April 30, 2019
How did you start in The Fastener Industry?
Before becoming the President of MF Supply in 2009, my background was in Operations and Marketing. I ran call centers in the catalog and travel industries for years. But, I wanted to own my own business and be my own boss. So, I bought MF Supply through a business broker, although I knew nothing about the industry at all. Actually, I knew less than nothing :). Tom, the former owner stayed on for 3 years and taught me everything!
Now, as the President of MF Supply, I live my tag line daily. Our motto is “MF Supply, the right screw for you”, and it’s true! My amazing staff runs the day to day, yet we are small and I touch all aspects of the business, including sales, marketing, quoting, order entry, purchasing, deliveries, pickup, strategy and much more.
What is one accomplishment in your present job are you most proud of?
Two come to mind. First, MF Supply survived the financial meltdown that occured right as I bought the business. Those were scary times! Although I took no salary for almost a year, and took on a lot of debt, my team and I survived, and were able to turn the business around. In 2018 we are on course to triple our 2009 revenue.
Second, we converted the business operating and inventory management system from a paper based, dusty old cardex system (think Dewey decimal index cards with fastener history hand written on them), into a systematized digital ERP based organization. We converted almost 10,000 skus from paper to PC. At the beginning we were creating part numbers in real time. But, boy, did it pay off in the long run!
What is one favorite thing about your job?
Every single day I am challenged, usually several times. I am always sourcing new products and suppliers, learning a new technical data point, or learning about a new company. Just today I sent 10 RFQs to 7 new factories for a customized Mil-Spec part I have never sourced or sold. Fingers crossed we get the order. It’s so fun!
What is one thing we might not know about you that you would like the Fastener Industry to know?
Hmm, I have lots of secrets, but one thing that people seem surprised to find out is that I was class clown in high school. Just don’t ask me what year I graduated!
Manufacturing Day® is a national celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers and occurs annually on the first Friday in October.
MF Supply was proud to be a Blue level sponsor of New Jersey Manufacturing Day, organized by the NJMEP, which brought together manufacturers, students, supporters, government representatives and industry expert speakers at the Marigold in Somerset from 7:30A-2:30p today, October 5th.
We attended 2 breakout sessions: The first session “Driving Industry Growth through Innovative Technology, Education and Government Support” featured private and public sector experts who discussed their approach to problem solving a myriad of business issues and red tape. I met the Executive Director of the NJ Business Action Center, Melanie Willoughby who is known as “The Fixer”. She told us how she helped a NJ manufacturer get a special crosswalk built on a state road so their workers could walk directly from their plant to the deli across the street. It’s the little things that count!
The second session “Women in Manufacturing Roundtable Discussion” featured three powerhouse women representing the food, machine shop and clothing/sewing manufacturing industries. It was inspiring to hear how these three women are growing their businesses in the male dominated manufacturing space. Perhaps the coolest story was told by panelist Tom Bergeron, the Editor of ROI-NJ. He introduced us to the camp Tools and Tiaras, where this part summer, his daughter learned how to solder and build from industry experts in the housing and building industries. Resources for women are expanding and the the future for Women in Manufacturing looks very bright!
Other breakout sessions included:
- Tariffs – How to Apply For Exclusions
- Emerging Topics in Food Safety
- Tips for Recruiting, Retaining And Linking into Underutilized Talent Pools
- 2018 Tax Reform – How to Make The Changes Work In Your Favor
Check out the manufacturing day activities and Manufacturing Award winner announcements in your neck of the woods by visiting your state’s Manufacturing Extension Program wesbite or the Manufacturing Day website for more info.
For more information about MF Supply contact:
Robin Lieberman, President