Max Phythian’s journey from an apprenticeship with Ford Motor Company at 16 to becoming the Managing Director at MTG Global is genuinely inspiring. In this interview, Max delves deep into his career journey and how he started initially, the impact of education on his career choices, valuable lessons gathered in this process, and how he deals with market challenges.
MTG Global is emerging as one of the prominent options for offering manufacturing consultants across different regions. With more than 20 manufacturing experts, the brand covers an extensive range of manufacturing sectors globally. Also, Max Phythian’s insights on staying updated with the latest trends in the market, embracing flexibility and innovation, and qualities one needs to start in a similar field offer valuable lessons for young professionals in the industry.
The Beginnings First
We started the interview by asking, “Could you share a brief overview of your career journey, including key milestones and transitions?”
Max Phythian shared, “After finishing school at the age of 16 back in 1984, I took an Electrical Engineering apprenticeship with Ford Motor Company and specialized in robotics and automation in the body construction plant. In 1992, Toyota Motor Manufacturing broke ground for their first manufacturing plant in Europe in the UK, where I started with the company and learned the Toyota Production System from the founders. Having spent 11 years in various roles in TMM and reaching the Senior Management level, I decided to use my knowledge and skill set to improve other companies’ manufacturing operations.
In 2002, I became a consultant in business operations improvements across the globe, spending the last 20 years traveling to various countries worldwide. Four years back, I joined MTG Transformation, my current company, and am very proud to be one of their Managing Directors covering Europe, UAE, KSA, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and other parts of GCC.”
Influence Of Education
Educational choices always have a significant influence on one’s career journey. So we asked, “How has your education influenced your career choices and growth in this industry?”
Max Phythian replied, “This is an interesting point for me as I never enjoyed full-time education, but when my further education was mixed with practical on-the-job training, I thrived and continuously studied technical documentation to become an expert in robotics and factory design. I furthered my education and skill set in all aspects of running manufacturing operations, from finance to organization structure, HR, and S&OP.”
We were curious about how Max Phythian deals with industry challenges and market shifts. We asked, “How do you tackle challenges in your field amidst changing market dynamics and technological advancements?”
“Manufacturing companies can adapt to changing market dynamics by embracing flexibility and innovation. However, this needs to blend intelligent systems and operational technology, although success can only be achieved with the continuous development of people and processes. Achieving a correct balance and sound integration across all the business aspects is paramount.
With industry 4.0 and IoT being discussed with many clients as to how they need to adapt to the latest technologies, it is essential to understand the full impact on their business and how it changes the entire dynamics of the operational structure.” Max replied.
Staying Updated With Industry Trends
“How do you ensure your company remains adaptable to emerging trends and technologies?”
Max Phythian replied, “We at MTG employ many people with various technological and skilled experience, which allows us to work with clients on new factory design, factory relocation, operating cost reduction, restructuring of workforces, and training in lean skills.
From an internal perspective, we ensure our employees have the correct tools and training to deliver to clients the required level of development.”
The Future Plans We Asked Max Phythian
To learn more about the current and upcoming goals on which MTG is working, we asked, “What are the plans or goals for the Manufacturing Transformation Group (MTG)?”
“MTG, formerly known as CMC (China Manufacturing Consultants), was set up in Asia 15 years ago and has gone from strength to strength globally, now operating in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the USA. Our focus is supporting operational manufacturing businesses, from Start-ups to PE-owned factories. We focus on various projects, from factory relocation to interim MD, Automation implementation, ERP integration, and people development. We aim to engage further with PE companies in 2024 and beyond.” Max Phythian shared.
Embracing The Right Lessons
We asked, “What valuable lessons have you learned throughout your career?”
Max Phythian continued, “We must adapt to the variations in different cultures and country methodologies to combine our skills and expertise with the natural surroundings.
People are the key to any business’s success; for sure, AI and automation play a significant role, but the human integrating with the software is the most essential part.”
Surviving in the industry amidst tough competition calls for developing unique services. So we asked, “How do you differentiate your services from competitors in the current market?”
Max Phythian shared, “The major difference is that as a business, we at MTG Transform can analyze a business from an operating cost including labor, develop solutions, and a master plan to move from the current to the future state. We then work within all levels and functions of the business from shop floor to C-level, delivering the agreed plan on target and within budget.”
Navigating Through The Market Trends
We were intrigued to learn how MTG navigates through the latest trends in the industry. We asked, “How has your company effectively navigated and capitalized on emerging global market trends?”
Max Phythian replied, “Reduced opportunity to travel over the last few years has driven us to improve further by appointing local consultants in the country. We have also supported several clients with local sourcing and logistical difficulties following the long lead times and high costs in shipping. We have also worked with companies who want to relocate their operations to Europe and the US following recent changes in global situations.”
Challenging The Process
We also wanted to know what Max Phythian has to share for beginners just starting in a similar field. So, we asked, “What are the most important qualities or skills you believe beginners should cultivate to thrive in this industry?”
“Consultants working in operational excellence and manufacturing need to have the desire and passion to continually challenge the processes across the whole business. I started on the shop floor, and it was a fantastic foundation to build on because knowing the real difficulties that production, manufacturing, maintenance, and quality bring daily has helped me develop many people over the years.” Max concluded.
Connect with Max Phythian on LinkedIn.