North Highlands, California
With over thirty years of experience in aerospace and semiconductor machining and tooling, founder and owner Alex Castillo decided to start SpinPro when his previous employer announced it was moving its operations out of state. Castillo had a long-time dream of opening his own business, and the situation gave him the courage and resolve to do it; rather than having to seek out and prove his abilities with a new employer. However, making that leap to go out on his own was a daunting task.
Castillo says, “I left with absolutely no contacts, no customer base, nobody promising work. It took me about two months to build up the shop and get it ready to start working, and the day that I was ready to start running parts was the day I went out and knocked on doors. In two weeks, I started getting my first work coming in.”
The customers are still coming, and most of them are by word-of-mouth, based on the company’s reputation for quality and service. Prototype work for various industries, including aerospace, robotics, solar, automotive, and semiconductors, has been the mainstay for SpinPro.
Evolving from prototype to production
Pensa has been with the company for two years and says, “When I first started, we were 100-percent prototype, and we saw a new direction last year that we wanted to go, and that was more toward production. In the last six months, we’ve been more production than prototype, and that’s where we’re heading.”
In addition to its machining services, the company has recently expanded to offering welding, inspection, and complete turn-key parts. The prototype work will remain a central part of SpinPro’s work, as that’s where Castillo’s experience and expertise lie.
SpinPro works with various types of steel, aluminum, and plastics in its manufacturing, and there have been some issues with supplies of materials that they’ve had to overcome, using local sources, as well as around the country. When problems arise, Pensa says, “We don’t like to turn away work, but it definitely actually impacts on securing that particular purchase order. Even if they pay an astronomical amount for an expedite, it still doesn’t change the fact that we can’t get the material.”
Substantial price increases for raw materials have occurred over the last couple of years, although now, Pensa says, “What I’ve been seeing lately is that a lot of the suppliers want to price-match their competitors’ deals so that they get the business. And it’s a huge difference. It’s not just pennies.”
Certified for reliability and transparency
The company is ISO 9001 Certified, and they regard that as key to the acquisition and retention of customers. Outsourced processes, such as various finishes and coatings, are done by a trusted group of suppliers and checked closely for quality.
The General Manager says, “Part of ISO is meeting deadlines, and basically keeping your word, and if we can’t meet a deadline if a machine goes down, or a tool breaks, things that we can’t control, we’re transparent. I’ve personally heard from customers that our communication and transparency mean more to them than the actual job. That means every time they send something to us, they have peace of mind that it will get done. It might be a day late, or it might be a week early, but it’s going to be delivered, and it’s going to be delivered right. We’ll do the parts right the first time, you can rely on us, we’re going to be transparent, and we want to establish that trust. It’s not just transactional; we want to establish a long-term partnership.”