Written by Sofia Koskelainen
What makes Fastems unique is the people. Everyone comes from different backgrounds, but we all share a passion for automation solutions and appreciating how things are created.
Our Sales Manager in Eastern USA, Bob Baldizzi, joined Fastems in 2017 but his connections within the company go way back. Bob first made contacts at Fastems six years ago when he was working on the machine tool side of the industry. However, his interest in finding automation solutions was what drove him to make the switch to becoming a fastemsian.
“I’d been on the machine tool side for 30 years, but in my mind, I knew that the future of manufacturing was in automation. When the opportunity to work at Fastems arose, it was a natural decision to join because of the prior ties I had made years ago. I already knew the people I would be working with and I was familiar with the culture.”
“How can you help me?” is probably one of the most commonly asked questions from the customer side. Bob explains, that when clients approach him, most have realized that the traditional way of manufacturing is not going to allow them to grow any further, making automation critical. In his role as Sales Manager, Bob truly gets to solve customer sore points and help them become more profitable.
“I refer to my work as preaching. It’s all about explaining the automated way of doing things. What really makes Fastems special is what we do. We live and breathe automation solutions. It’s our core competency. No one can match the capabilities that our software and engineering expertise provides. No one can deliver the whole package like Fastems can.”
Even though days are busy, Bob emphasizes that interaction with people in manufacturing is the best part of the job. Learning what others do and how things are done is what keeps him going.
“The diversity of manufacturing is something that has always interested me. One day, I might be talking with a company who makes components for guns, and another with someone who makes parts for musical instruments. I guess I’ve always had a need to know how things work. At an early age, I would take things apart just to understand their components, but then didn’t know how to put them back together”, he laughs.
An important part of the job is interaction with other fastemsians. “I can’t do it alone; no sales guy can,” Bob emphasizes. Luckily, most of the communication between North Carolina and Finland can be done through video conferencing. However, as working with Fastems is always an adventure, Bob travels to Finland from time to time and therefore has some first-hand experience with the country’s traditions. He’s no stranger to going to the sauna and jumping into the icy lake for a swim in the winter.
“I got the best night’s sleep after that! Once you join the line going into the lake, there’s no going back. Another fun fact about dealing with Finns is that it took me a while to get used to the conversation style. I’m originally from New York so I speak fast and am quick with my words, but with Finns you can ask a question and expect 30 seconds of silence before getting a well-thought-out answer. I’m always like “Hello are you still there?”
After sharing some more laughs, Bob ends with a well summarized motto he learned from his father a long time ago:
“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”