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MakingChips | Equipping Manufacturing Leaders

MakingChips is a weekly podcast that will equip leaders in the metalworking manufacturing industry with valuable content to utilize in their career and business.
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MakingChips | Equipping Manufacturing Leaders
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Sep 14, 2018

On this episode of MakingChips, Jim and Jason broadcast live from IMTS with their guest panel including Jess Giudici, Titan Gilroy, Federico Sciammarella and Toni Neary to discuss solving the skills gap in manufacturing. The manufacturing industry has a problem. There is not enough talent to fill the current job opportunities in the United States. Whether it is through raising awareness, providing education or focusing on recruiting, the challenge has to be addressed so that the talent pipeline is replenished with qualified workers. Listen to this great discussion with some of the world’s best and brightest manufacturing leaders.

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Manufacturing doesn’t have a perception problem

Jason and Jim start by asking Toni Neary how to change the perception of manufacturing among high school and college students so they consider it a career path. Toni responds by saying that manufacturing doesn’t have a perception problem, but rather an awareness problem. Solving the skills gap requires educating students about the various career opportunities within the industry. Toni discusses some of the ways that she is helping change the conversation through educational avenues to increase that awareness.

How to change your culture to attract talent

The upcoming generation of workers and potential employees want to do work that matters. They also want to pursue a career that offers development and advancement opportunities. How can the manufacturing industry capitalize on this kind of motivation and drive? Jess Giudici says that companies are going to have to adapt their organizational structures and developmental opportunities to start solving the skills gap. While the typical perception of manufacturing is a dark, dingy shop floor, that is not reality. Exposing students and potential employees to a meaningful culture is one way to start solving the skills gap.

Solving the skills gap by changing the curriculum

Titan Gilroy says that his business model of offering a free CNC academy online is adapting to the need in the industry. He currently has 45,000 students in 170 companies going through his academy. Titan says that In order to be successful you have to be highly skilled with the ability to make a high quantity of parts with precision and speed. Titan says the curriculum being taught in educational institutions needs to be elevated to match the type of technology and work being done in manufacturing. Listen as Titan explains how his disruptive model helps to better train students to have confidence in doing highly skilled work.

Tips for making your company more appealing to talent

Manufacturing is all about solving problems. It’s a challenging industry that is facing unprecedented growth and an unsustainable shortage of workers. What can you do to change the trajectory of the manufacturing industry? The panel offers several tips for how they can begin solving the skills gap in their local communities today. From investing in local education to defining the culture and identity of your company, manufacturing leaders can start making an impact. Changing the perception of manufacturing and raising awareness about career opportunities starts at the local level. Listen to the entire panel discussion to be equipped and inspired to make a difference in your company and community on this episode of MakingChips.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Jim and Jason broadcast live from IMTS with four panelists to talk about solving the skills gap
  • Introduction of panelists Jess Giudici, Titan Gilroy, Federico Sciammarella and Toni Neary
  • What perceptions need to change in order to bring the future manufacturing leaders into the industry?
  • What changes should manufacturing business make to their culture to attract talent to their company?
  • How does higher education need to change so that graduates will begin their manufacturing careers with more of a practical skill set?
  • Why Titan is disrupting the industry by giving away education through his academy
  • How can the attendees of IMTS help to raise the awareness in a practical way
  • In what ways is Northern Illinois University helping to place students into manufacturing jobs
  • Tips on how companies can change their cultural awareness
  • Tactics to diminish the negative perception of manufacturing as if it is an old-school profession
  • How manufacturing leaders can get involved in their local communities to help solve the skill gap

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest

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Sep 7, 2018

On this episode of MakingChips, Rob Sattler talks about how his family business took manufacturing from the farm to the shop floor. Rob is the Vice President of Sales, Estimating and Engineering at Sattler Inc in Ira, Michigan. He comes from a family of manufacturing with both his father and grandfather being involved in metalworking. Rob tells his story, his manufacturing background and how is carrying on the family legacy today.

