#MFGis: The American Worker

Glen Roberts

Made in America, American Made, Made in the USA and my favorite Made with American Pride. We have all heard these words or seen them affixed to many great products manufactured by the greatest workforce in the world. “THE AMERICAN WORKER.” I’ve spent the majority of my 45 plus years being around manufacturing and have experienced the sense of accomplishment to produce a quality product that you can be proud of. This feeling cannot be measured in dollars and cents but in one word “PRIDE”. It’s still here and we just need to see it and believe in the fact we have the most talented work force out of any other country on this globe. We used have a sign that hung in our manufacturing area that simply read “Build It As If You Would Buy It,” and we added “If You Wouldn’t Buy It, Then Don’t Ship It.” I’m sure lots of companies have the same types of sayings hanging in their manufacturing facilities. The process of making a part, having it go into an assembly, then seeing it work for the first time has to give a sense of pride to the maker. Shipping that assembly to a valued customer and having it work as advertised, has to give you a sense of pride. Having that customer take the time to call you and tell you how great your product works plus tell other folks about their satisfaction has to really swell your chest with pride.

The old saying goes, “If your product performs well for the customer, they may tell one or two other folks. If it doesn’t, they will tell ten.” This should always be considered on any product you manufacture and sell. I’ll take that one or two folks they may tell all day long about how great our product are. To me manufacturing pride is defined by three things:

QUALITY: How products are perceived by customers has changed somewhat since I entered the workforce in 1968. Customers not only want your product to work well, but they want it to be pleasing to the eye. This can be a strong selling point and a final decision breaker at times. We many times, change the aesthetics of our vibrators (within reason of course) to fit the requests of our customers. For instance, changing the color of the vibratory unit or also changing the color of Fabricated Vibratory Equipment to be more pleasing to the eye in the facility, is something we do for our customers. We uphold the quality of our product by keeping it’s manufacturing in-house. Each piece is crafted individually, with little-to-no mass production in our facility, while our Vibratory Equipment is designed and built to meet the unique application of each individual customer.

ON TIME DELIVERY: For sure having the product on the shelf increases your chances of making a sale. But, it is ever so dependent on the manufacturing folks producing stock on the shelf, especially when we are out of stock and they must hit the restock dates. I’ve always believed that in situations you are going to miss a shipping date, we must let our valued customers know ahead of time. This practice adds even more to our credibility and solidifies our customer-supplier relationships.

CUSTOMER SERVICE: We are all a big part of customer service and manufacturing is a very important part of how our customers view The Cleveland Vibrator Company. It all goes back to build it as if you were buying it. The actions of our manufacturing is reflected in how we take care of our valued customers. Our customers see this in our quality, lead times and how we respond to them in different situations. I think the best customer service you can have is knowing your manufacturing force is better than anyone else’s and knowing they believe this and act accordingly.

I am convinced we are somewhat unique in that we manufacture the industrial vibrators we supply to our customers, and it is not just about price. Made in America with American Pride still sells and customer service still exists right up there with quality and on time delivery.

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