Episode 87

Embracing Change and Forward-Thinking in Manufacturing Leadership

In this engaging installment of the Leadership In Manufacturing Podcast, host Sannah Vinding is joined by Eric Slatten, President and CEO of ECS Inc International.

Eric dives into the nuances of company culture within a family-owned business, emphasizing the significance of trust, communication, and genuine care amongst team members.

Together, they explore the complexities of distribution channel challenges, including excess inventory and the adaptation of new strategies highlighting the importance of relationship management across business cycles.

Eric discusses his deep-rooted passion for the electronics industry, explaining how building meaningful relationships has played a vital role in his success.

The conversation delves into how the dynamics of employee and customer communication have evolved, particularly in the era of virtual meetings, and the impact on sales cycles and engineering support.

Listeners will also benefit from Eric’s insights on continuous learning, the significance of having a forward-looking perspective, and the value he places on evolving to stay prepared for future challenges.


Sannah Vinding


Eric Slatten



Key takeaways

The Impact of Organizational Culture

Cultivate a supportive and collaborative environment within your organization. By fostering a positive culture, you can enhance employee engagement, strengthen your brand identity, and improve retention rates, productivity, and customer loyalty.

Number 2

The Importance of Communication in Leadership

Ensure clear and consistent communication with your teams and customers, especially during times of uncertainty and challenge. Effective communication strategies are key to aligning your team, building trust, and maintaining strong relationships through any difficulties.

Number 3 - key takeaway mind the innovation leadership podcast

The Value of Ongoing Learning and Flexibility

Embrace a mindset of continuous learning and adaptability. Being proactive in seeking new knowledge and open to change equips you and your team to stay at the forefront of innovation in your industry and effectively tackle new challenges as they arise.

“You can’t overstress the significance of hiring people who not only align with your company’s culture but are also eager to collaborate and care for their teammates. And when I see new talent coming in, I tell them: Be proactive. Seek knowledge. There’s a world of experience out there, and learning from those who’ve paved the way before you is invaluable.”

Eric Slatten

President & CEO, ECS Inc. International

“Welcoming new talent into the industry isn’t just a necessity; it’s an opportunity to infuse new ideas and energy into our teams. Let’s be proactive in fostering an environment of learning and growth for the next wave of industry innovators.”

Sannah Vinding

Leadership & B2B Marketing Strategist, Technical Engineering Expert

Show Notes:

In episode 87 of the Leadership In Manufacturing Podcast, hosts Sannah Vinding and Eric Slatten delve into the intricacies of maintaining a healthy company culture in the manufacturing sector, particularly within the context of a family-owned business like ECS Inc International, which Eric Slatten leads.

The hosts discuss the concept of considering a workplace as family and the positive outcomes that can ensue from such an environment when trust and open communication are present. Eric Slatten stresses the vital role company culture plays in supporting a business, highlighting the need for genuinely respecting and caring for people to cultivate a productive workplace.

Additionally, they touch on challenges in distribution channels and inventory management, advocating for strategic adjustments and maintaining strong relationships during business cycles. Eric provides insights into his approach to hiring individuals aligned with the company culture who can foster collaboration and a caring atmosphere.

Sannah reflects on the need for new talent in the industry, and Eric advises being proactive and seeking wisdom from those with experience. They further explore ECS Inc In’s journey and Eric’s passion for technology and building relationships within the electronics field.

The conversation also covers the impacts of COVID-19 on communication methods particularly the shift to virtual interactions and its effects on the sales cycle and tech team operations. Eric promotes the importance of relationship-building and being of value to customers during sales interactions.

Throughout the episode, both hosts emphasize a continuous learning mindset, staying abreast of industry changes, and the significance of effective communication within teams and with customers. Eric underlines the responsibility as a leader to model and sustain company culture, the willingness to learn from mistakes, and the importance of not taking oneself too seriously.

In the realm of personal development, Eric expresses a desire to improve his financial and engineering understanding. He encourages newcomers to be inquisitive, stay informed about their industry and company, and actively participate in change.

Lastly, they navigate the complexities of various communication platforms, underscoring the necessity of adapting to customer preferences and the decreasing commonality of leaving voicemails.

The episode wraps up with sage advice to the younger generation in the industry to embrace diverse perspectives for learning and the pivotal role of adapting and continuously acquiring knowledge to succeed in the manufacturing and electronics world.

Remember to subscribe, like, and share our content. Connect with us on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram to unlock your leadership potential in the manufacturing industry.

“In our company, culture is everything. It’s about respecting each other, genuinely caring, and supporting one another. It’s the environment that endures even when the leadership isn’t around, because when you have trust and communication, you’re not just a team, you’re a family.”

Eric Slatten

President & CEO, ECS Inc. International

Eric Slatten

Eric Slatten

Eric Slatten

President & CEO, ECS Inc. International

Eric Slatten is a dynamic leader serving as the President & CEO at ECS Inc. International, where he manages key accounts and drives strategic initiatives.

With over 16 years of experience in the industry, Eric is known for his expertise in overseeing contract negotiations and acquisitions, contributing significantly to the company’s growth.

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