Blake Myers is the Owner and acting CEO of Universal Manufacturing Corp. The company is a full-service manufacturing company that specializes in custom production of electric, metal, plastic and wood made products. Today, the Westchester, Illinois based firm is a leader in the supply of a wide range of beauty, automotive, baby, solar and sporting goods. Since its establishment in 2013, the firm has built a huge network of suppliers and purchasers spread across all the major retail outlets. Besides Illinois, UMC maintains a huge presence in New York and Florida.
The teams working to ensure high quality standards are maintained at UMC include in-house design experts and quality control technicians. The high level of dedication has also been instrumental in ensuring the firm maintains excellent customer service. Blake holds a degree in Economics from Illinois State University. Prior to obtaining his degree, Blake attended junior college to study art. His areas of expertise include marketing strategy, sales prospecting, mortgage brokerage and demand generation. Blake Myers is married and is a proud father of two children.
Would you please tell us what do you do for a living?
I am a business executive and the founder of Universal Manufacturing Corp. The firm uses various materials sourced from metal, wood and plastics to produce wide ranging consumer products. The products include toys, health and beauty and automotive components.
How long have you been in this business?
UMC has been in business since 2013. Universal Manufacturing Corp employs 15 people on a permanent basis and many more down the chain. We primarily operate from Westchester in Illinois, but our reach extends into New York and Florida and other states.
Are there any industry specific challenges you would like to point out?
The consumer products industry faces numerous challenges from several factors. The most pressing include globalization, failure to adapt to the disruptive digital supply chain and the entrenchment of outdated, cost focused business models that are often associated with shrinking operating margins. The other challenge is compliance with regulatory diktats and changing consumer demands. In case of the latter, manufacturers must continuously create products that meet the ever-changing consumer preferences to stay competitive.
Are there particular challenges you’ve had to address personally?
Because of competition and market saturation in the consumer goods industry, I decided to be proactive when it comes to management matters. The strategy entails working constantly to improve the quality of products and service and answering to the needs and expectations of customers.
What is the outlook of your industry?
The Consumer Product Industry is huge and encompasses several sub-verticals, including Food and Beverages, Consumer Packaged Goods and Consumer Durable Goods. The industry is growing as evidenced in the number of e-retailers, pop-up stores and direct to consumer brands opening shop. A huge part of this growth is fueled by the growing use of technology, specifically the proprietary technology that has helped create a more interconnected supply chain.
How does technology impact your company?
In electronic goods manufacturing, a lot of technological advances are targeted at home automation. The use of data science has opened room for more simplifications and system integration. In addition, consumers are benefiting by saving money and enjoying a better quality of life.
Have you ever been to Miami?
What part of Miami?
Miami is an iconic destination for holiday makers, business people and travelers from around the world. I have been to downtown Miami several times and the glamorous South Beach, which is just outside town.
Do you visit any particular places of interest, including restaurants?
Whenever I am in downtown Miami, I usually spend time in business-friendly hotels. One of my favorites is in East Miami. The establishment has a private restaurant, 24hr gym and several pools. The other favorite places in the heart Miami include the cruise ship port and the financial district.
Would you come back?
Yes, I am thinking this summer.
Was it a business or pleasure trip?
The last time I was there, I went for both pleasure and business.
Where will you or the business be in 5 years?
I spent the last 15 years at Universal Manufacturing Corp developing new products and growing company sales. The efforts have seen UMC grow its market share and provide collaborative services to many new innovators. In the next 5 years, I will be focusing on expanding the product portfolio with a special focus on consumer behavior. To this end, the company will invest a lot of resources on geographical expansion, employment of staff and upgrading of machinery.