November 1, 2009

Cover Story

Outstanding Directors

Utah’s business community is rich with professionals who have led the state t...Read More

Featured Articles

From Sparks to Flames

Gifts that Keep on Giving

Sections

EntrepreneurEdge
Home Leasing 101

Executive Getaways
Get Out, Way Out

Executive Health
Vision Improved

Executive Living
A Night on the Town

Features
Looking For a Lift

Focus
Balancing the Scales

Industry Outlook
Telecom

Legal Briefs
Before You Say “I Do”

Money Talk
Becoming Investor-worthy

People
Rich Allen

Special Report
Flying High

People
Doug Anderson

TechKnowledge
One-stop-shop

Article

Rich Allen

Enjoying the Ride

By Candace M. Little

November 1, 2009

Ironically, Rich Allen, former COO and recently appointed CEO of Logan-based S&S Worldwide, Inc., one of the top roller coaster manufacturing companies in the world, doesn’t enjoy riding coasters that much—at least not like he once did. For him, the real ride is managing people and processes. His background is in the meat processing and packaging business, and he will tell you meat and coasters have absolutely nothing to do with each other. But, he says, “Successfully managing people and processes requires the same leadership skills no matter what industry you’re in.” This managerial spirit comes from almost 30 years of managing one kind of company or another, with the last 12 years at S&S. The company’s major competitors are mostly European, but Allen says because of the company’s innovative technology and reputation for excellent customer service, S&S still has a strong presence overseas even when customers may pay higher freight costs. Allen is looking forward to launching a European coaster in Germany next spring, where the Nurburgring Race Track will be home to the world’s fastest launch coaster—reaching speeds of 135 miles per hour in just 2.5 seconds. While S&S continues to break world records, Allen is reluctant to acknowledge his own success. “I don’t focus on my personal success,” he says. “I don’t know that I’m particularly successful. I’ve just had the opportunity during my career to work for and be mentored by very excellent people.” Allen shares three pieces of advice he’s learned from his mentors and his own experiences: 1) Understand your industry and your own company; 2) Improve your weaknesses and become knowledgeable in things you don’t understand; and 3) Always give your employees opportunities to contribute and grow. Allen has followed his own advice, becoming knowledgeable in other business areas besides the meat business and roller coaster industry. He also forced himself to master accounting when first starting out. He didn’t like accounting in college, but by pushing himself, he was able to improve his own skills and in the long run, improve the company he manages. Allen says success comes from having intelligent employees and giving them the latitude to grow. “I don’t mind being the dumbest guy in the room,” Allen says. “If I surround myself with intelligent people, I don’t have to work as hard to make the company successful.” But, he says, you have to give people the opportunity to be creative and let everyone’s voice be heard. Over all, Allen believes in always delivering a quality product. Sometimes providing quality can mean the company makes less, but Allen says the profit is not the only important consideration. “I would much rather deliver more than the customer was expecting, even if it requires lower margins, in order to maintain the integrity of the company’s reputation.” With more than 150 of its air-launched rides and coasters installed in 29 countries, Allen plans to enhance the company’s performance by implementing a new customer-driven operations plan and continue leading S&S to even greater success in the amusement industry. “[Businesses] need to give what their customers expect—and a little bit more than what they expect.”
Utah Business Social
UB Events View All
Content Marketing BootcampUtah Business Event
Oct 28, 2014
Please join Utah Business Magazine and Adobe, along with our other sponsors: Boostability, Right ...
Sustainable Business Awards 2014Utah Business Event
Nov 13, 2014
Utah Business magazine along with presenting sponsor Big D Construction, is pleased to announce t...
Best Companies to Work For 2014Utah Business Event
Dec 11, 2014
Utah Business magazine along with our sponsors Diversified Insurance and Miller Motor Sports Park...
Community Events View All
2014 Wicked Halloween 5K and Family Expo
Oct 25, 2014
Calling all witches, ghosts, vampires and werewolves! Join us on October 25th at Memory Grove Par...
St. George Book Festival - Book Expo Extravaganza!
Oct 25, 2014
What to Except: * Readers of all ages and genres will get a chance to meet dozens of prolific au...

info@utahbusiness.com  |  90 South 400 West, Ste 650 Salt Lake City, Utah 84101   |  (801) 568-0114

Advertise with Utah Business

Submit an Event

* indicates required information
* Event Name:
Price (general):
Website (if applicable):
Coordinator's Name:
Coordinator's Email:
Coordinator's Phone:
Venue Name:
Venue Address:
Venue City:
Venue Zip:
Event Capacity:
Date(s):
to
* Event Description:
  Cancel