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ATAS International Leverages Ongoing Relationship with MRC


Allentown-based ATAS International is a family-owned company with a global reach and a reputation built on 55+ years of quality craftsmanship and knowledgeable staff. With locations across the U.S., the company is an innovative manufacturer of metal walls, metal roof systems, accessories, and more.

The Challenge

ATAS International, manufacturer of sustainable building envelope products, relies on MRC, part of the Pennsylvania MEP and the MEP National Network™, for an ongoing list of support services ranging from new-product development and leadership training to maintenance strategy development, CEO Forum participation and more.

MRC brings to our attention important topics we would not have otherwise considered.
— Dick Bus, President

MEP's Role

When ATAS sought third-party verification for a new-product development initiative, they engaged MRC’s Tech Scouting program. “Identifying and developing a product can take a few years,” says President Dick Bus. “We use MRC’s Tech Scouting process to verify the need and confirm the feasibility for some products before we get too far down the road.”

Bus says he especially values MRC’s proactive approach with regard to topics not yet on the company’s radar. “Like succession planning—they recommended a provider, and today we have monthly meetings with them focused on upcoming transitions. We had never thought about that.”

That benefit extends to the Manufacturing Leadership Institute (MLI) as well. For more than a decade, ATAS has sent one or two managers (Bus and his son included) on a regular basis. “It gets them thinking bigger picture,” he says. “They’re no longer focused just on their own areas of responsibility. That lets me build the bench.”

Employee engagement is a consistent theme at ATAS. For years, the company has participated in the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing video competition, and Bus says the program benefits students as well as ATAS participants. “Our employees can see it directly impact the students, and that energizes them. They’re helping to teach the next generation of workers.”

Similar to MLI, ATAS is a repeat participant in MRC’s Maintenance Strategies program.  No fewer than five of the company’s maintenance staffers have completed the program, and Bus says their involvement has reduced the number of costly shutdowns. Specifically, an emphasis on preventive maintenance has enabled the company to increase uptime.

Of his decade-long involvement in MRC’s CEO Forum, Bus says the opportunity to interact with others who occupy a similar role in other manufacturing companies is especially helpful. “They’re like-minded and like-sized businesses,” he says, “I get a lot out of it, and I’ll keep going as long as they’ll have me.” 

Rounding out the list of recent MRC program participation, Bus points to COVID webinars and an ongoing effort to replace a 34-year-old ERP system.

Created August 1, 2023