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Dynamic Fabrication Inc.
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Celebrate Good Times, Come On!
Custom metal fabricator marks 30th year in business
When president and founder of Dynamic Fabrication Inc., Mike Kartsonis, started his business three decades ago, he put in 100-hour work weeks while all his buddies went fishing. But that work has paid off for the Santa Ana, Calif., company, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year while enjoying the benefits of its hard-earned reputation as a high-quality, quick turn supplier of precision metal fabrications, weldments, and machined parts. Today, Dynamic Fabrication is one of the more well- recognized custom contract manufacturers in southern California and has a long list of Fortune 500 clients.
Kartsonis said the secret to his success in the industry has been hiring the best people he can, staying small, putting the customer first, and most of all having a positive attitude.
"Life is like a mirror. Life is what you make out of it, and every day is a great day, with some being better than others," Kartsonis said, adding that he still begins work at 6 a.m. and loves what he does.
Transferring that feel-good attitude to his employees is important as well, explaining that he makes his workers-- many who have been with the company for more than 20 years--feel good about themselves and what they do. Not having turnover and retaining the knowledge of his dedicated staff is critical when parts are being made over and over again, he said.
"You have to surround yourself with good people-- people who want to come to work. Happy workers are productive workers," he said. "You have to treat people fairly and empower them and make them enjoy coming to work. I like to say 'you work with me, not for me.'"
Founded in 1981, Dynamic Fabrication (www.dynamicfab.com) specializes in close-tolerance, custom metal fabrication, certified welding, and precision machining to a broad range of industries, including aircraft, medical, entertainment, energy, oil, environmental, architectural, semiconductor, pharmaceutical, transportation, and construction. The company's diverse machinery and highly-skilled journeymen are able to produce anything from small machine parts to 30-foot long, 15,000-lb weldments, all in different alloys. Complete systems and assembly, design, and manufacturing are available.
The company's niche is quick turnaround on short-run items, such as a 22-piece job at $20 a piece that the company was able to have ready the next day because they "squeezed it in," Kartsonis said. Recently he was able to get a job done for General Electric without the company going out to bid, simply because he said he could have it done the next day. For a linkage part for race cars, Kartsonis was able to make the 20 pieces within about a week for Toyota Racing Development while other companies were estimating two or three times as long. Dynamic Fabrication has completed fast work for some of the biggest companies out there, such as Lockheed Martin, Rockwell, Aerojet, Baxter Healthcare, and Ceradyne Inc., which makes body armor for troops.
"It's about quick response and avoiding the bid process," he said. "You need to keep the customer happy and give them more than what they want. I learned a long time ago that service is what you're selling."
Large projects can take three to six weeks, but many times if a part request comes in the morning, Kartsonis will have it done in the afternoon. Planning and scheduling are key, and with about 20 people on staff, he said his guys wear a lot of different hats and he doesn't get bogged down in a lot of layers of management.
"There's not a lot of overhead. I have heard from a lot bigger companies with 50 to 100 people that they made more money when they had 20 people. Sometimes less is more," he said.
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