Pyramid People: Meet Kris Grey, Production Manager/Expeditor for Industrial Molds
Expeditor may seem like an unusual title for someone in any job, and it is. But that’s what Kris Grey’s work embodies – expediting processes on the shop floor here at Industrial Molds.
“My primary responsibilities are to see that work is moving through the shop and to help get things on track, when necessary, to ensure the molds get out on time to help customers get their product to their customers.” Grey says. “I fill in wherever I am needed, which is a little bit of everywhere. I mount carbon, fix machines, run CMM, help with EDM, do building maintenance, and even help with shipping
and receiving. I do whatever I can to help my team get the work done.”
Now you understand why Kris’ title is “Expeditor.”
Like so many young people today, Kris says he never considered a career in manufacturing. He attended some college, but it wasn’t for him. He worked at a few companies but he didn’t feel inspired and there
was no room for him to move up. Then, in 2004, his brother-in-law asked him if he cared about getting a little dirty while working because a shop he worked at (Industrial Molds) could use some help. Kris didn’t
care. He applied and began learning what would become a career he loves: Moldmaking.
After receiving initial on-the-job training at Industrial Molds to ensure metalworking was something Kris had the desire and intuition to do, he enrolled in a four-year apprenticeship program at the Rock River
Valley Tooling and Machining (RRVTMA) program, which is a chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA). Kris earned his journeyman’s certificate and hasn’t looked back.
For Kris, even the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t slow him or anyone down at Industrial Molds and Pyramid Group as a whole. “Even at the peak of Covid, nothing changed very much here. We were very busy and
work was a good distraction from all the shutdowns elsewhere,” he says. Finding workers, especially those with some experience in manufacturing is a bigger challenge for Industrial Molds, he adds. “Our team has been working hard to train our new people, and we are using our combination of experience and innovative thinking to keep the work going out on time. And yes, the supply chain disruptions have been hard, but again, with the great team we have, we just put our heads together to find a way to get it done.”
Asked what he likes most about his role at Industrial Molds, Kris replies, “We have to think and problem solve, so every day there is a different challenge. Industrial Molds let me grow and do things I would not have thought possible. They invested in me as an employee and a person.”