and how he deals with change management both at CRP and in the industry (12:22)
- How CRP’s Innovation Council has spurred multiple product innovations for the company (15:09)
- The value that the Innovation Council has brought to CRP’s supply chain (19:39)
- Big opportunities for CRP to serve the marketplace in the near future (24:13)
- The Lightening Round ⚡