Industryweek 12176 Steve Economos Fom

Faces of Manufacturing: A Job Out of the Military Leads to a Sales Career

Oct. 17, 2016
"Being able to work on projects that improve our lives is an absolute thrill."  

One in a Manufacturing Day series that celebrates the industry’s workers, from the C-Suite to the shop floor.

Steven Economos

City/State of Residence: Torrance, California

Job Title: Western Regional Sales Manager

Company: Bishop-Wisecarver Group

Years with Company: 4

Industry of Your Company: Automation

Training / Education: U.S. Air Force

What made you decide to pursue a career in manufacturing? Manufacturing chose me. Twenty years ago when I got out of the military (US Air Force) and was looking for a job, I came across a Japanese manufacturing company that made actuators. At the time, I had no idea what an actuator was, what it was used for or what made these robotic arms intelligent. 

I started out in the warehouse and worked my way into technical support / inside sales. I was able to hone my skills over the phone of how to take care of our most important asset…our customers. 

I took those skills and applied them to an outside sales position and eventually management. Over those 20 years I have worked at 4 different manufacturing companies, all servicing the Automation Industry. 

What does your job entail? 

I manage OEM accounts, distributors and independent rep firms in an 11 state region.

I work closely with engineers and technicians to provide system solutions to end-users.

I develop sales forecasts, sales goals and target accounts for reps and distributors in my region.

I provide sales and product training to end users and channel partners.

What is the most interesting part of your job? Your proudest moment
The most interesting part of my job is working with engineers on the latest “mouse trap." The ability to work on projects that have the intent of improving our lives--whether it’s in the medical industry, food services, packaging, entertainment, agriculture or logistics--is an absolute thrill and it always makes me proud to support these projects from concept through production. 

What do you love about manufacturing?  Every day is different. The product we manufacture may be the same, but the people we work with, and the applications we work on that apply our mechanical components and systems, are typically new.    

What advice would you give to kids considering a job in manufacturing?
My advice is to get training in a specific field to include welding, CNC programming, VFD programming, PLC programming, vision systems, IOT(Internet of Things) and MES (Manufacturing Execution System). 

The days of going to work and doing repetitive tasks are coming to an end. You cannot be the robot, but you can learn how to program one. 

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