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How to turn a barn into a machine shop

Rob Sattler’s father started his machine shop in the barn of his dairy farm. Having been in the manufacturing industry prior to starting the dairy farm, his dad began to purchase and repair old machines. Thanks to his dad’s entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity, Rob’s father decided to start using those machines. In 1994, Sattler Inc was born. What started as a family business has become a highly successful manufacturing company that has grown from the farm to the shop floor known as Sattler Inc. Listen as Rob shares the story of how Sattler Inc. began and how they are flourishing still today on this episode of MakingChips.

The 3 most impactful lessons learned in manufacturing

Through challenges and growth, there are three guiding principles that Rob Sattler has learned. The first has to do with the inevitability of change. Whether you like it or not change happens to everyone in every industry. With the rapid advancements in technology, leaders can now expect even more change at a much faster rate. What do you do if you are change-averse? Rob Sattler’s advice is to get over it. He suggests that manufacturing leaders should learn to love change. If you don’t adapt to the demands of the market, your competition will and they will either put you behind or out of business altogether. Continuous growth, training, and adaptation are essential to being successful.

Get the Best Tools

New tools and machinery can be expensive. Not only do you have to consider the cost of the machine, but also the time and training it takes to implement the new machine. However, Rob Sattler suggests that you can’t afford to not have the best tools. Though the upfront cost might be more, having the right tools in place in your shop will eventually pay for itself in both production and customer acquisition. Listen as Rob talks about the importance of having the best tools during this interview.

The case for program management in manufacturing

In order to take a company from the farm to the shop floor, there has to be great management in place. Program management is like conducting an orchestra. You can have the greatest talent and the finest tools but if you aren’t giving direction then your business will suffer. Coordinating training of your employees with the utilization of the best tools and engineering is essential in serving your customers well and having a successful manufacturing company. Hear all about that and more on MakingChips.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Manufacturing News - The ISM manufacturing index exceeded all estimates showing positive signs for the economy
  • Introduction of Rob Sattler, VP Sales, Estimating, Engineering at Sattler Inc
  • Rob Sattler tells how his father started a family machine shop from his dairy farm barn
  • How Sattler weathered the economic ups and downs through the years
  • Sattler Inc has grown through the years, now specializing in powertrain system assemblies
  • Rob Sattler shares the three most impactful lessons he’s learned while being in the manufacturing industry.

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest

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Sep 6, 2018

On this episode of MakingChips, Peter Eelman returns to talk about the last minute preparations for IMTS 2018. Peter is the Vice President of Exhibitions & Business Development at AMT. He is also the Senior Executive in charge of the International Manufacturing Technology Show, one of the top three trade shows in the United States. Listen to this interview to hear Peter talk about what you can expect at IMTS 2018 and how you can make the most out of this incredible event.

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The scope and scale of IMTS 2018

IMTS is just around the corner, running September 10-15, 2018. Peter Eelman and the other organizers of the event are already starting to get McCormick Place in downtown Chicago ready for the show. By the time the event opens, about 5,000 transfer trucks worth of equipment will have been unloaded onto the 1,370,256 square foot exhibit floor. Having done so many of these shows has helped the IMTS crew get more efficient at setting up a seamless show. You don’t want to miss all there is to see at IMTS 2018.

The top technology trends to look for at IMTS 2018

When asked what the top technology trend you should look for at IMTS 2018, Peter Eelman has a one-word answer - connected. He says that there is a different approach to manufacturing on the horizon through connect factories and digital transformation. In the interview, Peter mentions a surprising new technology partnership that will be on display at this year’s show. At IMTS, you will not only learn about the cutting edge of manufacturing technology, you’ll also learn tips and tricks on how to apply that technology in your company.

