The Engineer’s Analysis of Women’s Business Enterprise Certification
The last 24 months has produced a number of firsts at Rathburn Tool; our latest is obtaining our Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certification. As an engineer, I see it as a very pragmatic exercise; one that could allow to us serve our current customers by helping them meet diversity goals and at the same time open up opportunities for new customers.
Obtaining WBE certification is one of many steps we implemented as part of a new sales and marketing strategy. Our primary goal is to strengthen the company’s position by expanding our customer base, which will also give us the opportunity to perform precision machining on new products in a more diverse market. We’re not the biggest company in our industry but being agile and willing to try new things keeps us competitive and being WBE certified might get our foot in the door to prove it. Once we’ve shown a customer how creative our team is and how efficient our home-grown automation makes us, we nearly always win more work.
That willingness to try new things is what led us to expand into Swiss and mill/turn CNC machining. Although it required purchasing new, and pretty expensive, equipment, our talented team was able to quickly integrate the new processes without sacrificing our high-quality traditional chucker work. In fact, over the last year, we’ve shuffled our machines around the shop floor so many times, people on my team are thinking I might be one of those people who likes to remodel their house every year just because they’re bored. Really, I’m just looking for the best combination of technical innovation and talented, collaborative people. It just so happens our Quality Manager, Controller, Shipping Manager, Quality Technician and a number of our best machine operators are women. And occasionally, we do rearrange the “furniture” on the shop floor.