Exotic Automation & Supply – VP of Manufacturing

client success story

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  • Founded 1963
  • Niche: Polymers
  • Estimated 18+ Million in Revenue
  • 190+ Employees
  • Headquartered in New Hudson, MI

Founded in 1963 as Exotic Rubber and Plastics Corporation, their history demonstrates years of pioneering & revolutionizing new technologies. In 1972, the company became a distributor of Parker Hannifin products. This commitment dramatically increased their involvement within the expanding automation and motion control field. Today, Exotic Automation & Supply carries the full line of Parker Hannifin hydraulic, pneumatic, and fluid connector products and is one of the largest Parker Hannifin Distributors in the world.

Exotic Automation & Supply strives to be the leader in engineered solutions for motion control and custom-molded rubber and plastics. They serve customers’ technical needs while diversifying their company through innovative products and services and achieving consistent profitable growth.


In anticipation of top grading, their VP of Manufacturing, Exotic Automation & Supply envisioned a dynamic candidate with 15+ years of progressive manufacturing work experience and a history of managing successful teams. The ideal person would be a “hands-on,” passionate manufacturing engineer who could provide exceptional technical expertise. This role would oversee management in all manufacturing, R&D, and Technical Support activities to drive quality performance (and efficiencies) and reduce waste.


Developed over 35+ years of prior market knowledge, Ropella leveraged its in-depth understanding of the automation industry to organize and present a Search Solution Proposal that included several ideal candidate benchmarks from Ropella’s network. Through the execution of Ropella’s SMART Search System, a search was conducted to uncover, engage, recruit, and assess a group of best-in-class candidates who could step in on day one to unlock hidden value in Exotic Automation & Supply’s manufacturing assets. Ropella quickly canvased its extensive network and ultimately solved the search with a candidate who was used as a benchmark and presented as part of the Search Solution Proposal. This individual not only had the proper technical skillset, but also possessed experience with corporate governance, understood human resources (and personnel management), and became a valued leadership team member.


Custom-created for Exotic Automation, the Opportunity Marketing Piece attracted passive (employed and not looking) candidates from a select group of highly targeted companies. The Opportunity Marketing Piece enabled Ropella’s Executive Search Consultants to present a world-class overview of Exotic Automation, the new Vice President of Manufacturing’s unique challenges, and the incredible opportunity to work in a fast-moving, open, and transparent environment focused on excellence.


This custom-created Skill Survey equipped Ropella’s Executive Search Consultants to effectively gather information from a large pool of candidates. This step was critical to identify and select the most qualified A-players for final submission.


Ropella thoughtfully scored all candidates during the screening and interview process, using a custom-created Scorecard. These scores determined each candidate’s skills and experience, cultural dynamic, management style, compensation, relocation fit, and other attributes.


Ropella’s proprietary Compensation Comparison Calculator compiles a variety of complex compensation factors into a concise Offer Strategy Summary, thereby ensuring that clients don’t lose the perfect candidate to ineffective “negotiations” and/or a current employer counteroffer or other “competing” offers.


Results Delivered

Ropella identified and engaged with 150+ prospects on behalf of Exotic Automation. From there, Ropella submitted 5 candidates, 4 of whom were interviewed.

12 Business Days
To Qualified Candidates
52 Business Days
Speed to Placement

With multiple A-player candidates interviewed through an in-depth interview and assessment process, the top five candidates were identified. Ultimately, Exotic Automation utilized Ropella’s Compensation Comparison Calculator and supporting Offer Strategy Summary to creatively bridge a gap and secure their ideal leadership candidate. Acting as the top Manufacturing advisor for the organization and directing the overall Manufacturing Strategy, the candidate will be responsible for building and leading all Manufacturing aspects, including Vision, Product Development, Product Design, Estimating, Process Engineering, Production, Machining, Quality, Automation, Build and Maintenance.

Thank you for your patience with us during our most recent search. We appreciated your understanding and endurance in identifying our ideal candidate. Not once did you, or your team, disengage or try to persuade us to settle. That is a true partnership! Only two weeks into the new placement, it was well worth the wait. We have enjoyed thoroughly working with you and the Ropella team and look forward to future opportunities working together.

Amy Filarski
Human Resources Director
Exotic Automation & Supply

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