How this year’s show will be different from IMTS in years past

Because of how the IMTS organizers have developed the show through the years, and because of the fast rate of technological change, IMTS 2018 promises to be a show unlike any other. Manufacturing is flourishing, so there will be opportunities to purchase machinery right from the exhibit floor. Peter Eelman says “There’s not a lot of machinery that leaves IMTS back to the source that it came from. It goes to customers.” However, even with all of the changes, IMTS is staying true to its original roots as a machine tool science fair.

Expect to have some fun at IMTS

While IMTS is about learning and getting better for the sake of your company, there is also ample opportunity to have fun. In years past, there have been 3D printed cars and houses. This year you will have the opportunity to utilize and experience what was recently considered future technology. One of the most fun things you can do is join Jason and Jim every day at Noon on the main stage at the Grand Concourse. Listen to help make your last minute preparations for IMTS 2018.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Manufacturing News: While the manufacturing industry is doing great, leaders should continually prepare themselves to be recession-proof
  • Introduction of Peter Eelman, Vice President Exhibitions & Business Development at AMT
  • How the IMTS team prepares for the setup of McCormick Place for the upcoming show
  • Peter shares the technological trends that will be displayed at IMTS
  • What kind of fun can be expected at IMTS
  • The food that you should try while in Chicago according to Peter Eelman
  • Sandvick Coromant Silent Tools plus dampened tools for long overhang machining
  • Jason and Jim give the guest schedule for their time at IMTS

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest

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Aug 24, 2018

On this episode of MakingChips, Jim interviews his son Ryan Carr, Operations Manager at CARR Machine and Tool, Inc. along with Paul Van Metre, Co-Founder of ProShop ERP, about the risk and reward of implementing a new ERP system. During the interview, Ryan shares about the decision-making process and how they have been applying the new, full-spectrum ERP called ProShop. Listen as Ryan and Paul explain why an ERP is so important and how you can start the process of implementing one in your business.

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Taking the Plunge Into a New ERP System

Prior to purchasing the new ERP system, Ryan explains that there were inefficiencies and redundancies at CARR Machine and Tool, Inc. Data entry required multiple steps with numerous papers being unnecessarily shuffled around the office. Knowing that something had to be done to move the company forward, Jim and Ryan called in Paul Van Metre to explain how ProShop could help them. Hear how implementing the new ERP system is significantly minimizing redundancy and increasing efficiency.

Becoming the Metal-Working Nation’s Premier ERP System

Paul Van Metre was an experienced manufacturer prior to developing ProShop. He ran his own machine shop and experienced great success. His business grew to the point that they needed a better way to manage the company's data. After searching and trying other ERPs, Paul and his team decided to build their own program. ProShop was originally intended only for internal use, but after a customer asked to purchase their proprietary software, Paul knew they had a product that the metal-working nation needed. Listen to the story of how ProShop became the premier ERP system in the manufacturing market during this episode of MakingChips.

The Benefits of an ERP System in Your Company

Paul Van Metre says, “The economy drives off of taking raw materials and turning them into high-precision, value-added products. You can’t run an economy just making lattes and selling insurance.” Manufacturing is important, but it’s also challenging. An ERP creates a centralized place where all files are stored and easily accessed. Implementing an ERP can help streamline your processes, keep you organized and efficient, and better position you for success in your market.

Assessing the Risk and Reward for Your Company

Running your own manufacturing business can be difficult. Companies need as many tools as possible to help them be successful. Big, expensive decisions aren’t easy, but if you don’t change today, you’re competition will. You have to be willing to adapt and try new things to stay relevant in the market. Jim and Jason encourage you to analyze your company to see where you can reduce redundancies and inefficiencies. Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about how an ERP system can benefit your company.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Manufacturing News: The $717 Billion Dollar National Defense Authorization Act and how it impacts manufacturing
  • How Zenger’s is working to increase efficiency and throughput utilizing a new ERP system
  • Jim introduces his son Ryan Carr, Operations Manager at CARR Machine and Tool, Inc.
  • Ryan shares how he approached the idea of changing ERP system after using the previous one for 20 years.
  • Introduction of Paul Van Metre, Co-Founder of ProShop ERP
  • Paul Van Metre shares how he launched ProShop through an organic process
  • Ways the ProShop is helping CARR Machine and Tool, Inc. become more efficient
  • How ProShop integrates ISO and AS9100 to organize procedures, certifications and quality systems
  • Ryan shares his personal and company goals for utilizing ProShop

