Growing up, Trisha and Sean Mowry could often be found in one place after school and during summer breaks: Metal Craft, their father’s machine company. They took on various roles, from maintenance and machine operation, to technical assistance and IT, whatever was required of the teens. After their father, Jack, sought their assistance during a high-growth period, the siblings became full-time partners in 1992.
They were with Metal Craft when the 1996 acquisition of Riverside Machine & Engineering doubled the company’s manufacturing capacity and staff overnight. A little more than a decade later, they took full ownership of the company along with their mother, Kay, and made a land acquisition to triple Metal Craft’s manufacturing square footage.
Now, Metal Craft has reached another growth phase. With the second generation of leadership at the helm—Trisha serving as Chief Executive Officer and Sean as President—the company is striving to maintain the family business values it was founded upon while growing to the next level of service that its customers demand. Plans call for doubling the company’s current square footage from 120,000 to 250,000 and increasing manufacturing capacity by 20 percent over the next year. Metal Craft expects this to provide greater service and expertise in managing risk management, design improvement and manufacturability support.
BONEZONE spoke to Trisha Mowry about Metal Craft’s greatest challenges and its commitment to customers in the orthopaedic industry.
BONEZONE: What is pertinent to know about Metal Craft’s background to understand the company that it is today?
Trisha Mowry: The key is that we’re growing, and have been continually growing since my father founded the company in 1978. We’re evolving; taking it to the next level and becoming a larger company while holding on to our core family business values of Quality, Service and Innovation. We are working toward providing that next level of service to become a superior partner for our customers. We realize that our customers are the reason we are here, the reason we are growing.
BONEZONE: What lies at the core of Metal Craft’s growth?
Mowry: Our commitment to quality and to listening to the customers’ needs overall is the main contributing factor to our growth. Our quality extends throughout the whole system. It begins when our relationships are born, understanding our customers’ needs—not only the technical quality requirements. We go above and beyond to provide a product that won’t just meet their specification but will exceed it. Customers are now sharing more information than ever before, providing us with exactly what they need and educating us on the end user requirements.
BONEZONE: What do you see as Metal Craft’s greatest challenge in 2014?
Mowry: Finding more people, finding the right people. We’ve focused on partnering with tech schools and colleges to educate them on the specific requirements needed within our industry to ensure that they are effectively developing our future leaders. Whether their students begin to work for us or not, they’re working for our customers, our government or our education system.
Further, we are reaching out to local colleges and partnering with schools to get students into the workforce earlier to familiarize them with real needs and expectations. Our staff sits on boards and advisory committees whenever possible to help educators understand the complex needs and direction of the industry. It is important they recognize what the requirements are to keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S. rather than going offshore.
This has been an ongoing initiative since the company was founded. It’s critical as funding is getting cut for schools and their extended programs. K-12 schools provide the core needs of math, science and English; however, a focus on communication and accountability is still missing. These ethics need to be instilled in students to succeed in the workplace, in college and throughout their careers.
- Next >>