A minute with

Dominick Mongiove, Jr.

Systems Administrator

15 YEARS WITH ATLAS

Q: How would you describe Atlas Metal’s culture?

Atlas Metal has an organizational culture driven by integrity-focused manufacturing, rooted in open and inclusive values. Integrity directs us to focus on a higher standard of manufacturing. It encourages us not to accept the “good enough” mantra, and to deliver a degree of equipment we are proud to stamp our logo on. Integrity doesn’t come easily. At Atlas Metal, it happens organically because the culture is rich in open and inclusive values. Everyone is included in the process, and part of the onboarding experience is finding your own voice and how you can contribute to the process. The employees that we bring on, we vet them based on their answers to how open and honest they are, because that translates to what we do here. No matter who it is, openness is strongly encouraged. All the way to the President; his door is open. It’s something unique to have in manufacturing, and something I am proud to be involved in.

Q: How do you help Atlas Metal “make metal personal?

We should be clear; at Atlas Metal, Making Metal Personal is beyond a single individual’s contribution. It’s a collection of ideas, hard work and dedication to a craft that has proven itself over decades. We make our products personal by the equity we put into the fabrication process. Beyond that, my job role over the last two decades has spanned across multiple departments and projects. I have worked with almost every employee and have enjoyed every aspect the diverse role could offer. As our network knows, Making Metal Personal starts with identifying our contributors by name, not department. I have rezoned spaces with Enrique, inventoried with Iris, fulfilled with Elena and completed more tasks with a myriad of Atlas Metal employees.

Q: What have you learned from your current role as Systems Administrator? What are some of the key lessons or skills that have been passed down to you by others? What skills do you think will carry over to your next role as Operations Manager?

It is important to consider that just a little over a decade ago, a systems administrator’s role was dedicated to mainframes, and a little more than help desk and personal computing solutions. Today the role is comprised of a wide range of technological solutions such as ERM, data analytics and architectural drawings in CAD and Revit. I have been a part of it all. On a floor level, the role has taught to me to analyze data points, communicate with a wide range of roles, see from the viewpoints of others, decide resource opportunities and burdens and forecast future changes.

It is difficult to decide which lessons are instrumental and which are not, because I am a collection of all the input my mentors have been gracious enough to provide me.

From David Meade, the ability to assess what position is worth the risk and resources, and what isn’t. Easier said than done.

From Mark Siegfriedt, that challenges are opportunities. If that isn’t true, reassess your position.

From my father, Dominick, Sr., everything is possible with the right tool. That may be the foundation of my outlook.

I look forward to bringing those and all of my lessons into the Operations Manager role. Absorbing more knowledge in your role allows you to perform better in your role, I believe.

I’m also looking forward to linking relationships and finding new connections within the organizational hierarchy. I’m looking forward to seeing us get together, communicate where we feel we have opportunities and then go forward with those opportunities. To me, it’s important that everyone feels included, feels they have a say and never feels lost.

Q: Where do you find the biggest challenges as it relates to efficiencies, at Atlas or even industry-wide? Any ideas on solutions to address these challenges?

Data analytics. Leading up to 2020, we were understanding that we have so much information. It was coming in from all over the network in the industry. At that point, we were absorbing how difficult it is to digest and assess what’s real and what isn’t, what is critical and what’s not and what should drive tangible changes and what shouldn’t. In 2020, COVID-19 drove all that data off a cliff. Are the next two years of data from the pandemic and aftermath of COVID-19 a driver or an anomaly? If we took a short-term approach, data indicates resource and asset reduction. It provides a grim outlook that can be detrimental to a long position. Instead, focusing on what analytics doesn’t provide, such as our tendency to search for ingenuity, fortitude and optimism, sheds light on a curve outside of 1-2 years that statistical and forecasting solutions just cannot account for. In other words, the data might say “reduce, reduce, reduce,” but I say be careful, because you may reduce to the point where you’ve underleveraged yourself. If the optimism and ingenuity end up yielding results, I think things may skyrocket and you could miss out. How well we understand that will allow us to determine the best approach for short and long positions and how to remain efficient.

Q: Atlas is known for its superior craftmanship and durability. Can you talk about how you make sure you and your team deliver on these qualities? What shortcuts do you avoid? How do you help Atlas stay focused on the craft?