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest

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Aug 11, 2018

This week on MakingChips, guest Michelle Edmonson, Senior Director of Exhibitions Operations and Marketing at AMT, explains the value of IMTS for job shops. Job shops are typically smaller manufacturing companies that often handle custom orders for small or medium-sized companies. This year, IMTS will be focusing on job shops by offering opportunities tailored specifically to these companies. Listen to this episode to hear all about how job shop owners and manufacturers can reap the benefit of attending IMTS 2018.

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Why focus on job shops?

Michelle Edmonson explains that in years past IMTS hasn’t had a particular focus. However, job shops as a community make up over 25% of the spend in the manufacturing world. Realizing the important role that these manufacturers play, IMTS leaders decided to survey local job shop owners to discover their needs. The results led IMTS 2018 to focus on job shops, offering specialized opportunities for smaller manufacturers to learn and grow throughout the week.

The 3-step program for job shops at IMTS 2018

If you’ve been to IMTS before, then you know that there will be a lot of exhibits. In fact, there are over 2400 exhibitors, displaying the finest in manufacturing innovation and technology. These exhibits are also step one in a three-step program for addressing the unique challenges that job shop and precision machine companies face. Michelle Edmonson explains how many of the exhibits focus on the best business practices of top job shops from around the country and how attendees can see and learn from these manufacturers.

There is so much you can learn at IMTS

Beyond just the exhibits, IMTS is offering special learning opportunities for job shop owners as well. There are three specific sessions that attendees should consider, starting on Wednesday morning. These courses are the second step in the three-step program focusing on job shops. During the episode, Michelle Edmonson details the schedule and cost for attending the conference sessions. She also highlights the topics of discussion and the value they will bring to job shop manufacturers.

A huge prize giveaway at IMTS for job shops

The final step in the IMTS 2018 job shop focus is a chance to win a great prize from one of the event’s sponsors. ESAB is offering a welding and cutting garage shop package tailored specifically for precision machine companies. Michelle gives the details of this fantastic package and explains how you can be entered in the giveaway. Only attendees of one of the special conferences offered at IMTS will be eligible. Listen to the interview to hear more details about that and much more.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • The case for why small, precision machining companies should go to IMTS
  • Manufacturing News: Asbestos is now being allowed back into manufacturing
  • Jim and Jason address the concern about crime in Chicago for IMTS attendees
  • Introduction of Michelle Edmonson, Senior Director of Exhibitions Operations and Marketing at AMT
  • The focus of IMTS 2018 is on job shops
  • The three step program that IMTS is offering job shop owners and manufacturers
  • Michelle Edmonson explains the opportunities offered through learning sessions
  • In order to be a top shop, you have to focus on culture
  • IMTS is a great way to learn how to run your manufacturing business better

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest

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Aug 3, 2018

On this episode of MakingChips, Jim talks with Jason Lesniewicz, Director of Cultural Tourism at Choose Chicago, about the best way to experience Chicago. Jason leads Choose Chicago’s cultural tourism strategy positioning as a global, cultural destination to increase visitation and achieve the annual goal of 55 million visitors as set forth by mayor Rahm Emanuel, which they achieved in 2017. Listen to this conversation for ideas and tips on how to enjoy Chicago when you come to IMTS in September.

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The Chicago neighborhoods that set it apart

Chicagoans love their city. Jason Lesniewicz grew up in Chicago and has lived there his entire life. He shares the best way to experience Chicago by describing the unique neighborhoods that set the city apart. From McCormick Place convention center you can either walk or take a short taxi or Uber ride to get to several of these neighborhoods. From Wrigleyville to the West Loop to the Gold Coast, each one provides great dining, entertainment, and cultural opportunities.

