This week’s spotlight is on Mario Santoianni, VP Engineering and Manufacturing at Diversitech. A 25-year company veteran, he reveals how the company has evolved from its first years, the challenges and rewards that come with his job and what he hopes to see for the future at Diversitech.
Q: Tell me a little about what you do at Diversitech.
A: I design the machines that Diversitech offers. I also take care of managing production and manufacturing- so from the request of the machine to its production and delivery. That involves the design, the engineering, the procurement to a certain extent and helping the guys in the back put it together.
Q: How long have you worked here?
A: So I’ve been with Marvin for over 25 years but not as a full-time employee. I was a consultant. About eleven or twelve years ago he asked me to come work full-time.
Q: What are the biggest changes you’ve seen over the last few years?
A: The growth. We used to be maybe 12 people and now we’re close to sixty. We were a 4 million dollar company in sales. Now we’re 20. We were literally just 4 or 5 people in the office. Since I’ve been here full-time, we’ve moved 3 times. So we continue growing which is very good.
It was a rough beginning for this company. When they started they only had one machine, which today they call the “Jr”. It was literally a 2 two-man operation. Mr. Simms would deliver machines himself - put them on the roof of his car and delivering them when it was local. They had some hardships. And then slowly but surely Jared joined the team. So it became a duo. They’ve done well. But they’ve had their challenges.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about your job?
A: When a customer comes back for a second. That tells you that your first product was so good he wants another one. So that says it all. It’s not just a new sale; it’s a repeat sale. And also working with people. I really enjoy working with the people.
Q: Tell me about your first engineered product?
A: They really all are engineered products because we do so many customs. When we first started developing new products, this was way back when, it was the first downdraft tables. Because at first it wasn’t too efficient, we redesigned it to create the 2 by 4. Then we went on to the 3 by 4 and 4 by 4 and did the whole family. The most satisfying, I would say, since then was the Tracker, which I think has been quite an accomplishment. And also, the wet dust collection products.
It’s a very copycat industry, where people will buy a machine and copy it. And the satisfaction comes when you develop something on a fresh sheet of paper and no one has it.
Q: What were your biggest challenges?
A: Deadlines. We literally deliver most projects within 6 to 8 weeks. So you have to do a very accelerated design, accelerated manufacturing and assembly. And also every year we introduce new products. So besides the orders we have new product introductions. That’s a challenge.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: I guess the Monsoon. And the Tracker.
Q: What do you hope to see for the future at Diversitech?
A: I hope that our quality goes up and our machines are improved. So more than just introducing new machines, improving our products as well. That’s what I hope to see.