When Robert Rodriguez joined Continuum Footspas, LLC. in April, Joe Galati, Co-Owner and President of Continuum, invited him to be a “fresh pair of eyes” over the manufacturing process.
Rodriguez accepted the challenge as Continuum’s new plant manager. Since then, the position is shaping up to be exactly what he was hoping for: an opportunity for growth.
Rodriguez — a Milwaukee native and former employee at a Pewaukee manufacturer — recently talked about the improvements he has implemented in the warehouse and his vision for the future.
Q: How is the transition going since you started at Continuum in April?
Rodriguez: The transition is going well. When I first came in, we were at the beginning of expanding our orders, (in size and number), and [Galati] recognized that there was a lot of potential for that increase at the moment.
Q. What’s it like to work for a family owned and operated business?
Rodriguez: This is the first business I’ve worked for that’s family owned and operated and it’s a breath of fresh air. Not to say my previous employers were negative, but we have an open door policy here. Everyone speaks to everyone. There’s no walls up or barriers between assembly and front office people. The guys here are pretty much family to each other.
Q. How does it feel to know you’re coming on at a point of expansion?
Rodriguez: It’s a great feeling because you don’t really see an end of the expansion; you just see the potential to fill. There’s really no end to the potential and that’s a great feeling to know there are always improvements being made with new guys coming in and working for us. It’s like a growing family. It’s fun.
Q. What is your management style?
Rodriguez: I lead by example. I don’t like to be at the desk so much. Any deskwork I do have, I try and get done during non peak production times so I can be out on the floor with the guys. I like to stay in touch with what’s going on out there. I wouldn’t ask anyone to do things I wouldn’t do myself.
Q. How have you responded to Galati’s need for ‘fresh eyes?’
Rodriguez: I analyzed the current manufacturing process and then changed it
according to what would be the most efficient and in line with our mission, which is
Q. What does that mean exactly?
Rodriguez: When I came in I had to figure out ways to reduce our assembly times
while maintaining the high quality that we have. Having high quality was partially
part of building these spas from scratch. Our guys put in a lot of time with each
Q. Were you able to lessen what you call the “lead time” or assembly time?
Rodriguez: Were able to accommodate the orders coming in and bring our lead
time down simultaneously. That’s been great.
Q. What is your customer service philosophy?
Rodriguez: We have a local feel here. It doesn’t matter where the customer is — we
feel like a local company by making sure the customer is satisfied. If a customer has
(a) problems with a spa, we correct it immediately, because we know that every
hour their spa isn’t functioning they are losing money. We do everything in our
power to prevent that.
Q. What are your future aspirations at Continuum?
Rodriguez: I want the warehouse to get to its maximum potential and see it grow. I
want people to see the Continuum spa and know that it’s the industry leader and
that we create the highest quality spa and that will satisfy our customers. We really
strive for that.