3 restaurants you should try in Chicago

Chicago is known for its fantastic food. No matter what you’re craving, you can find it somewhere in Chicago. Jason Lesniewicz shares his top three favorite restaurants. He says the West Loop is the best neighborhood for the Chicago dining scene. He suggests Randolph and Fulton Streets as a great place to start. The area was part of the old warehouse district that has seen a fantastic renovation with great restaurants. The best part about grabbing a bite to eat in the West Loop is that it is only about a mile away from McCormick Place.

The best way to experience the cultural opportunities Chicago offers

IMTS will be in Chicago in mid-September, which is a beautiful time of year. The humidity begins to drop and the average temperature is in the mid-70s. It will be a great time to experience Chicago and the different cultural opportunities the city has to offer. Chicago is known for its signature layout around the river as well as for its incredible architecture. There are many theaters that often feature off-broadway and pre-broadway shows. During September, there are three sports teams that will be in season, including the Cubs, White Sox, and Bears. During your stay in Chicago, you will want to be sure to explore the many cultural opportunities. Listen as Jason and Jim share more about the city you don’t want to miss during this episode.

3 experiences you can’t miss during your visit to Chicago for IMTS

With all that Chicago has to offer on top of the vast IMTS exhibit space, it might be difficult to decide what experiences you’re going to take in while in Chicago. Just as you should with IMTS, planning ahead is key for making the most of your time experiencing Chicago. Jason and Jim narrow down their top 3 favorite experiences. From sightseeing tours, river cruises and a ride on the Centennial Ferris Wheel, to catching a game at historic Wrigley Field, hear their 3 recommended experiences and make your plans accordingly.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Manufacturing News: National Association for Manufacturers chief Jay Timmons is touring America to hear from the manufacturing nation around the country
  • What can you expect when you come to Chicago
  • Introduction of Jason Lesniewicz, director of Cultural Tourism at Choose Chicago
  • The diversity and cultural richness of Chicago’s neighborhoods set it apart as a tourist destination
  • Jason gives advice for the best neighborhoods to seek out when you come to Chicago for IMTS
  • Three best restaurants you should check out in the west loop Chicago
  • River North is the old manufacturing neighborhood that has a lot of entertainment
  • Highlights of Chicago for the first time visitor
  • Jason recommends sightseeing options to get the best views of Chicago
  • Three things not to miss in your visit to Chicago for IMTS

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest

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Jul 27, 2018

This week on MakingChips, Peter Claus talks about the whirlwind of leadership he experiences in his manufacturing job. Peter is the CNC supervisor at HFW Industries in Buffalo, New York where he has worked for over 20 years. He is also one of this year’s IMTS Rock Stars. Peter shares his passion for manufacturing, how he has grown in his company and how he deals with the challenges of being a leader.

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Finding and following your passion

Peter Claus seemed destined to work in the manufacturing field. While on a track to pursue an engineering degree in college, Peter had the opportunity to operate a lathe. It was a pivotal moment that led him to change directions and pursue a manufacturing career. He started at HFW in 1994 running a lathe machine. HFW specializes in hardfacing and thermal spray coatings. Listen as Peter talks about how his passion for manufacturing and how it has led to his success during this interview.

Are you hungry enough to grow?

As HFW expanded and grew, more opportunities for leadership were presented to Peter. One contributing factor to Peter’s success is his constant hunger to learn and grow. He found a passion in manufacturing and he pursued it, increasing in education and company responsibility. He has always been interested in learning the different facets of manufacturing which has led to a breadth of experience. His hunger ultimately led him to where he is now as the CNC supervisor at HFW and one of this year’s IMTS Rock Stars.

