This past January, Jim Andrews was promoted to President of Pneu-Mech Systems (Statesville, NC), a custom finishing systems manufacturer, along with Scott Johnson to VP of Sales and Michael Richmond to VP of Operations. The company offers complete turn-key systems, as well as individual component parts of a finishing operation such as spray booths, ovens, washers, conveyors, air make-up units, shrink ovens and environmental rooms. We caught up with Jim just as he was returning from the Masters golf tournament, an annual tradition where he meets up with longtime friends and shares a house, east good food and watches golf, and maybe not in that order.
Q: Tell us how moving up to become president of Pneu-Mech has changed your daily function and responsibilities?
JA: As vice-president of sales, my job was to motivate sales, find new markets, and try to give the sales team every tool they needed to do the job at the highest level. Now, as president, I have to make sure every person in the company has the tools they need to succeed. I am responsible for everything from sales to insurance to installing a five-stage pre-treatment washer system. My days are much longer but the rewards are greater.
Q: How did you get your start in the finishing industry?
JA: It started through a friendship with Pneu-Mech co-founder David Brady. David was ready to take the company from a regional to a national level. I had been in sales for over 20 years and I wanted to help him accomplish that goal. I’ve been at Pneu-Mech a little over eight years and I feel like we’ve made some impressive gains in the finishing industry over that time.
Q: What do you think Pneu-Mech’s greatest strengths are?
JA: We have wonderful people who are dedicated to our customers. We fabricate and install our finishing systems with our manufacturing and installation crews. This ensures the level of expectation and quality that is required for a desired finished product.
Q: What is the biggest concern you see facing the finishing industry, as well as the greatest opportunity?
JA: This industry is growing and along with that comes growing pains. Opportunities are opening up in places never before available. That means working outside the United States with new partners in places like Brazil and India. Expansion is a double edged sword. My biggest concern is people in our industry trying to save money by taking work over seas and ultimately sacrificing quality. Pneu-Mech builds 100%of their systems in the United States and those systems are held to a very high standard. I would hate to see anything less.
Q: What was the best piece of personal and professional advice anyone gave you?
JA: My high school football coach, Bill McCann, told us to “do good things, work hard, and be accountable for your actions”. That sums it up in my personal life. The best professional advice I can pass on is that if you don’t know the answer to a question don’t act like you do. Go find the answer.
Q: What book have you recently finished that you would recommend to a colleague?
JA: Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich. This is a phenomenal motivational book. I was impressed with the story of how this family started with basically nothing and through dedication and hard work went on to find their dreams. It’s about a whole lot more than basketball.
Q: What CD is currently in your car?
JA: I’ve been listening to Sirius XM Radio a lot lately. I like “Watercolors”, the jazz channel. However, I have an Aerosmith Live CD in the glove box in case I need a jolt driving down the road. It’s better than coffee.