EVS Metal: How long have you been with EVS, and how long have you worked in metal fabrication overall?
Linda: I have been at EVS since August 2008 when they purchased Holden Company. Overall, I have been in manufacturing for almost 40 years.
EVS: Did you begin your career in metal fab on the shop floor or other similar position, or have you always been in sales?
Linda: I started in the front office of The Holden Company. I worked my way up to CFO, then eventually became President before Holden Co was acquired by EVS Metal in 2008.
EVS: Describe your career trajectory — how did you start, any specific education/training/experience, what different positions have you held etc.
Linda: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Education. I took some courses in accounting, and a blueprinting course, and made my way up the ranks over time to company president. When EVS purchased Holden, I was made General Manager/Operations. After a succession plan was created, I moved into business development.
EVS: How does sales development differ from business development?
Linda: I would define sales development as a sales rep who focuses on inbound leads, qualifying prospects and setting up appointments.
Business development, on the other hand, goes beyond doing research; this means using a variety of tools to prospect, including cold emails, cold calling, cold visits and networking. For example, if I were to visit a current customer, I would plan a few cold call stops in the vicinity. Developing customers in geographical “clusters” is logistically much more efficient.
I would also add that while visiting customers, I try to meet with more people than just buyers, in order to begin building a broader relationship with the company for future growth. It gives me the opportunity to see what other products the customer has within their facility that could turn into potential business.
EVS: What are the biggest differences between positions in sales vs. sales engineering? How do the two work together?
Linda: Sales engineers can prepare a technical presentation and answer questions in that knowledge realm. They are also able to solve problems with installed equipment.
EVS: Are there any special processes available at EVS that are fairly unique for the industry that are of special interest to EVS’ customers or potential customers?
Linda: I believe we offer more than a typical sheet metal operation. We offer engineering assistance for new product development. We manufacture sheet metal products, structural frames, we have machining capabilities, and we offer liquid paint as well as powder coat. Two of our facilities are ITAR registered. All four facilities share common equipment, engineering, estimating etc. In general, we are able to offer our customers a wide variety of services — considerably more than many other operations.
EVS Metal: What does a typical day at EVS look like for you?
Linda: Each day brings new opportunities. I start my day off on a morning Gemba walk with Operations. I follow up on leads received via e-mail, the EVS site or customer requests, then schedule customer visits either onsite or at the customer’s site. I also address customer concerns and/or opportunities.
EVS: What do you like most about your job?
Linda: One of the most important parts of my job, if not the most important, is relationship building. I enjoy meeting new people, and I pride myself on developing long relationships with customers that allow me to consistently find new, interesting projects.
EVS: What do you look for in co-workers?
Linda: Enthusiasm and willingness to take on new challenges. The team works well together to creatively overcome day to day challenges.
EVS: How would you describe EVS’ company culture?
Linda: The culture is collaborative. For instance, because we share the same equipment and the same software, it’s very easy to move product over to another facility when there is a backlog, regardless if that backlog is in engineering, quoting, or production. This is a huge help when it comes to getting orders to customers on time.
EVS Metal: Are there any common questions you get from customers that seem fairly universal?
Linda: Typically the questions are as follows:
What are your capabilities? How long does it take to receive a quote? What is your typical lead time? Do you provide delivery?
EVS: What has been the most complex challenge you have encountered in your position?
Linda: ITAR projects for sure. Dealing with Military specs when quoting, sourcing, etc on every aspect of a project requires in-depth research and incredible accuracy.
EVS: What has been your most rewarding project at EVS?
Linda: Working with our team in NH, we brought in a project from a company in Amsterdam. The product is extremely custom and very rarely repeats itself with each new order. The challenges it brings to the team are huge, especially keeping engineering of each order consistent, while keeping the costs competitive, but we’ve maintained top-notch quality and 100% on-time delivery.
EVS: How do you see the metal fabrication industry growing or changing over the next few years? How do you see EVS Metal changing to accommodate/address these things?
Linda: Finding skilled workers is becoming more and more difficult these days. It is forcing us to start looking at technology as a solution. Automation, where it makes sense, is going to be key. Working with local educational programs will be important to develop the needed skills within the community, as well as implementing advanced technologies as it relates to processes and material handling.
We are committed to cross-training internally to help keep production moving even when there is an opening for a specialized wor and working with the community to foster interest in the trades and help provide space to accommodate the training.
EVS: Anything else you’d like to share about your position/responsibilities/department?
Linda: As I have worn many hats over the years, I have a pretty broad understanding of many metal fabrication and manufacturing processes, so I am also involved in Operations, ISO Auditing and training when time allows.
About EVS Metal
EVS Metal is an American precision metal fabricator headquartered in Riverdale, NJ. Our machinists and operators utilize the latest technology to cut, bend and finish stand-alone items as well as parts for integration or assembly into more complex products. EVS Metal’s four ISO 9001:2015-certified locations comprise over 250,000 square feet of vertically-integrated manufacturing space and feature the most modern equipment available, from lasers and CNC machining centers to automated powder coating lines.
We serve a diverse customer base across North America, providing a range of services from ITAR-compliant, quick-turn prototypes to high-volume production runs. Request a personalized metal fabrication quote online or call 1-888-9EVSMET to speak with a specialist today.