The staff at Swiss Precision Machining continues to move our business of more than 30 years forward and we couldn’t be prouder to call them family. In this blog series we’re highlighting our team. We invite you to get to know the people behind the products.
Team Member Name: Joseph (Joe) Haupers
Position: Sales Director
Q: How long have you been with SPM?
A: Well, I can tell you that there were cell phones around, but they weighed about 4.5 pounds. I had a car phone at the time, but you couldn’t take it out of the car. It was corded. All that being said, I have been at SPM for 33 years, 2 months, 8 days and a few hours.
Q: Have you always been in the same role?
A: Now that’s a funny question for what was a small family business in the beginning. We all wore many hats. Through the years I have unloaded steel bars from trucks, operated the machines, scheduled the plant, purchased items for jobs, put together quotes for machining work, made deliveries and cleaned the machined parts.
You did what had to be done. I’m actually glad I evolved in the business this way, because it has helped me to be more effective in sales given my understanding of the precision machining business.
Q: When was a time where something didn’t work out the way you expected at SPM?
A: There as a time in the early stages of our business where a customer had called us and was furious. He believed his parts were not correctly built and his product wouldn’t work at all. Our President explained that the machined parts he had ordered were within tolerance but that we would stop our machining production to do all we could to help.
The client was on our doorstep the next day. We sat down with him, looked at all his prints, not just our parts, and quickly discovered that his machined parts were dimensioned and tolerances all wrong. We spent the day re-engineering the whole product. Within a week, he had parts that assembled correctly and a product that was functioning perfectly. He has been a great customer to this day.
Q: What is one way that SPM sets itself apart from the competition in machined parts manufacturing?
A: In the story beforehand, you saw it. We truly aim to make every relationship with our machined parts customers a genuine partnership. If they succeed, we succeed. To be truly successful, we believe you have to listen to your customer, understand their needs and also understand their product. Every employee at SPM understands what they’re making and the importance of it. We stay engaged with our machining clients every step of the way.
Q: What does the future of manufacturing look like?
A: Technology is forever changing and with every new generation technology seems to move faster and faster. You have to keep abreast of all the new technologies and adapt your business to suit. Even just 5 years ago we did not have CNC Swiss / Laser Cutting Machines, we do now. It’s important that we move quickly in the machined manufacturing world.
3D printing is on the verge of a revolution, they are even 3D printing homes now. This will drastically change the future of the housing market, potentially making housing affordable for people who previously had no chance via the traditional route.
The trend is to shrink assemblies and products which is leading to the growth of micro-machining. These are all examples of where we are headed in the manufacturing arena and I’m sure more exciting processes will be developed in the near future. We’re in for quite a ride!
Q: What makes you proud to work at SPM?
A: Part of my pride comes from seeing how we have evolved through the years in the machining manufacturing world. We have had wonderful growth and it came from hard work and dedication on everyone’s part.
Another part of my pride comes from seeing the second generation of staff coming up in the ranks and taking the reins. The original or first generation at SPM have trained the next generation all we know. With their background and training, they are implementing fresh ideas for machining manufacturing to move the company into the future.
Q: What’s a fun or interesting moment you’ve had recently at SPM?
A: Well, we all have our moments and I had one recently. During a production meeting we were talking about certain parts and I made a “glass half empty” comment. My niece, who works at the company, turned to me and said, “Uncle Joe, don’t be so negative. I’m going to make sure you’re not.” I dismissed her comment and went on with my day.
The next day I left on a business trip. When I came back to work, I opened my office and there were notes, pictures and comments taped all over my office walls. There were smiley faces, pictures of happy people in funny situations, and “glass half full comments” all over. She had everyone in the office cutout, make things and write comments while I was gone. It was a team effort and one that put a big smile on my face. You have to work, but that doesn’t mean the workplace can’t be a fun and creative environment to work in.