#TBT: Inter­view with Mike Zim­mer­man, Direc­tor of Ope­ra­ti­ons


In Novem­ber 2018, Invo­tec cele­bra­ted its 25th anni­ver­s­a­ry. It’s a mile­stone we achie­ved due to the sup­port of our custo­mers and vendors—and, most of all, our employees. Now we’re tur­ning back the clock to hear from some of our most sea­so­ned experts what Invo­tec was like in the begin­ning and the chal­len­ges that shaped our suc­cess today. #TBT

Meet Mike Zim­mer­man

16+ years with Invo­tec

About Mike

Mike was hired in 1999 as the Ope­ra­ti­ons Mana­ger. At the time, Invo­tec had about 13–14 employees, so the ope­ra­ti­ons team inclu­ded busi­ness deve­lop­ment, account manage­ment, pro­ject manage­ment, and engi­nee­ring. As the com­pa­ny grew, depart­ments gai­ned more defi­ni­ti­on, and his role chan­ged. He beca­me the Engi­nee­ring Mana­ger, then the Pro­ject Ope­ra­ti­ons Mana­ger, and now the Direc­tor of Ope­ra­ti­ons.

What was Invo­tec like when you first star­ted?

When I joi­ned, we were at a smal­ler faci­li­ty. We desi­gned the machi­nes, and they were built off­si­te at a third-par­ty manu­fac­tu­rer. After they were built, they would come back to us so we could inte­gra­te, debug, and fine-tune them befo­re instal­la­ti­on. In the begin­ning, we did a few dozen pro­jec­ts each year—today we do hund­reds.

What drew you to Invo­tec initi­al­ly?

I’ve known John and Daryl (Invotec’s foun­ders) sin­ce 1982. When they star­ted the com­pa­ny in 1993, I got to watch it grow from the out­si­de. In 1999, I was offe­red a posi­ti­on with Invo­tec at the same time that I was offe­red a job with a lar­ge, well-known, engi­nee­ring firm in the Day­ton area. I had a choice to make: go with Invotec—at that time, the small startup—or go with the lar­ge com­pa­ny. After giving it some thought, I rea­li­zed that John and Daryl were per­so­nal­ly invested in the com­pany’s suc­cess; they were going to do ever­ything they could to make it work. That made the decisi­on easy. Several years later, that lar­ger com­pa­ny no lon­ger exists, and we are still here.

What has kept you at Invo­tec?

The chal­len­ges and the per­so­nal fri­endships. In the midd­le of my care­er, I actual­ly left for about four years. But I came back. I like the tech­ni­cal chal­len­ge of the solu­ti­ons we deve­lop as well as the admi­nis­tra­ti­ve chal­len­ges of gro­wing a business—and I like the envi­ron­ment Invo­tec crea­tes to sol­ve tho­se chal­len­ges. But most­ly I value the fri­endships I’ve built; I haven’t worked a day here that I haven’t laug­hed.

Whe­re do you see Invo­tec hea­ded in the next 25 years?

Beco­m­ing a tru­ly inter­na­tio­nal com­pa­ny. It’s going to be inte­res­ting and chal­len­ging, but I’m con­fi­dent that it will be suc­cess­ful.

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