2009: A Year End Review
The past year has certainly been a busy one for us here at BCI Burke, with our biggest product announcement in years, a major international expansion, new partnerships and the addition of new representatives.
The biggest news, of course, was the announcement of our new Nucleus playground line (www.playnucleus.com), which meets worldwide safety standards of ASTM, CSA, EN 1176 and Australian, clearing the way for us to offer our entire line of playground components worldwide.
Here are some other 2009 highlights:
- Choice Facility Partners – BCI Burke's partnership with Choice Facility Partners makes it possible for government agencies throughout the United States to purchase Burke playgrounds and related products under pre-approved contracts that already meet competitive bidding requirements.
- Worlds of Wow – Worlds of Wow is a national leader of indoor play attractions and themed environments, and our partnership with them will enable us to make Burke playgrounds more readily available for indoor use.
- Hatch – BCI Burke has reached a joint marketing agreement with Hatch, a national leader in providing preschooler classroom education through technology and research-based learning products. Under this agreement, Hatch's sales team and Burke's representatives nationwide will work together to identify and pursue opportunities to install and use BCI Burke playgrounds in ways that help promote child fitness as well as classroom performance.
New Representative Firms
BCI Burke has a long history of working through qualified playground representatives, who are able to develop ongoing relationships with customers and ensure that they receive the best, most personal service possible. These representative firms joined us during 2009:
This holiday season, give your children the gift of time
By Tim Ahern
On any given day, there are probably a few thousand kids playing on BCI Burke playgrounds throughout the nation, and I doubt if any of them has ever heard of Art Linkletter.
But I hope their parents have, because even though Linkletter has been out of the limelight for a couple of decades, he taught us a number of things that can help make us better parents.
For more than 25 years, Linkletter hosted the television show, House Party, which featured a segment in which he interviewed children. Their comments were so funny that he compiled them into a series of best-selling books called “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” It became the favorite segment of the show. The books are still in print, and they're as good as ever.
Three things about Linkletter's famous “Kids” segment offer important lessons to parents today. First, he made it a priority and built it into the show's schedule. It was never an afterthought.
The busier we are, the more important it is to schedule time to be with our kids. We schedule business meetings, dental appointments and even haircuts. But too often, the children get the leftovers from our hectic lives, and when we are with them we're liable to be distracted. When it was time for Linkletter to interview the kids, he was completely dialed in to what each child had to say.
If we're thinking about work problems, fiddling with our cell phones, watching TV or reading the paper, we're not focused on the kids. They need – and deserve – our full attention.
The second lesson from Linkletter is the importance of listening to our kids. The way to know what's going on in their lives is to make them comfortable talking to us. Before each show, Linkletter would spend some time with the children to give them time to get comfortable around him.
His third lesson came not from his show but from what he told his audience regularly – that kids need our time. Lots of it. We like to talk about “quality time,” and I'm certainly in favor of that. But to our children, time is simply time. They don't necessarily open up to us on our schedules. A child may need to talk about a lot of things that seem trivial to adults before he or she tells us about a fear of math or troubles with a teacher.
So as you ponder what to give your children this holiday season, don't forget the most important gift of all: Your time. They're worth it.
Reputation, products attract Minnesota rep firm
When Earl F. Andersen Inc. (EFA) wanted to represent a playground manufacturer, the company set out to interview some of the country’s top companies. After several interviews, the company selected BCI Burke because of Burke’s reputation in the industry and innovative products.
“As we met with major playground manufacturers throughout the United States, it was clear that BCI Burke was the best fit for our firm and for our customers throughout Minnesota. They have a reputation for having a strong focus on customer service as well as producing high-quality products that last for decades,” said Jeff Corniea, vice president of sales and marketing for EFA, which represents BCI Burke throughout Minnesota.
But it’s not only Burke’s reputation that EFA took into consideration. The product lines were another contributor in the decision.
“Burke’s new Nucleus line is the only 5" post system in the market that seamlessly integrates traditional playground components with fitness-oriented ones and the only one that includes a free product-specific curriculum. We believe this and other Burke products will create a lot of excitement among those who manage playgrounds for schools, parks, day care centers and others with playground needs,” said Corniea.
Now that the two companies have partnered up, EFA is eager to get started and continue their success. The company has plenty of experience planning and installing playgrounds throughout the state.
“We are looking forward to getting started with Burke and being part of the reputation. All of our sales staff are certified playground safety inspectors and are knowledgeable in the industry. They have the experience and expertise to provide the best solution for all playground and recreation needs,” said Corniea.