How Gennaro ‘Jerry’ Paolone keeps MagnaFlow on top of an evolving industry

Gennaro "Jerry" Paolone, chairman, founder and CEO, Car Sound Exhaust Systems Inc.
Gennaro “Jerry” Paolone, chairman, founder and CEO, Car Sound Exhaust Systems Inc.

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When Gennaro “Jerry” Paolone founded Car Sound Exhaust Systems, Inc. in 1981, it was in response to an opportunity he saw to be a distributor for exhaust components. Three years later, he transformed the company into a manufacturer of performance exhaust products.
Since then, the company, more commonly known as MagnaFlow, has grown to 300 employees with worldwide distribution and the support of luminaries such as legendary race car driver Mario Andretti.
The success at MagnaFlow is the result of a strong and enduring focus on the customer and the employees who serve that customer. Robotics and automation have become a bigger part of the workflow process, increasing productivity on the factory floor. But he doesn’t see such an investment as an excuse to phase out his hard-working employees.
Rather, the chairman and CEO’s goal is to use technology to the company’s advantage and provide employees with the tools they need to manufacture more products more efficiently.
Take the installation of a fully integrated paperless warehouse management system in 2007. It allows the company to ship more than 1,000 parcel orders a day, giving customers a means to reduce inventory by not holding slow-moving products that can instead be delivered within two days. Paolone leads by the philosophy that you can always find a way to do it better. If you don’t, you will quickly fall behind.
He has faced his share of challenges over the years, but Paolone has always tried to view them more as opportunities. The result is a company that now distributes products to more than 88 countries through its home base in Orange County and its subsidiary in Rome, Italy.
How to reach: Car Sound Exhaust Systems Inc.,