Linda Cobos

EXECUTIVE OFFICE MANAGER — CARR MACHINE & TOOL

“Even though I'm not a machinist, there is something I can bring back from my experience at IMTS. We're all a part of the team, and it's important that we're all involved in the growth of the company. Seeing so many creative and innovative ideas in one place helps us find ways to improve ourselves. We're a small, growing company. IMTS keeps us sharp and up to date on the latest and greatest.”

Linda Cobos knows you don’t have to work on the shop floor to gain game-changing insights at IMTS. The executive office manager at CARR Machine and Tool (Elk Grove, Ill.), attended the last IMTS, and it gave her a greater appreciation for the manufacturing industry, innovation’s role in company growth and how teams who work together can accomplish great things.

Linda Cobos

Brand new to the world of manufacturing in 2016, Cobos learned quickly by immersing herself in the environment at the industry’s largest event in North America: IMTS.

“Stepping onto the show floor, I was impressed with how huge it was,” Cobos says. “I followed our team around and observed their interactions, asked a lot of questions and saw new technology that I didn't realize even existed. It gave me context to come back and execute my job better because I understood what goes on in the shop and what our customers need.”

One area that grabbed Cobos' attention at IMTS 2016 was a new ERP system that would streamline operations throughout the company. Today, she uses that system and plans to investigate new ERP capabilities at IMTS 2018.

“Even though I'm not a machinist, there is something I can bring back from my experience at the show,” she says. “We're all a part of the team, and it's important that we're all involved in the growth of the company, so whatever we can learn at IMTS is useful.”

Customer communication

Since she's responsible for building relationships with customers and generating business, Cobos appreciates the value of having face-to-face interactions with customers and vendors at IMTS.

“We meet with people at the show and then visit them throughout the year to put a face to our name,” Cobos says.

Understanding the importance of communication, Cobos developed a new way to monitor order status and communicate with customers by providing order progress information online.

“If a job isn't going exactly as planned, it can be difficult to tell a customer, but it's always better to communicate with them openly,” she says. “We may need to make them aware of a delay or explain issues, so we do it right away. It helps us maintain good relationships with our customers and our vendors because we’re all on the same page.”

Plans for 2018

To help the team prepare for the show, Cobos will use the MyShow Planner app to map out a plan and navigate the show, focusing on the most important areas to make the best use of everyone's time and energy.

“Now that I know how big it is, I'll be better prepared by wearing more comfortable shoes at IMTS 2018,” she adds.

Cobos will take advantage of the unique opportunity to network with her industry peers.

“This year I hope to see more women in manufacturing and touch base with them at the show,” she says. “I'm involved with Women in Manufacturing, a group that is helping manufacturers bring more women into the industry. We go to schools and show girls that they have the option to go into this field. We want to see that gender gap change on a large scale.”

Team building

Attending IMTS has given the Carr team an opportunity to collaborate, innovate and grow, which provides a more rewarding work environment for everyone.

“I saw a lot of machines in action and watched my team get excited about new technologies,” Cobos observes. “At night, we all had dinner and discussed the most promising opportunities and what they might mean to our company. It was energizing and inspiring to be with the team in such an environment. We brought that excitement back with us.”

Cobos knows first-hand that attending IMTS is a good company investment for every member of the team.

“Seeing so many creative and innovative ideas in one place helps us find ways to improve ourselves,” Cobos states. “We're a small, growing company. IMTS keeps us sharp and up to date on the latest and greatest.”

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