in Vol. 12 - March Issue - Year 2011
New Leadership Brings Changes
Joe Pinto, Vice President & COO of PRI
PRI and MFN have enjoyed a close relationship for many years. MFN is a partner in education in Nadcap and the magazine publishes "Nadcap - The Column" in every issue. Last August Joe Pinto started his new position as next PRI Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Joe Pinto had a series of leadership assignments in many countries throughout the Asia/Pacific region, Canada and the USA. MFN was very pleased to get a chance to interview him in person.
(?) MFN: Please tell us why you applied to work at PRI?
(!) J. P.: I retired from PPG after 23 years in June 2010. I originally intended to relax and enjoy my retirement but I am an active person and after a short while I wanted to do something different. I saw an opportunity at PRI – even though it’s not exactly what I’ve done before, it’s in a technical area and seemed very interesting. I started here in August 2010 and it’s been great so far.
(?) MFN: I understand you’ve worked in many different countries, is that so?
(!) J. P.: That’s right – I’ve lived in about nine different countries and run businesses and operations all over the world.
(?) MFN: Does that include the Americas, Europe and Asia?
(!) J. P.: Yes. I’ve not lived in Europe but I’ve overseen manufacturing plants in the UK, Italy and the Netherlands and places like Australia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and Chile as well as the United States and Canada. As a result, I’ve had experience of many different organizations and cultures in manufacturing and throughout the supply chain.
(?) MFN: What have you learned since you started at PRI in August?
(!) J. P.: I’ve seen that there’s a dedicated and passionate team here who really want to support Nadcap and the aerospace industry as a whole. My experience can help in focusing and directing their efforts to better serve our customers.
(?) MFN: Have you identified any opportunities for improvement? And what do you plan to do about them?
(!) J. P.: Nadcap has been mainly focused on the prime contractors: after all, they are the ones who mandate Nadcap accreditation throughout the supply chain. But there are about 50 prime subscribers and thousands of suppliers. I plan to focus more on the suppliers. We can learn from their expertise just as much as they can learn from ours.
(?) MFN: Does this apply to PRI’s educational programs as well?
(!) J. P.: Absolutely – I want to involve the suppliers a lot more in PRI’s activities from developing checklists to providing training to clarify the expectations of the audit process. The aim is to make their processes better and work together to identify gaps. We can then use the educational programs to support their efforts to bridge these gaps.
(?) MFN: What can you do to reassure European companies that Nadcap is a truly global program?
(!) J. P.: One thing I’ve learned is that we do need to work harder to counter the perception that Nadcap is US-centric. PRI has already established offices in the UK, China and Japan manned by multi-lingual staff to better support our customers there. We are looking at Singapore, India and Mexico at the moment to see what can be done to better meet industry needs in those areas. We cannot just say that we are global – we have to actually be global in order to truly understand and meet the needs of our international customers.
Other things we are looking at are translating websites and continuing to hire staff with language skills. In the Europe office in London, for example, staff speak seven languages – not counting American English of course! We need to take a serious look at how we can both be, and be seen as, an international organization by our customers in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.
(?) MFN: With regard to the new locations, will you hire new staff or will they be supported by the existing team?
(!) J. P.: In some places, we may look to hire new staff to promote and educate the local community who don’t know about Nadcap, but primary support will be provided by the existing offices. We are trying to understand and respond to the non-US customer perspective. For example, how a French supplier feels about Nadcap and what their needs are and how we can cater to them.
(?) MFN: Who is your role model in business?
(!) J. P.: This is a very tough question. I have many role models who have done good things in their lives. From industry, though, it has to be Charles E. Bunch, CEO of PPG who focused the organization on a clear strategy and hence, was able to achieve the desired results.
Let me explain: in the ‘70s and ‘80s PPG was predominantly a US-based glass, coatings and chemicals company. Mr. Bunch’s vision was to grow the coatings part of the business and become more global. As a result, the company went from approximately 70% of their sales being in the US to 60% outside of North America; the company also grew the coatings side from around 30% to 70%. This transformation was possible because there was a clear vision from PPG leadership.
(?) MFN: Do you see the Nadcap model as relevant to other industries?
(!) J. P.: Definitely. Nadcap is a unique model that is not found anywhere else in the world and is a very relevant way of serving industry. To get prime contractors and suppliers together to develop requirements is no easy task and many industries could benefit from this approach. What’s required is simply a collective appreciation of the importance of Safety and Quality. Nadcap would not work in an industry where the mistakes of one company were celebrated by the others. There must be an overall high regard for Safety and Quality for Nadcap to work.
(?) MFN: So is applying the Nadcap model to other industries a focus for 2011?
(!) J. P.: In some cases, representatives from other industries have already identified Nadcap as a best practice and approached us, for example, as part of a benchmarking exercise or to assist with managing their suppliers. It’s early days, but we are looking at how we can help them meet their regulators’ expectations at a lower cost.
(?) MFN: How does the PRI Board of Directors feel about PRI looking at other industries?
(!) J. P.: That’s a difficult question. Of course, the Board is made up of aerospace company representatives. I believe they feel positively about applying the Nadcap model (which they developed) to help and service other industries but there are practical issues to discuss. For example, how the application of Nadcap to other industries would affect the composition of the Board itself.
(?) MFN: What do you want to accomplish in the next ten years?
(!) J. P.: It is my primary goal to ensure that Nadcap is the only special process accreditation provider in the world. As mentioned already, I also want to do everything possible for Nadcap to be seen as global, not US-centric. Exploring other areas in aerospace, such as MRO, and industries like the ones I already mentioned earlier to look at. I am focused on developing the strategy now, based on our strengths as an organization.
We would like to thank Joe Pinto for this interview!