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At Work: Austin King

Austin King
Conveyor Solutions
Senior Project Manager
3.5 Years

I joined Conveyor Solutions 3.5 years ago after attending Purdue University. During my time here, I’ve had the opportunity to experience many different aspects of our company and held many different roles. I initially was hired as a Project Engineer, working with our sales representative in Indianapolis. I worked to support his sales efforts, making proposals, estimates and engineering drawings. When he was promoted to VP of Sales, I moved into a direct sales role. However, I still maintained aspects of my project engineer role, and often supervised projects from the initial sale all the way through installation. When Conveyor Solutions hired a new VP of Operations, we decided to form a formal project management group. I believe that it is important to always keep expanding your skillset, so I jumped at the opportunity to join the group. About a year ago, I was promoted to Senior Project Manager, which is my role today.

Responsibilities
As a Senior Project Manager, I take over the project once a sale is made and guide the customer through installation. I contact manufacturers and vendors and communicate with the customer every step of the way. I send out a weekly report that encompasses everything from lead times to billing schedules. I coordinate with the installation team and communicate that information back to the customer. I spend 2-3 days per week on site at customer locations during installation. Because we haven’t had a Project Management Group for very long, we’re still creating best practices and figuring out the best and most efficient way to do things.

Skills
You can never over-communicate. By far, the two most important skills that somebody in my position needs to have to be successful are effective communication skills and organization. Often, I’ll have 8-9 jobs going on simultaneously. I need to be extremely organized and make sure that I’m communicating everything with the customer so that the installation goes smoothly and there are no surprises. Communication is by far the most important skill. And organization is a very close second.

MHEDA
When I was a Junior at Purdue, I had the opportunity to attend the MHEDA Convention in San Antonio. Our President, Scott Lee, was the MHEDA Chairman of the Board that year. Attending MHEDA was a milestone event in my career. It solidified my desire to work in this industry and the contacts that I made there continue to serve me well in my career today. I kept in touch with MHEDA CEO Liz Richards, who forwarded my resume to Conveyor Solutions when there was a job opening. MHEDA provided me with a lot of opportunities that I otherwise would not have had and I’m eternally grateful for the experience.