It’s an exciting time to be a manufacturer serving the automotive industry. In this week’s Candid Conversation, Chris Zuzick, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Waukesha Metal Products, gives us an inside look at the company, why he loves the manufacturing industry and where he sees it headed in the next year.
Success and Growth in Automotive Manufacturing
Founded in the early 1970’s, Waukesha Metal Products is a supplier of metal parts, assemblies, fabrication and tooling for various industries worldwide. They currently serve the automotive, appliance industry, security, and air filtration industries.
There have been many changes in manufacturing since the 70’s but Chris noted they’ve continued to grow throughout the years. Despite tumultuous times in the industry, Waukesha Metal Products has seen the most success working within the automotive industry. As automotive grows, with new technology and innovation, so does the business. Chris and his team have also seen success in the security and industrial industries over the past several years.
Building Industry Relationships In A Global Economy
There’s no doubt technology and the way we communicate is shifting. In an industry like manufacturing, which still relies on a more traditional approach to building industry relationships, new technology has left many businesses figuring out how to adapt.
Chris told us that Waukesha Metal Products still heavily relies on word of mouth referrals and building relationships in person. He’s even gone back to tried and true relationship building techniques. “I've done more personal letters these days because not a lot of people get mail anymore. To get a little note that says, ‘Hey I've been thinking about how can we work together.’ gets people's attention.”
Chris’ new strategies use more tech-focused communication methods. His team has begun hosting online and interactive conferences and using LinkedIn to connect with their customers in new ways.
As manufacturing becomes more of a global economy, the need to make connections with customers abroad has become even more important. “Relationships and making sure that they're gonna be long-term is a big deal.” Waukesha Metal Products ships globally and the company continues to see growth as their offices expand across the world.
Making an Impact in Manufacturing
It’s always great to talk with someone who is passionate about their industry, the impact their products have on the world and the success of their company. Chris is one of those people.
“We're making things that have an impact on everyday lives. Whether you are drying your clothes, driving a car or traveling, we're making things that make life better,” Chris said.
As for where Chris sees Waukesha Metal Products and the industry headed in the next year he had this to say: “Manufacturing continues to grow and is continuing to become more prevalent in the marketplace. So as that continues to grow we will continue to grow. Being part of cutting edge is kind of cool.”