Markets: Cable Management
We want you to get to know the Milliken Cable Management team better, so we’ll occasionally feature team members in our Associate Spotlight series. This month we’re getting to know Archie Booker, senior account manager.
Archie, tell us a little about yourself.
I started at Milliken in 1978 after I received my bachelor’s in business administration from Lander University in Greenwood, SC. I managed a shift at Monarch Mill, a fabric weaving plant in Union, SC, for two years. After that, I moved into product development in Spartanburg, SC, and then later to Lagrange, GA, into a sales position. I found my passion in sales and have been in a sales role ever since. I transitioned into Milliken’s cable management business nearly 12 years ago and currently serve as senior account manager.
What are your responsibilities as senior account manager?
One of my main priorities is researching markets and introducing MaxCell® innerduct and Vis™ products to both end users and engineering firms. I review the product benefits with them and encourage them to place MaxCell and/or Vis Divide into their project specifications. The other key aspect of my role is to work closely with the supply chain — the distribution network — to make sure they are knowledgeable with our products and have enough literature and samples on hand.
I also like to follow the order through the system and into the field, going onto the job site and help with the installation and serving as a product expert for the contractors. We review the job plans and discuss what they need to do, how they need to do it and — most importantly — why.
In what topics are you an expert?
Besides golf, I consider myself an expert in our cable management products, the deployment of conduit and innerduct and installation of copper or fiber cable. I’m also a member of BICSI and ITS industry trade groups. At the end of the day, I meet with a lot of different people from engineers to end users, from distributors to contractors. One of the most important skills I’ve learned over my career is how to be adaptable.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I drink a cup of coffee, read the paper and then get right to addressing any emails that have come in since the day before. Emails come in at all times of the day from various time zones, including from colleagues in Asia and on the West Coast. Once I’m caught up on emails, I check on lead potentials by searching for upcoming projects in my area and then follow up with any issues that come up that day and make sales calls.
Many days are spent hosting lunch-and-learn presentations at engineering firms and many distributor locations. Whether it’s a small or large event, I tailor my presentations to address each specific audience. They eat while I talk, so I have a lot of late lunches on the road.
What’s your favorite snack food while you’re out making calls?
Blue Diamond almonds are my go-to snack. They have different flavors, like habanero, wasabi and soy sauce, salt and vinegar, and are packed with protein to help me stay full while I travel.
What’s next for you?
In addition to my day-to-day sales efforts, I’m serving as a mentor to some new associates, sharing what I’ve learned in my 41 years at Milliken. I’ll be retiring soon, and I want to make sure the next generation can benefit from my experience as much as possible. After retirement, I’ll start planning a golf trip to Ireland and Scotland with my friends, and a trip to Europe with my wife. I once played golf at Lahinch in Ireland, on the west coast next to the Cliffs of Moor, where they use goats to cut the grass. I can’t wait to go again and see more of that area.
Thanks, Archie! Look for more Associate Spotlight pieces coming soon.