Annual Reports

While the lavish budgets of old have been slashed, and many companies have migrated their reports online, annual reports continue to serve an important purpose. Not only do they communicate how a company or organization is doing, they can serve as the basis for a variety of marketing communications.


untitledFor he YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka annual, I wrote a series of case studies of donors and people who had been aided by the venerable institution, showing how it helps communities grow, and supports personal growth and diversity.





GSW_Annual_Report_coverI wrote the theme sections – all about making and keeping promises – for this annual report for GSW, a longtime maker of water heaters. The theme and intro copy follows:







—Peter M. Sharpe, President and Chief Executive Officer, GSW Inc.

As one of the oldest companies in the country, we have gone through many transitions. We learned early to never stand still. For more than 150 years, we have relied on our commitment to innovation, quality, service, leadership and growth to guide us through fluctuating market conditions. GSW has evolved and flourished where many have perished because not only have we embraced change, we learned to lead it.

Over the next year, we will strive to solidify our position as a major player in the North American water heater market, taking advantage of synergies and opportunities for GSW Water Heating and American Water Heater Company. We intend to grow our building products division through strategic acquisitions, balancing the two segments of our business. We are determined to stay on our course of reducing costs, improving operational efficiencies, and developing new and innovative products. Our new senior management team will continue to have a sweeping impact on all of our businesses. But most of all, we will foster the all-important relationship with our customers, focusing on their evolving needs.

By looking ahead and leading change, we will deliver a promise that is as old as GSW’s long history of groundbreaking achievement.


Copy for first theme spread


Our promise: We will continually improve everything we do.

We are committed to improving every aspect of our business, yielding clearly measurable results. We will continue to work hard to reduce the number of man-hours it takes to build each water heater, to decrease material costs and to raise product innovation to new heights. While our 99.9 percent on-time delivery performance is remarkable, it still leaves room for improvement. We will increase the efficiency of our shipping process. Our management team will renew their dedication to customer service and product quality, while working hard to reduce costs to achieve this quality. Although American Water Heater Company has posted its best year ever, we promise never to falter in our commitment to bettering our business. And we will always keep the chief beneficiary of our efforts in mind – our customers. They will continue to receive the very best water heaters, delivered on time every time.


Copy for second theme spread


Our promise: We will deliver superior customer service.

We will continue to be our customers’ water heater supplier of choice, striving to understand their businesses better than anyone else. They will receive customized service and products that help them to achieve their business goals. We intend to constantly improve our manufacturing efficiencies and cost structures. We will develop further synergies with the American Water Heater Company, exploring a variety of manufacturing, distribution, purchasing and R&D opportunities. Despite fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar, our new leadership team will continue to work hard to offer the best water heaters at competitive prices, leading the way as well in new product development and on-time delivery. And we will reaffirm our commitment to being responsible corporate citizens, supporting our employees and their community, just as we did last year – in the wake of the August blackout, we reduced our factory’s power consumption by 75 percent and received special recognition from the Government of Ontario.


Copy for third theme spread


Our promise: We will strive to set new standards for competitiveness and growth.

We are determined to maintain and strengthen our market leadership position in manufacturing vinyl rainware and railing systems. We will strive to overcome competition and the rising Canadian dollar by continuing to offer customers the very best service and highest-quality products at value prices. Following last year’s unprecedented successes, we will again embrace a companywide initiative to reduce costs and increase productivity. Our motivated workforce and strong management team will work together – guided by a shared vision and sense of mission – to achieve marketing goals and streamline manufacturing processes. We will seek to secure our long-term future through a carefully planned program of growth and acquisition. Building on the foundation laid these last few years, we will do our best to win new business and solidify our premier position in the market. We will never stand still.



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