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Mass-TEC

Catherine M. Phillips

Business Manager and Co-owner, Phillips  Precision, Inc. and The Pitbull Clamp Co., Inc.

How did you get started in advanced manufacturing?

"My focus has always been on the business side of things. I worked in operations and admiistrations for high-tech companies, and while I was satisfied with my job, I really wanted to be intimately involved in building something from the ground up. Twelve years ago, my husband and I began to build a business around his aptitude for the machining trade and I've loved every minute since. Every day it's something new."

Understanding the fine line between staying current and looking into the future, as well as good organizational skills for budgeting and forecasting. This job is great for anybody with a little self-control and a head for special relationships between big numbers.

What goes into successful business management?

"Understanding the fine line between staying current and looking into the future, as well as good organizational skills for budgeting and  forecasting. This job is great for anybody with a little self-control and a head for special relationships between big numbers. It's about flow, seeing a problem in your supply chain coming up and nipping it in the bud before the line ever even feels it."

What's your favorite thing about your job?

"I find working in manufacturing much more rewarding than other jobs with intangible results. We get involved with high-level projects and are able to see the fruits of our labor. We have parts in robots, on industrial art, in medical companies, food processing plants, and paper cutting machines, to name a few."

What's one thing that's surprised you about the manufacturing environment?

"I think you'll find, as we did, that many of the manufacturing companies are family businesses. When we opened our doors more than 12 years ago, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of similar mom and pop businesses we dealt with. I came from a high-tech environment and I was really pleased by the bright, down to earth people I got to know after I changed industries."