Traveling around the state, touring various manufacturing operations, it didn’t take long to identify a consistent theme with manufacturers.
Pride and passion.
It makes sense. These craftsman and craftswomen make things with their hands. To be moved along to be part of something big, or bigger. They play a role in that evolution of materials to create a much-needed product. The manufacturing process almost requires pride and passion.
One particular morning we showed up to our appointment to meet with the owner of a small manufacturing plant. Tanks and liners. Surveying the property as we pulled up, we couldn’t help but think, “we’re not going to be here long”. One thing we can acknowledge – it’s always bigger once you go through the doors.
This, however, was not the case. It was small. You could stand in one location and pretty much see the entire production.
Talking to the machinists, the welders, engineers and designers as we walked through the plant, reinforced the overwhelming sense of pride. The owner shared every detail of what they did. He shared the history of the company, the challenges encountered with various projects, and the creative solutions developed that “set them apart” from the other guys.
This manufacturing owner got really excited when he showed us his R&D lab – a small room with wires, duct tape, monitors and all sorts of electronic components. “We got this stuff off Amazon,” he shared. “We had to come up with a solution to inspect our tanks and liners for years down the road.”
The pride he had for the R&D process was only matched by the pride he had for the solution. Critical thinking and creative problem solving at its best – right there in this little room in this small manufacturing facility. His enthusiasm was infectious, and it was clear that he loved what he did, creating a joy that a lot of people outside of manufacturing do not experience in their careers.
Two and a half hours later emphasized the idea that you can't rush pride and passion. It takes time to develop a deep connection to your work and to take pride in what you do. This is especially true in the manufacturing industry, where attention to detail and a commitment to quality are essential.
We have come to realize - the smaller the facility, the longer we’re going to be there. And that’s okay because you just can’t rush pride and passion.