Metalforming Names David Prokop Executive Vice President

MetalForming Inc. (MFI) has named David Prokop its new executive vice president.

Prokop brings more than 25 years of experience as a sales, marketing and operations executive in the sheet metal machine industry. For the past 10 years, he has been a co-owner of International Technologies Inc., Schaumburg, Ill., which imports metal folding, forming and welding equipment.

“David will be running both our hardware and business services side,” says MetalForming CEO Geoff Stone. “I’ve known him for 30 years, and without question he is one of the single best machine tool salesmen in North America. He has an enormous amount of expertise. He has broad experience selling European-made high-tech machine tools. He knows everything about our business on the technical side, and he actually began his career as a high precision sheet metal service technician. We’re fortunate to have him.”

MetalForming Inc. is the largest supplier of high-end architectural sheet metal machines in North America. In recent years, the company has also been developing software, communications, training and consulting services that enable customers in the metal roofing industry to network their machines on a factory floor and/or at the job site to reduce waste, increase productivity and respond to “just-in-time” needs of the construction business.

MetalForming’s advancements in lean manufacturing and factory automation are key reasons Prokop was eager to join the MetalForming team.

“What really excites me is the explosion about to take place in this industry to harness technology to combat market pressures and competition,” he says. “Particularly on the software end of the spectrum. Shop floor control, production control, call it what you will, similar software has been around for a long time in other industries. Those industries today could not function without it. But this is just starting to be adopted in our manufacturing world.

“At the same time, I have always been a huge advocate of lean manufacturing. To now be part of bringing these new technologies and solutions to the metal fabrication industry, I don’t know what can be more exciting than that.”

Prokop has been working in the machine tool and metal fabrication industry since 1986, shortly after getting his bachelor’s degree from the College of Industrial Technologies and Engineering at Southern Illinois University.

He says that given the huge opportunities that metal companies have to increase profit and efficiency by embracing new technologies and processes, he expects the adoption rate for new machine technology to pick up a lot of speed.

“Investment will become a natural component of increasing margins, not a cost,” he adds. “I mean, if it costs a billion dollars, but you save $500 million every year, who wouldn’t go out and borrow a billion to invest?”

Prokop says he has long admired what MetalForming has brought to the industry. “I’ve always had great respect for the team that they had built here. But until I became a part of it, I never knew the extent to which each and every person here truly does everything in their power to make things better for each customer they take care of. No one here really talks about this, or has procedures or processes that say ‘take care of our customers,’ they just do it. It is part of MFI DNA. It is commonly referred to here as the MFI family, and this extended family includes, first and foremost, all of the customers we are employed to take care of. That focus is very special.”