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Team Modus™ on 10/02/2020

Idea to Ignition™ Ep. 3: More About Modus Advanced, Inc.

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    This episode features a discussion with:


    Rick MacKirdy

    • Role: Chief Executive Officer, Modus Advanced, Inc.
    • Drinking: Coffee

    Trevor Glavin

    • Role: President of Modus Advanced, Inc.
    • Drinking: Coffee (not a bloody mary)
    • Basics: The boss projects that make components for large OEMs.

    Britt Schwartz

    • Role: Marketing at Modus Advanced, Inc.
    • Drinking: A gallon of water
    • Basics: Facilitator.


    We’ve invited part of the leadership team here at Modus Advanced, Inc. to sit in the hot seat for an episode of Idea to Ignition™. 

    The Modus team is made up of incredible people and we plan to highlight them throughout this podcast journey. 


    Rick MacKirdy started with Modus Advanced way back when they were called Western Rubber and Supply in 1994. The company at the time was owned by his great uncle. At their origin, Western Rubber was solely a distributor of industrial rubber projects. It was a lifestyle business. Rick remembers his great uncle coming to the shop with his pipe and newspaper every morning. 

    Over the years, the leadership of Modus strategically decided to refine our offerings. While we’re still distributors of Parker LORD industrial products, we are now heavily focused on custom manufacturing.  

    Behind the Name

    In 1976, Western Rubber and Supply was probably a cutting edge name. We’ve heard it all. We got questions about what “western” meant and whether or not we sold tires. The name was generally confusing. There wasn’t a great explanation for what “supply” meant either. Ultimately, all of these factors drove us to change our name.

    Picking a new company name and rebranding is always tough but we settled on Modus Advanced Inc., which we really like. There are many other “Modus” companies, so we added a modifier. Modus works really well with our core values, our customers have embraced it and it’s a solid identity for us to align under. 

    The Future

    We have a lot of plans! This year (with COVID) has posed some big challenges. We’ve slowed some things and accelerated others. The core of what we’re trying to do and our strategic plan is still in place. At the core, we will continue to focus our efforts on custom manufacturing and delivering solutions to our customers with speed and precision. 

    Over the past 40 years, we’ve serviced customers in a broad range of industries. Now, we’re focusing on where really excel: medical, aerospace, defense and other specialty industries. We know exactly where we play well and what customers we want to serve.

    Knowing who we want to serve and the “why,” or why we exist, gives us purpose and motivation to challenge the status quo and to scale the business.

    Our why is to enhance lives by helping our partnership accounts accelerate the process of designing and manufacturing tomorrow’s innovations. 


    That, to us, is a powerful statement. It’s the reason we get out of bed in the morning. It’s why everyone shows up the way they show up at Modus. 

    It’s why we’re expanding and why we bought a second building in Carlsbad, CA. It’s why we’re investing in a Microsoft stack and cybersecurity. It’s why we invest in our people and process development.

    We have a strong focus because of that “why.”

    Along with that, we operate according to our core values and core behaviors...they drive our decisions everyday. The future is bright for us! 

    The Action

    Our core values and behaviors don’t just sit on our website. They drive leadership decisions. Modus Advanced is leveraging technology and innovation to expand and to assure we deliver on our promises. 

    Modus is led by leaders who actively work on being progressive and forward-thinking.

    Our  “why” is vital and foundational. The “how” brings our “why” to life. 

    We bring together the best of human and machine intelligence in a product realization platform designed to produce superior results.


    From Rick, “We are positioned on the edge of Silicon Valley, which influences the organization in a positive way.”

    The goal is to always improve efficiency and serve customers at the highest level. One way we do this is by leveraging technology. 

    For example, our PRT-X drag and drop quote tool allows us to deliver quotes in a matter of minutes. We’re experts at what we do but it’s amazing how much of that knowledge is tribal. It lives in our fabricated minds. With software tools, we’re attempting to translate what we know into more useful tools that enable knowledge sharing and broader impact. We are always working toward speed and precision.


    Modus Advanced, a manufacturing company with locations in Livermore and Carlsbad, California. 

    Contact us to learn more.

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