Mark Radtke, our Vice President and General Manager of NPS/NPF recently celebrated 40 years of service. We sat down with Mark to ask him a few questions on his tenure here.
During your 40 yrs. of tenure, how has the business evolved, types of products, customers / industries served, technology?
- When I began my role at NPS we were a very small (16 person) organization. Our customer base was predominantly Ag based and we were a more localized business than we are now. We currently ship worldwide and have numerous world class customers that are in every type of manufacturing imaginable. When I started with NPS in Inside Sales we had no computers on our desks, all the order entry was done by hand, production orders were released by hand and all prints were drawn by hand, full size. We handled a full line of steel, plate, sheets, tube, flats and even some rebar. We had one press brake, a shear, a flame cutter, a bandsaw and a huge amount of unused space. Imagine a shop without lasers, OPTS, forklifts running around or nesting. Our sales are now 20 times what they were back in the early 80’s and technology has been the major driver in the growth. I have always been more interested in growing the processing side of the business as selling just raw materials seemed simply boring to me.
Do you have accomplishments that you’d care to mention, which you are most proud of here at NPS/NPF?
- Our long-term dedicated employees, the start-up of NPF, automation at NPS and having a solid succession plan.
What advice would you give to our new hire employees as it relates to growing within the business and succeeding as you have from your humble beginnings all the way up the ladder to the GM position?
- Come to work on time, treat your co-workers with respect and do your best each day. Study and develop new processes and remember that small improvements over longs period of time moves mountains. Management does see when you go the extra mile and it will pay off in the long term.
What is your vision for NPS/NPF for the next 40-yrs? What changes / opportunities do you foresee in the industry if any?
- To grow and be viable, we will need to continue to purchase advanced, highly-automated machines. Many shop floor processes will need to be to run and monitored remotely as the landscape of the new employee is to work from any location, at any time. To attract and retain the best employees, improved process flows and employee participation rates will be closely monitored as this will evolve as the major role in measuring each employee’s value, success and pay rate.
Thank you Mark, for all you do to make us better!