strategic initiatives and priorities:
Operations and supply chain optimi-
zation with selected capital investments
Managing raw material volatility and optimizing our geographic footprint and operational efficiency are important components for growth. Our sales, inventory and operations planning process helps us determine if, when and how much raw material to purchase, as well as how much finished goods to maintain based on end market demand. Over the last three years, we have invested in restructuring projects such as reducing the number of North American manufacturing facilities, improving the quality of our products and reducing raw material supply lead times (to help mitigate fluctuations in raw material pricing). These efforts have been complemented by a number of facility expansion initiatives, including investments in our distribution capacity at our Harvey, Illinois location. In the future, we intend to continue to evaluate and pursue similar initiatives where appropriate, but also make targeted capital investments or pursue strategic acquisitions that help reduce costs, enhance our product offerings, enable us to enter attractive markets, expand our technological capabilities and provide synergy opportunities.
New Product Development
By focusing on customer needs to create products that enable faster installation, thus reducing construction costs, we intend to introduce new and innovative products to both new and existing customers.