PODCAST: Investing in Change for the Better

In this epsiode of The Manufacturing Alliance Podcast, this duo from Kingson Mold and Machine Inc. talks about challenges they have faced in changing the company for the better through implementing new technologies and processes.


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In this episode of The Manufacturing Alliance Podcast, we meet up with Kaci Miller, president of Kingson Mold and Machine Inc., and her project manager and right-hand man, Joseph Solorio. Together, this duo talks about the challenges they have faced in changing the company for the better through implementing new technologies and processes.

Here are some highlights from their conversation:

  • Kaci’s dad and grandpa started the company in 1977 in Brea, California, and she took over about eight years ago. She and Joseph started around the same time and soon began shaking things up at the company.
  • Everyone has to learn from someone else. Joseph points out that instead of making someone else start from nothing, get them up to speed faster with tribal knowledge and experience. Sharing knowledge doesn’t mean someone won’t be needed once it's transferred; it just means they can move on to better things. “I need you more because you can make everybody else more valuable, and you make yourself more valuable. Our job is to make other people better.”
  • “We really see so much positive in the future, and that's exciting. That gives you something to continue to shoot for.”
  • Joseph puts a lot of research into new technologies to update the company, and he always has the information to back up those technologies, even if they may be costly. He compares it to driving a car that is 20 years old. “We need something new.”
  • Not everyone was on board with the new machines and structure Kaci and Joseph were putting in place. They lost a lot of the crew that had been there for 30+ years but were able to create a new high-speed precision department from the growth those losses enabled.
  • “Change is a difficult word for people. And it can be.”
  • Kaci advocates for more women in leadership positions within the moldmaking industry. Despite the challenges she’s had to face, she believes it is “empowering to know that other people are in the same footsteps.”
  • Kingson knows how to come together and have fun as a company and how to appreciate its employees, whether it be through monthly lunches, family nights, or monster jams.
  • They emphasize the importance of looking back at previous work that has been accomplished, in order to take pride in one’s work and use that to give more confidence in the next project.
  • Not only do they encourage investment in the company, its technologies and processes, but they want their team to invest in themselves.
  • Have partnerships with customers. “I want customers to be able to support us just as quickly as we're going to support them.”
  • “Life is too short to be down and to be upset every day. I want to live my life. I want to come to work. I want to enjoy what I do and not make it miserable. I tried to look at a positive out of a negative situation because I feel you just get more out of it. Then that negative situation is building you to be a better person than you were before.”

Listen to the whole conversation here: