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Munro & Associates Expands Staff, Opens New Facility

How a speaking tour in 2019 and a pandemic transformed this business and created new product development tools for two key markets: defense; and startup EV (electric vehicle) companies.

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Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, while many executives were relegated to home offices and unsure of their next steps, one man worked systematically at his company’s tech center and provided daily video updates on his project to the world via YouTube. 

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The man was Sandy Munro, CEO of Munro & Associates, and the project was the complete teardown and analysis of the then-new Tesla Model Y. 

Little did he know at the time, that this work would pay off in a big way. Munro & Associates achieved record-setting growth, has expanded its team by adding 13 employees (11 engineers and two administrators) and recently purchased another 9,000 square-foot facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan, to handle newly secured projects. 

According to Munro, this growth is the result of strategic decisions made after a 2019 global speaking tour. His discussions with manufacturers, government officials, analysts and others during that tour crystalized the two markets that could benefit most from Munro’s new product development tools: defense; and startup EV (electric vehicle) companies. 

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He started by reorganizing Munro’s leadership team and appointed Cory Steuben to president; Mike Oakes to vice president, business development; and Sean Hensley to CFO. 

Then the pandemic struck and the product design consulting company had to reinvent how to target these two key markets, as in-person sales calls, speaking events and tech center tours were no longer feasible. 

In April 2020, they tried a novel marketing approach: they created MunroLive, a dedicated Munro YouTube channel, and began the teardown and design analysis of the Tesla Model Y, with a daily video broadcast of the findings. The MunroLive videos went viral and in less than a year, gained hundreds of thousands of supporters and millions of views. 

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“The video series on YouTube is now a money generator for us, in addition to being a fabulous marketing tool for the expansion of our efforts in those two targeted markets,” said Munro. “Since the coronavirus lockdown in 2020, through this teardown and subsequent projects shown on MunroLive, we have become the de facto third-party experts on mega-castings, batteries, electric motors and electronics technology for EV design and manufacturing. The sales of our Analysis Reports have soared, as well as demand for our benchmarking, costing and design services.”

Currently, Munro is working with manufacturers on the designs of two large EVs and several three-wheel electric vehicles, as well as several major OEMs in the legacy auto sector looking to stay competitive in the EV shift. Munro has also secured several long-term defense contracts, and these projects have driven the need for additional talented engineers and the new facility. The company already operates a 47,000 square foot tech center and lab in Auburn Hills. The newly acquired space, which is across the street from its current location, is being outfitted for the defense work.

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According to Munro, he hopes to secure new talent from Michigan due to the vast array of talent in the area, but also hopes to attract the needed talent to Michigan to work on these exciting, innovative growth markets. 

The company is looking for degreed or non-degreed engineers in manufacturing, electronics and product design. Special consideration will be given to those with knowledge in costing of component parts, tooling and electronics circuit boards. Applicants who are interested in becoming a part of the Munro team can contact mailto:[email protected] or 248 362 5110.

“We are looking for more help, however it should be noted that we are looking for ‘inspired workaholics’ like one finds at Tesla,” said Munro. “When I met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, he said something that sums up my thoughts: ‘no one ever changed the world in a 40-hour workweek.’ If you are passionate about your job, we can make a place for you.”

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For more information, visit www.leandesign.com

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