A minute with

Vicky Cabanas

Plant II Manager

14 Years with Atlas

Q: Can you summarize the main differences between your plant and the other plant at Atlas?

Plant #1 produces most of our parts, and they convert our raw materials to whatever is needed of the design. They have machines that bend, cut and mold. Plant #2, my plant, is the one that finishes assembly and ships it out. We are the ones who get it over the finish line and finalize that famous Atlas quality. It feels really good to be part of that.

Q: So the team you oversee is the last stop at Atlas, before the equipment gets shipped out. What does that mean for you in terms of quality control and upholding the craftsmanship Atlas is famous for?

We have trained our crew to visually and mechanically test every unit to make sure it matches all the standards needed. Once they’re finished, it goes over to our quality department, which ultimately verifies that each unit is completely ready to go. I also personally inspect the units at this stage.

Q: What’s special about your team? How do you all stay focused, energized and motivated?

We have been working together for many years. We have become a family. We all look good because we make each other look good. We lift the standard together and succeed together. We also listen to each other’s opinions and concerns. I constantly say thank you and ask if everything is okay with them and their families. And the way I treat them is the same way they treat me. When our people feel good, it’s good for our company. I’ll also add that when I head into Atlas each morning at 6:15, I see Mr. David’s car in the lot. For me, that’s incredibly motivating. He’s the boss, he’s there, he’s fighting for his company, so let’s be a team.

Q: Can you talk a bit about your career at Atlas, how your responsibility has grown and what you’ve learned at each stage along the way? What are you proud of?

I started as a shipping coordinator doing paperwork and data entry from a side office. But I was also watching the people on the floor. And I noticed sometimes, they were struggling due to the organization of the floor. I went to my boss at the time, Mark Siegfried, and I told him, “You know, every time someone needs to take an order, they spend a long time moving crates while looking for that item. Why don’t you let me organize the floor in a different way?” And he goes, “You know what, that’s a good idea. What do you need?” I said, “Just give me one Saturday and four men.” And we did it and proved that it was an improvement. Then we went to the next area and little by little, I started organizing the whole floor. After a while, they moved me to the floor permanently, but not as a supervisor. They just wanted me to learn. And after another year, they put me in the supervisor role. Now, I manage everything. Working hard every single day, I was able to grow with the company. That openness to new ideas or even disagreement is something that I have learned is so important. Mark believed in me back then, and now it’s my turn to believe in my employees.

Q: What’s your favorite Atlas product or product feature?

A new model we’re building. We’ve been working on this unit for three years, because like everything we do, we want to do it right and we want it to be crafted with the highest quality. Physically, I’ve had no involvement. Mentally though, ordering the parts and arranging everything, 100%. I call it my baby, because sometimes I’m at home thinking about it, wondering what we can do differently to keep making it better.

Q: If we were to ask your employees what they think of you as a boss, what do you think they’d say?

Well, I don’t know, [laughs]. But I can tell you I’ve been to their houses. I know their families, and I care about them. So that tells you. We have a very close relationship.

Q: What do you want your employees to know, above all else?

That I’m open to your ideas. Tell me what you think. If I’m wrong, tell me. Give me those opinions. Let me know your thoughts, and maybe we can come up with something together.


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