January 05, 2022
Employee Spotlight: Larry Robinson
by Guest Blogger
In Focus occasionally sits down for honest conversations with Quanex employees who exhibit exemplary service to our customers. This month’s spotlight is on Larry Robinson, director of operations for Quanex’s Mikron vinyl window profiles. In the interview, Larry explains how he and his teams have helped optimize Mikron’s production strategies in recent years, leading to outstanding customer service during challenging times.
In Focus (IF): Thanks for joining us today, Larry! Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about your history with Quanex?
Larry Robinson: My pleasure. I’ve been with the company for about eight years. I started with our screens group. This was at the time when the screens business was still a new acquisition, and it was struggling a bit. So, our teams there worked very hard to expand what we could offer our customers, improve our margins, and put the business in a position where we could really grow. After working with screens, I spent some time with our cabinets division at our Wahpeton, North Dakota, facility to help operations there. And since February 2020, I’ve been with Mikron.
IF: It’s been an exciting couple of years for Mikron, hasn’t it?
Larry: It sure has. In 2020, we conducted a major overhaul of our production operations at our Kent, Washington, facility. We replaced a variety of aging equipment with 10 state-of-the-art extrusion lines, and it has really transformed the way we’re able to service our vinyl window and door profile customers. Especially throughout the past year, with supply chain challenges being what they’ve been, we’ve been able to maintain an on-time delivery rate of roughly 99% for our Mikron customers.
IF: What has been the most rewarding part of that project?
Larry: Exceptional service for our customers is a big one, but the change at the Kent plant has also been a big deal internally. Working with the new, state-of-the-art equipment is a lot easier and more intuitive for our teams on the floor. It’s easier to control inputs and outputs and maintain a high level of quality. Digital touchscreen operation has also been very impactful for our younger employees. Overall, I think the project has helped us increase employee engagement.
IF: What do you enjoy about working for Quanex?
Larry: I have a passion for developing leaders. At my core, that’s what I’m always trying to do, and I’m grateful that this job allows me to do exactly that. I’m always looking to put individuals into positions where they can learn new things, increase their understanding of our strategies, and grow as a professional within our organization. I spend a great deal of energy thinking about how I can create new opportunities to develop leaders and give my teams the tools they need to meet their leadership potential. Organizationally, we’re always trying to provide great Quanex careers for our employees.
Leadership at all levels of an organization is what really makes a difference, and I try my best to develop that mindset. We need empowered and engaged associates at all levels of the organization to best serve our customers. New technology and equipment are great, but empowerment, engagement and leadership are really going to help us differentiate and provide for our customers.
IF: Outside of Quanex, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Larry: I have a pretty big family — my wife and I have four adult children, and we have nine grandchildren and counting. So, we try to spend as much time with family as we can. We have a boat and a small cottage on Lake Erie, too, which is a great way for all of us to unwind and enjoy each other’s company.
Learn more about Quanex’s Mikron window and door profiles, or learn more about Quanex culture and becoming a part of our team.
For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
January 05, 2022 by Guest Blogger
Filed under: employee