Strength in Numbers
There’s long been a movement arising from the pride of domestic manufacturing. These United States have a storied history of industrial productivity, and many of the towns here in New England have tenured, worn out factories that were once bustling with activity. That said, there still remains a strong facet of manufacturing, and, it’s continually gaining steam each and every day. For a long while, manufacturing contracts were being shipped overseas, but, we’ve quickly come to realize that our own domestic economy is strengthened by positioning this work and the inherent jobs it’s created, on our own soil. Keeping the work and jobs here is as important as ever.
Thus has been the life’s work of Scott Fallavollita. Scott has been working in manufacturing for decades and has recently put his own knowledge and business savvy to work for his most demanding boss yet – himself.
Fallavollita got a job in production control planning, which led to material and inventory control as well. He had a series of jobs in his 20s that brought him up to an operations management position at 28-years-of-age. In the end, he was overseeing a 2-shift, 72-employee operation that was doing a couple of million dollars in business annually.
In six months Fallavollita took it from 72 workers doing the two shifts to 38 on a single shift without losing a dime in revenue. In short, he’s mastered the business of efficiency and driving costs which are beneficially felt from all vantage points – which includes the customer base.
After 14 years and earning the title of VP, Scott decided that he was ready for a new challenge and began dwelling on his next step.
He took a job at Sig Sauer in Exeter which put his skills to test on a much larger scale. As the VP of Operations, Scott worked at the company for close to two years, bolstering his management expertise, and manufacturing knowledge base from the perspective of an enterprise sized business – giving him experience in a small shop atmosphere on up through one of the biggest operations in the country.
Upon splitting from Sig Sauer, Fallavollita did some soul searching and made the decision to start his own business. He was ready and had built the confidence and business savvy to literally go to work for himself.
And, as of 2005, that’s where he remains today – continually motivated by necessity and the drive to want to get bigger, better, and improve the overall business.
The challenge from the outset has been how he can best compete with overseas manufacturers when a lot of the manufacturing facilities in the U.S. are small. What he’s done is purchase a half-dozen shops and, for all intents and purposes, folded them into each other to create a well-oiled machine with vast service offerings capable of handling enterprise level work orders.
The three companies of focus as they stand in 2020 are as follows:
United Tool & Machine – a 15,000 square foot facility located in Wilmington, MA (which also houses Gaynor Industries – a robust and loyally followed washer manufacturer)
B.G. Peck Company – a 60,000 square foot facility located in Lawrence, MA
Morton & Company – a 12,000 square foot facility located in Wilmington, MA
Collectively these three companies have been serving the manufacturing industry for over 200 years, which is mind-boggling on the surface.
Service offerings include (but are not limited to):
- CNC milling and turning
- Manual and quick-turn machining
- Wire EDM
- Conventional EDM
- Small hole EDM
- Non-metallic stamping
- Metal stamping
- Tool and die
- Die Cutting
- Water jet
- Laser cutting
- Grinding, bending, and forming
- Sheet Metal Fabrication
- Electromechanical assemblies
- Mechanical assemblies
- Engineering and design services
- Much more…
Fallavollita is quick to cite that the acquisition of the companies he’s pulling under this greater umbrella is due to a mindset of achieving continuous improvement. Not only is he saving jobs, he’s creating them, and he’s helping to bolster the overall capability offerings his workforce is able to put forth to their loyal customer base. It also attracts more qualified people to walk through the door and come to work for a company that is proactively engaged in growth opportunities and investing back into company infrastructure.
Investing in the future:
Fallavollita has long been a proponent of striving to maintain contemporary best practices. Speaking to that, workforce training is incredibly important and is a cultural shift he has implemented across all departments under the collective rooves he manages. The organizations work closely with the state of Massachusetts on this continually up-to-date workforce training initiative. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent keeping the workforce up to speed on current trends, training, and management best practices.
Another key piece of “the big picture” is in the investment of new technology, machines, and tools on an annual basis. Rather than relying on old machines and running them into the ground, the business takes a proactive annual approach to replace antiquated equipment and improve the overall line. Most recently, Fallavollita has brought a half-dozen EDM machines into the workforce, further expanding capability offerings. In short, the conscious effort is made to modernizing facilities and get them up to speed from all department vantage points.
Further, the effort looms large to keep things organized for optimal performance. Organization is big. Everything has a place. This approach to keeping things where they belong leads to better efficiencies and better costs at myriad levels. When things are organized on the operations and administrative levels, the business benefits as a whole and those efforts are felt from the consumer level on up.
Areas of expertise:
- Valve & Pump
- Power Generation
- Alternative Energy
- Building and Construction
- General Industrial
- Consumer Products
- Oil and Gas
Fallavollita is on the forefront of green initiatives that benefit not only his business, but the immediate ecosystem as well.
His facility at B.G. Peck is newly solar powered (close to 100%) – boasting a 250kw array.
There are recycling programs in place for all scrap produced in daily operations, including:
- Cardboard / Paper
- Oil / Assorted fluids
Fallavollita is seemingly in the business for all the right reasons. In conversation you get a quick and stout impression that he genuinely loves what he does, and enjoys working for the people around him:
“I didn’t do this for any sort of limelight. I did this because I saw an opportunity, and in that, we’ve been able to create jobs. That makes me infinitely happy.
I don’t look at this as “my” company. “It’s a business, and although I own the responsibility, I put the tools in place to make sure people can achieve success – but on the whole, a company is only as strong as it’s employees. People need to be vested. People need to feel like they’re a piece of the whole. In my mind, this is an absolute truth. We’re all looking to hold a steady job, and, if we’re working effectively enough, we grow as a collective unit, and we have a job for as long as we want it. That’s important.”
Quality as a priority:
This harkens back to the culture that the leadership has instilled as a working piece of the daily operations. They take pride in being easy to deal with. Customer service is the #1 priority. They live with the mantra of having a live voice answer the phone after one or two rings and being able to come up with an answer for a customer’s question. They don’t want to be a business that people call and got the impression that they didn’t want to be called. We’ve all experienced that voice on the other line. It’s not fun, nor does it solve anything.
Fallavollita’s crew never want to pose a quality problem – at the smallest level on up. They never want to be a part of that kind of conversation. Fallavollita even went so far as to state that they, “want to be invisible.”
“We want people to just know what we’re doing is working, and the delivery will be in hand when it’s expected, if not sooner. And that delivery will be as expected, or exceed expectations.”
All companies under Fallavollita’s guide are ISO certified, ensuring optimal quality standards under every roof. So at the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding, and you can rest-assured knowing that that pudding is certified and that the quality standards are second-to-none.
United Tool & Machine
98 Eames St.
Wilmington, MA 01887 (978) 658-5500
50 Shepard Street Lawrence, MA 01843
Morton & Company
11 Eames Street
Wilmington, MA 01887