An Atlanta-based manufacturing firm with sales of less than $50 million annually needed to expand its manufacturing capabilities. The privately held company made tooling used in a wide variety of markets including automotive. The company had a large number of customers in the Carolinas, but it was also expanding into European markets. The company purchased a manufacturing facility in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and management assigned its CFO as the project manager to start the plant.


The CFO determined that the first key hire would be the plant manager. The CFO was from the Atlanta area and did not have many contacts in South Carolina. The company was small and human resources had never hired a plant manager nor had they hired for a location outside their home office. The company wanted to find a plant manager who could lead a start-up taking on hiring the staff and purchasing equipment. The company also desired a candidate who had worked with South Carolina Workforce Education at the local technical school.


The company engaged AutoKineto collaborator, Sanford Rose Associates (SRA). The key factors used to make that decision included:

  1. SRA had successfully helped set up a training program at the local technical college (OC Tech)
  2. SRA had helped other companies find plant managers in the area.
  3. SRA understood the complexity of the machinery and tooling being produced.
  4. SRA established a timeline that committed to meeting a very aggressive schedule. First production would begin in less than four months.

Sanford Rose Associates presented a slate of candidates within one week. One of the candidates presented possessed the entire set of skills desired. He had been a plant manager in Orangeburg for many years, but left four years earlier for a new job in North Carolina. He was selected and successfully brought the factory online within the desired timeline.