In his own words: David MacHarg, President, Graham Stamping Company
What or who fueled your interest in manufacturing?
Being at a 3rd generation family owned company – manufacturing was part of my daily life from a young age. My father was generous with his time. He was always willing to talk to me about the business whenever I was curious about his day or any new projects.
What is your current role in manufacturing?
My role is company President. Being the President of a small business you tend to wear a lot of hats. Currently, my role boils down to increasing sales and decreasing expenses by any means I see fit. So in a lot of aspects it is a creative role. I need to research what is going on in the industry, understand benchmarks, and take some calculated risks to accomplish those goals. I also keep our ownership in the know about our business happenings. As well as handle all of the marketing and human resource duties.
Describe your path to get to where you are today.
My path to my current position is a bit of a sad one. I was working in Digital Marketing in the Pittsburgh area when my father was diagnosed with cancer. It was always my intentions to get involved in the family business eventually, but I was still in the process of developing some of my working skills. During his last few months in 2018 I decided to make the transition. I got to spend my first year or so being a sponge and really learning the business. January 2020, I became the President just in time to handle steering a company through a pandemic.
What is your Superpower?
Superpower is a strong word, but I think because of my background and age I have a different perspective from many others in the industry. I worked in an industry of constant change which is something I look to bring to my manufacturing company. I look to create constant change with the goal of new efficiencies and between me and my staff of incredibly knowledgeable workers we have made some great improvements with minimal mistakes. I think my X factor would be my background in modern technology and marketing. I feel like I can really drive that area of the business and help us reach customers, resources and technologies our company has never thought about.
Why is your role important to others – like to customers or end users?
I am the bridge between the finances and the operations along with being the primary decision maker. So when there are any questions or issues, I have the knowledge of how we can resolve it and what kind of impact that will have on the business. As a job shop, our focus is B2B so our customers are other companies. I do my best to be the direct contact for anything they need big or small.
What do you think the future holds for your career or others you inspire?
I am fortunate enough to step into a well-run company. I am looking to capitalize on the opportunities I have and will find. The goal is to grow the business to the best version of itself. We also still have lots of availability to take on new work.