Jim Quinn knows a thing or two about successfully scaling companies. Throughout his long career as an operations leader, Jim has optimized supply chains for profitable growth at companies like Apple, FitBit, and Applied Materials, just to name a few.
Jim is now the CEO at Plethora, a company that provides flexible Manufacturing as a Service options for making custom parts in as fast as 3 days. In this episode, we discuss how Plethora’s novel software automates the quoting, DFM, and CAM processes for manufacturers looking to bring their CAD files to life quickly and economically through precision CNC machining. Beyond Plethora, Jim shares some of his best operations & supply chain lessons with stories and strategies from all points of his career. From Buddhism to cucumber-basil gimlets, this episode has it all.
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3 Quick Things from this Episode
- Plethora has taken quoting, DFM (design for manufacturing), and machining processes that collectively used to take as long as 40 weeks and reduced those times by nearly 70%.
- A company is ready to scale when there is a need in the marketplace that’s ready to be addressed.
- For a business to move from the “startup” to “high growth” phase, you need: a.) the right processes in place, b.) an adjustment in culture, and c.) to keep the customer front-and-center.
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- “Don’t create technology or corporate structure that’s not in line with what customers need.” –Jim Quinn
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What We Discuss with Jim
- Plethora helps customers “bridge the labor gap” when it comes to manufacturing custom parts, taking CAD files from customers and determining the part’s manufacturability.
- After a long career working as a supply chain leader with many Fortune 500 companies, Jim shares why he was drawn to Plethora.
- Jim describes the 3 core pieces of Plethora’s business: AutoQuote, AutoDFM, and AutoCAM.
- Reshoring isn’t about bringing all large-scale manufacturing operations back to the United States, but ensuring you have tier suppliers locally.
- Jim shares what companies need when they evolve from being a startup to a “high growth” company, from processes to culture to customer-centricity.
- Plethora recently expanded to Marietta, GA outside of Atlanta. In addition to the cost of space, the area has a high density of trade schools and individuals with the necessary trade skills for Plethora’s manufacturing operation.
- Jim shares some of his best leadership strategies and an unexpected leadership resource…
- Closing advice: Hire people with a drive to learn.
- Plethora recently achieved their ITAR registration and have soon-to-be-announced technologies are on the horizon. Stay tuned!
- Plethora, a custom precision CNC parts manufacturer that utilizes its own novel software to automate the quoting, DFM, and CAM processes to turn CAD files into physical products in as fast as 3 days
- What the Rise of Reshoring Means for Your Bottom Line, an blog post by Jim Quinn written April 2020
- Buddhism Plain and Simple, by Steve Hagen…plenty of leadership lessons that can be learned from this one
- Mauna Loa Club, a no-frills dive bar in San Francisco
- Cucumber & Basil Gimlet, Jim mentioned this go-to cocktail of his at the start of the episode, and this is just one of many recipes available on the internet