Newsmaker Spotlight: MC Assembly COO Builds Local Value
The COO position was created to support current and future growth at MC Assembly. The responsibilities of this position include all aspects of engineering, quality, program management, materials, operations and site P&L (profit and loss statement).
MC Assembly COO Luis Ramirez has a background in global operations and supply chain management with more than 18 years of electronics industry experience. He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Puerto Rico; a master’s degree in engineering management from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico; and a master’s in business administration from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.
“We are honored and excited to have Luis join MC Assembly,” said George Moore, CEO and president. “As a part of our executive team, Luis will play a major role in the continued acceleration of our growth and on delivering outstanding results to our customers.”
MC Assembly is a mid-tier electronic manufacturing services provider.
A few questions with MC Assembly COO Luis Ramirez:
Can you tell us, in layman’s terms, what services and products MC Assembly provides? “What we are bringing to our customers is the ability to design a device. Let’s say a complex electronic device, perhaps used in the healthcare industry for blood testing or in the aerospace industry to help with navigational systems, we put together the engineering and components to do the job.”
What’s behind the surge in MC Assembly’s success? “The global economy is causing a lot of changes in the way things are operating. What we’re seeing is a shift in mentalities. Part of the concern of the customer is to minimize the time it takes the goods to get to the market. Second, they want to minimize their cash tied to inventory on a boat or overseas. And third, the intellectual property — the secrets, the trades, the things that make the product special — they want to keep control of that. The only way they can do that is manufacturing closer to consumption versus manufacturing offshore. That adds a lot of value in the services MC Assembly provides. The markets that are growing in the U.S. will require local service, quick delivery and local support and that’s a value we can provide to all these customers.”
Is your customer base primarily domestic or foreign? “For the most part, we serve customers that are based in the Americas.”
Tell us about your factory floor. Is it assembly-line style or are workers building devices from beginning to end? “If you looked at the building from 10,000 feet, you would see a city of cells. These are manufacturing cells that make the components. All of them are focused on different stages of manufacturing. Some are automated and some require the hands of skilled personnel, all working in unison to provide the parts. It is a process that flows, but as you go from stage to stage it may be a combination of equipment or people, or equipment and people.
Do you think bringing more manufacturing companies into Brevard County makes sense? “From my perspective — I’m an operations guy — I always see that operations or manufacturing can provide a small engine not only to employees, but to the community. I think that any type of manufacturing industry that could be attracted to this area could be a good thing.”
You have quite a background working in manufacturing. What keeps you interested? “Anybody in this industry, manufacturing in general, is a special breed. Manufacturing these days is a tough industry. There are (things) that have impacted manufacturing in recent years. I have traveled all over the world as part of my different roles. Most of that has been opening plants in China or improving plants around the world. Very exciting, and I have enjoyed my experiences, but I am happy to be able to help this local organization that is employing Americans and I am very excited about that. I am extremely excited about the opportunity to apply all the things I have learned closer to home, closer to the community.”
What do you find challenging about manufacturing? “It’s a balancing act. Complying with customers, manufacturing costs, targets, every day is a challenge. That’s why, as I said, you need to be a special breed. Every day there is an opportunity to grow, an opportunity to fix a problem, an opportunity to learn. It’s a great feeling, after a hard working day, to be able to reach your goals and congratulate your team. It’s a great feeling and it motivates you to keep going.”