Saturday Spotlight: Shining Light Company – Oshkosh Corporation

Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) designs and builds the world’s toughest vehicles by working shoulder-to-shoulder with the people who use them.  They are the leading manufacturer of access equipment, specialty vehicles and truck bodies primarily in the markets of national defense, concrete placement, refuse hauling, access equipment and fire & emergency services. Oshkosh makes it their business to understand the rigors of their customers’ jobs, and deliver vehicles to them that out-perform anything else on the market. They then back those vehicles with a 24/7 global service network.  This philosophy has earned Oshkosh a leadership position in every truck market in which they compete. At Oshkosh, their MOVE Strategy helps them to deliver more value for customers and shareholders. There are four primary areas to help drive this strategy:  Market Leader Delighting Customers, Optimize Cost and Capital Structure, Value Innovation, and Emerging Market Expansion.

Oshkosh Corporation was founded in 1917 as the Wisconsin Duplex Auto Company.  The company was created to build a severe-duty four-wheel-drive truck. After the first prototype was built, the company began to develop rapidly. This first four-wheel-drive truck, known today as “Old Betsy,” is still owned by Oshkosh Corporation and housed in one of its assembly plants in Oshkosh. The vehicle still runs and is used frequently in demonstrations and parades.  Today Oshkosh is a Fortune 500 Company with manufacturing operations on four continents. Its products are recognized around the world for quality, durability and innovation and can be found in more than 150 countries around the globe. The company currently employs approximately 16,000 people worldwide. In 1976 the company won a U.S. Army contract to supply 744 M911 heavy equipment transporters, the first in a long line of U.S. Army contracts that now sees Oshkosh Defense as the sole supplier of medium and heavy tactical trucks to the U.S. Army and Marines.

Oshkosh was recently recognized by American Values @ Work, a bi-weekly email publication highlighting inspirational ways American Hero Companies and other businesses are building a better and brighter America. The publication recognized Oshkosh’s practice of servant leadership as an inspiring example of these achievements.  Perhaps CEO Wilson Jones puts it best: “I’ve been a big believer in servant leadership over the years – people first. Our greatest asset in our company is our people…we all have a part of this company.”  The result?  Jones concludes, “By enabling and letting (our entire team) have a voice and make some of the changes we need to make, it’s showing in our performance.”  He goes on to say “Our core values of Honesty, Integrity, Accountability, Respect and Citizenship guide our decisions and are the cornerstone of our ethical culture. I, along with my leadership team, must model the right behavior that can be embraced and replicated throughout the organization. If we don’t set the right tone, then how can we expect others to do the right thing? Our ethical culture begins and ends with our people.”

Speaking of people, Oshkosh Corporation is dedicated to creating an inclusive workplace for all employees. To promote professional development and networking, the first Oshkosh Women’s Network event was held in May 2015. The Oshkosh Women’s Network is the Company’s first employee resource group. The purpose of the group is to help women achieve their full potential by providing forums for networking and professional development to drive success at Oshkosh.  The event stressed the importance of preparing for potential promotions, taking risks, learning and moving on from mistakes, and building professional relationships with managers early on.

Oshkosh strives to be a top employer and a partner of choice for the communities where they live and work. They were honored with the New North Workplace Excellence Award, further demonstrating how their  business succeeds through both Company culture and the programs that support their team members. They were also recently named one of FORTUNE’s World’s Most Admired Companies, a Glassdoor Best Place to Work, a Military Friendly Employer by Victory Media and one of America’s Best Large Employers by Forbes.  At Oshkosh, team members come to work every day knowing that they are making a difference in someone’s life by building vehicles that protect war fighters, firefighters and construction workers so they can do their jobs and return home safely

Progress continues toward achieving ambitious environmental goals for reducing waste and energy use. Significant investments in energy efficiency at facilities in Wisconsin, helped them win the 2015 Business Friend to the Environment Award for Sustainability. Oshkosh Corporation was also honored as one of the 2016 Focus on Energy Excellence In Energy Efficiency Award winners.

Oshkosh’s brand and reputation are unmatched in the industry, and having celebrated their 100 year anniversary in 2017, they know that it is the success of their people that will drive superior performance for the next 100 years. The key ingredient to that success is doing things the right way, the Oshkosh Way. For these many reasons, we are proud to recognize Oshkosh Corporation as a Shining Light Company!


DISCLOSURE: Shining Light Companies are exemplary companies who live out the Golden Rule in their business practices, demonstrate strong servant leadership and create compelling value through the products and services they offer. This is intended for general information purposes concerning only the values, corporate culture and business practices of the companies being spotlighted. It DOES NOT incorporate any analysis of the companies’ investment merit based on intrinsic value, fundamental analysis, etc. This must not be construed as investment advice or a buy/sell recommendation. These companies may or may not be included in our LightPoint Portfolios at any given time.