It sounds cliché, but there is no “I” in team, and that remains true at Atlas Metal. The culture, process and standards that have been proven over the previous decades are baked into our fabrication process. There are no independent robots pressing pans at Atlas Metal. We believe something is lost in that type of process. Instead, we leverage technology and human interaction to fabricate our products. Part of the open culture we spoke about earlier allows us to take advantage of on-site engineers, salespeople and manufacturing personnel on each individual project. Because of our unique process, we utilize first piece inspection and QC checks at multiple levels of an engineered or finished part’s transfer throughout the facility. It would be easy to take credit for this, but this is sewn into the system by the hard work put in yesterday, today and eventually, tomorrow. I do my part, as every employee does, by being honest and transparent about what we are doing, what we see and how we adhere to the standards and procedures that make our products stand out in the field.

Something else our internal dynamic allows is the ability to conceptualize an idea without being afraid to shift focus or even start over. It’s all about embracing trial and error in order to end up with the most efficient and innovative product.

Q: We wouldn’t dream of interviewing you without asking about those “How to Pick the Right Equipment” videos.

How does it feel to represent the company and inject so much fun into Atlas’ marketing efforts? Are there any topics or equipment features you’d want to tackle with the next video?

I can’t help but smile every time somebody brings up those videos. I am extremely proud of those videos, because of the hard work and collaboration that went into them. To look back fondly at a 16-hour workday, in a manufacturing plant, in the summer heat of Miami, with all the fans turned off, speaks to the quality of personnel we had during the shoot. The fact that they trusted me to represent the company in such a visual manner is a great distinction I will not forget.

Going forward, we feel there are plenty of quality topics that our network would prefer to be visualized. For instance, proper procedures for maintenance. We hear and take note of those suggestions and hope to address them soon.

Q: How has Atlas adapted to COVID? How has it impacted your day-to-day operations, customer relationships and even product lineup?

COVID-19 has had such a tragic impact and disruption in all of our lives. I mentioned fortitude earlier, and that couldn’t be truer at Atlas Metal. On a human level, we’ve adopted CDC-recommended guidelines such as social distancing, masks and sanitation. Technology has allowed us to implement procedures, such as remote working where applicable, for employees impacted by COVID-19. These procedures have allowed us to continue the day-to-day operations our network has come to expect from us. We even launched a new website this year. In regard to customer relationships and lineups, we have recognized that a higher interest in food shields and serving line separation may be here to stay. That is why we have redesigned and debuted a reimagined CSG food shield line. Before COVID-19, Atlas Metal adhered to sanitation standards and certified our products to them. That remains true today, and customers can easily find that information on our new website that launched earlier this year.

Q: If you had to guess, what do you think the next big thing in equipment is? Where is the industry going?

I tend to stay out of the prediction game. In our industry, holding and serving food is an established standard. The science behind temperatures and lineups seems to be as concrete as four wheels on a car.

That being said, I’ll give it my best shot without being too revealing. In the next decade, there may be an evolution of sorts, with a focus on sanitization and automation. Regarding sanitation, being up-front and transparent with certifications, unique ways to use food shields in and out of the industry and ways to easily implement sanitization cycles on equipment.

Automation seemed to be the focus prior to COVID-19, and is sure to be at the forefront as we move past the pandemic. How products interact with business intelligence tools to present key performance indicators will give operators greater insights into metrics, and allow them to make better-informed decisions about their businesses. Mix in automated on/off schedules and IOT, and the possibilities are endless.

Managers have the technology to see what wells are on or off and set a schedule for the equipment, and you no longer need a person to physically come in early to turn everything on. COVID-19 obviously threw things off this year, but as we get out of the pandemic, in the future, I think we’ll return back to automation doing things like reducing staff interaction with equipment, remote operation and energy conservation. I am looking forward to being part of this exciting new space and journey.

Q: As technology and automation advance, do you believe Atlas Metal will stay true to its time-tested emphasis on trusted human connection?

100% I do! I think what’s important about Atlas is that we are never afraid to move into the next phase of evolution on our equipment. But what we stand behind is that we’re going to move into that phase when we believe it’s the right thing to do, and when we can provide the resources to make it work on a level we’re proud of.

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