Ted Dirkx

Ted Dirkx

Ted Dirkx

Speaker | Vermeer

Pella, IA | tdirkx@vermeer.com

USCC Member

Hooked by worm power before discovering diesel power. After studying composting and graduating with a degree in Environmental Studies from Central College he joined equipment manufacturer Vermeer Corporation in Pella, Iowa as a product specialist within the recycling division. Traveling about 25 weeks a year he has been roaming North America and beyond gaining a wealth of knowledge and helping organizations setup compost facilities, manufacture mulch, clear land, and produce biofuels. He has presented at the Compost Council of Canada Annual Conference, Canadian Wood Waste Recycling Association, and US Compost Council Annual Conference on topics related to operational efficiency and maintenance.

Session Name: Technological Innovations for Compost Manufacturers from Small Scale to Large

Session Time: Wednesday, January 29, 4:15 to 5:45 PM

Presentation Title: The Art of Innovation: Lessons to help uncover your next big break through

Presentation Description: For many compost operations that strive to be competitive they attempt to innovate by tweaking their process, how its delivered, or improving customer service. This type of innovation is intuitive and comes natural for many business leaders. Which often is based on instinct and anecdotal feedback. It results in mixed outcomes and relies mostly on luck. Too often this hopeful approach is taken, which can result in thousands of dollars wasted.

Those who fail to innovate are often asking the wrong questions and do not understand how to best filter market information into meaningful decisions. The consequence can be expensive, a series of poor innovative decisions can sink a business. The good news is there are principles and methods that can help guide the process giving justification for choosing one idea over the other. Turning luck into calculated risk.

Through my work as an Application Specialist I have spent years working with composters who wrestle with these ideas. It’s through these experiences that I will share how to apply innovation principles to filter customer and market information through a process that brings the strongest ideas to the surface. A discussion of risk will also be covered to best evaluate how much an organization can withstand. The goal of this presentation is to inspire the audience to think differently about how they can take ideas and evaluate them to uncover their next big break through.