Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Business Does What He's Good at; It's No Accident: Founder of Market Research Firm Analyzed His Own Strengths

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Business Does What He's Good at; It's No Accident: Founder of Market Research Firm Analyzed His Own Strengths

Article excerpt

Byline: KEVIN TURNER

About 24 years ago, Morris Taylor looked at his own talents and interests and made a business model out of them. Today, his MGT Information is still going strong, operating on that same model.

After graduating Southern College in 1976 with a degree in chemistry, Taylor's jobs included work as a development engineer for a division of Citgo Petroleum Corp.; a research chemist for Union Carbide Corp. and Proctor & Gamble; a development chemist for Northern Petrochemical Co.; and for Hughes Aircraft Co. in the company's space and communication satellites division.

With thorough knowledge of how the chemical industry works, he was eager to interact more with people - something more conducive to his gregarious personality.

"The tech role was very useful. It allowed [me] to build an understanding of technology and products," he said. "It didn't provide for a great deal of interaction on the business level."

He switched from technical work to the business side in 1984, when he came to Jacksonville to work for SCM Chemicals as a market manager in the adhesives and ink industry.

From there, he made the leap to starting his own market information consulting firm.

"I supposed everyone entertains running their own show in one way or the other," he said. "The question in everyone's mind is, 'What do you do? What are you good at? What do you like?' That's what this was about," he said.

The answers to those questions led him to start a company that produced reports about how companies are perceived by their suppliers and customers - a service he knew industrial companies needed. That would involve training his employees to become experts in each field and then using that knowledge to conduct interviews with people in the field.

The information fills a break in communication, Taylor says. People working in companies in industries around the world don't always know what their suppliers, customers and competitors think of them, and MGT Information's reports offer them an unflinching view, he said.

"In order to compete and compete successfully, you have to know what does your customer think, good or bad," he said.

For example, to do a report for a company that manufactures coloring chemicals for use in paint, researchers first understand what kind of chemicals paint companies use to make their paints and what companies they buy them from. Then, with a thorough understanding of the industry, interviewing begins. After data is gathered, it goes into reports other employees edit for printing.

Taylor has a staff of 10 in an office in Jacksonville's Switzerland suburb.

MGT started out dealing with American companies, but by the early 1990s had gone global, and he needed an international staff.

His researchers typically include people from South America, Thailand, the Philippines, Germany, France and China. …

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