When I first met Joe Wernette I had been a temporary fixture in the machine shop at Tri Tool. I was working in their machining department implementing some software that integrated with their CNC machines. During that time I was called into a meeting to discuss something, and Joe was one of the people present. I didn’t know it then, but Joe was the next CEO of Tri Tool and someone that I would eventually learn quite a bit from recording this podcast.
Company culture, one factor of success
One thing I appreciate about Tri Tool is the culture there. The employees work hard, enjoy their co-workers, and are great to work with. The co-founder of the company, George, would occasionally stop by and check the progress of our installation. People shared stories with me, some of them were incredibly funny, such as the time where a new employee was told that George, then CEO, was the janitor. The new employee had some suggestions about the condition of his work area. You can imagine how that might have gone.
The culture at Tri Tool and the legacy the Wernette family represent, are not all that are worthy of appreciation. They have one of the most diverse product lines I’ve ever seen. Everything from hand tools, special automated welding machines, up to a CNC lathe that is mounted and operated inside shipping containers. Tri Tool is a company that does a lot, and I suspect it’s because of their willingness to innovate, and commitment to their customers.
Dealing with the regulatory burden
Tri Tool also does all this with a huge amount of regulatory overhead and red tape. Imagine what it is like to international tool manufacture headquartered in regulatory heavy California. They do not share the luxury that some of their competitors do, relatively free of regulatory overhead. Many organizations have left the state to pursue greener pastures, while Tri Tool has found ways to continue on at their Rancho Cordova headquarters.
Preparing future generations for manufacturing careers
The culture, commitment to customers, and innovation are probably huge aspects of Tri Tool’s success. Something else worth noting is the depth of preparation the current CEO Joe Wernette had before taking the helm. In Episode 2 of the Manufacturing Advocates Podcast, Joe shares what it was like growing up around a manufacturing business. He makes anyone want to be a CNC machinist when he talks about what it was like working in that department. Being that skilled workers are much needed, it is really important that stories like Joe’s get out there. Young people need to know that manufacturing jobs can be a lot of fun. They that there are lots of different jobs available doing unique things that can be incredibly rewarding to the right candidates.
This episode is now live!