An Interview With Ibrahim Ibrahim; ICS's VP & Operations Expert

Alongside Darius Kania, Ibrahim Ibrahim founded ICS, the sister company to the well known aerospace welding company, Lynn Welding. ICS was designed to not only support Lynn’s business needs, but also to support the waterjet needs of the many manufacturing companies in the surrounding area. We sat down with Ibrahim to take a deeper look at ICS's business model and the practices we implement!
Ibrahim ICS VP

What did your educational background look like? What training programs did you undertake that prepared you for your current position?

I went to school at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) for electromechanical engineering technology. I studied manufacturing technology, technology management, and business management. I've also completed some executive management training with MIT and other various financial trainings.

 

What life lessons have you learned that have helped you to be successful in your career?

Every person must give respect to be respected; seek to understand others first in order to be understood. We all have two ears and one mouth, we all need to learn to listen more than they talk. We must learn to quite our minds and be calm so we can harness our full mental potential. Remember that there are two sides of every story, and it’s necessary to know and understand both; always trust but verify.

 

Were you interested in the manufacturing industry prior to moving to America?

No originally, I was trying to get into civil engineering. For a while I had worked in oil drilling for my dad and that’s what sparked an interested in manufacturing in general. 

 

Do you feel being an immigrant and becoming a US Citizen has shaped the way you view running a business?

I can’t say for certain it has, but I do believe that America is the best country in the world. Here you can be anything you want to be, more than any other place. If you work hard, stick to your plan, and believe in yourself then everything else will fall into place, It’s what has worked for me.

 

What area of running ICS do you feel comes most naturally to you?

Because of my educational background and training, the areas that come most naturally to me are business operations, customer relations, finances, and team building.

 

What parts of your job do you find most challenging? Most enjoyable?

The most challenging part is trying to balance customer collections while maintaining a good relationship and dealing with unexpected manufacturing or global events. The most enjoyable is watching the growth of my team. I am at my happiest seeing them be successful, it’s a great feeling knowing that every day you can impact the lives of others.

 

What are the key performance indicators (KPI) you use to measure the success of ICS?

Success is measured by looking at a combination of sales, profit, risk, and market share. By evaluating them as individuals and as a group, I can objectively gauge the success of our business.

 

As someone who has an impressive background in operations management, what do you find to be the biggest challenge in running a business in the manufacturing industry?

Thank you! The one I deal with the most often is the struggle to find humble, driven people to join our team; the flooded job market during the pandemic, it seems has only made this all the harder to achieve. In general, not just pertaining to manufacturing, the biggest challenge when running a business is keeping the ability to offer competitive pricing while maintaining profit margins and paying employees well. It is a juggling act and very hard to balance.

 

As for efficiency and productivity increase, how do you ensure quality is maintained?

ICS is ISO9001/AS9100 approved; we follow all parameters and metrics from AS9100 in our daily production practices to ensure that quality stays consistent despite increases in demand.

 

How did you decide on what technology you were going to implement at ICS? Why the specific models of the machines? Why Flow?

We decided to use Mach 500, the latest Flow waterjet machine at the time complete with taper compensation. At the time of ICS's opening, this was the latest technology available. It continues to provide consistent accuracy, exceptional quality, increased production speed, and utilizes 5-axis technology, which is rare in CT. Flow is the “mother of this industry” – a well-known company providing the best machines available, being very strong and high quality.

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