2 Keys to Surviving the Whirlwind of Leadership

With increased responsibility comes the inevitable whirlwind of leadership. Every leader will experience the effects of the whirlwind while juggling the daily demands of the job. Even the best plans and intentions can be derailed when unforeseen issues arise. Peter talks about the challenges of his supervisory role. Leading well requires prioritizing daily objectives while remaining flexible to handle issues as they arise. He gives 2 keys to surviving the whirlwind of leadership that he applies at HFW. Peter’s insight is encouraging and practical for any manufacturing leader.

Taking advantage of all the IMTS has to offer

What can a manufacturing leader do to escape the whirlwind of leadership? One great way to recharge is by attending IMTS. During this conversation, Peter shares how he plans to take advantage of IMTS this year. In addition to doing research on specific machines and spending time in the cutting pavilion, he plans to leverage the week as a vacation, bringing his wife and enjoying some of the great Chicago food. Peter encourages manufacturing leaders to experience IMTS and dream about the potential of taking your company to the next level.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Emotional intelligence prevents you from overreacting or escalating issues that arise in business
  • Manufacturing News: Being a conscious capitalist, caring for your employees and being fair
  • Introduction of Peter Clause, CNC supervisor at HFW Industries and one of this years IMTS Rock Stars
  • HFW does thermal coatings and hard face welding
  • As a supervisor, Peter is required to deal with both machine and people issues
  • How HFW is trying to overcome the workforce problem
  • What Peter is excited about at IMTS this year and what he plans to research while he’s there
  • The key to Peter’s success in the manufacturing industry
  • Make your plans to be at the IMTS Grand Concourse stage each day at noon to see Jim and Jason

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest

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Jul 20, 2018

This week on MakingChips, Jason asks Jim whether or not you really need a 5-axis machine. Every manufacturing company owner has to determine the right time to add a new piece of machinery to his or her shop. That decision isn’t always easy. More often than not, there are multiple good options that leave the leader with the daunting task of determining the best choice. Jim explains to Jason his rationale for a recent purchase making decision for Carr Tool and Machine and gives advice for making a big purchasing. Hear all that and more on this episode of MakingChips.

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2 main factors that can help you make decisions about machinery

When considering a big purchase of machinery for your shop, the decision largely depends on two factors. The first factor is what you currently make. Know your current customer demand and your ability to meet that demand. If you are having trouble with turn-around or customers are continually leaving your business because you can’t meet their demand, it might be time to upgrade to a new piece of machinery. The second factor is how will your company grow in the future. Considering what technology you need to integrate into your company to allow for growth and expansion will help you make a wise purchase.

Buying a 5-axis machine should be a need-based purchase

After originally planning to buy a 5-axis machine last summer, Jim recently purchased a 4-axis Mazak 500mm twin table horizontal machining center with full fourth axis machining capability. He explains that while he was unable to complete the deal on the 5-axis machine the 4-axis machine has served him well. He has been able to meet customer needs with the 4-axis horizontal machine. Jim also expressed that he hasn’t had the need for a 5-axis machine. When considering a machine tool purchase, Jim advises letting need be a key determining factor. Buying a piece of equipment that you already have a need for ensures that you get an immediate return on your investment.

How to make a good purchasing decision

It is difficult to balance the tendency to resist change with moving forward too quickly. The danger is that you purchase a piece of machinery that won’t give you a quick return on investment. It is wise to introduce technology incrementally. Jim encourages leaders to utilize the wisdom and experience of your team to help make educated decisions for your company. He also suggests reaching out to your customers to see if they need the kind of work that would justify purchasing a 5-axis machine.

Will a 5-axis machine make or break your company?

Not having a 5-axis machine will not keep Carr Machine and Tool from being competitive in the long run. While Jim chose not to buy the 5-axis machine yet, he will definitely be looking to purchase one in the near future. Knowing the plan for future growth and expansion gives Jim a head start in finding the skilled labor or training current employees so that they can run the machine effectively. Jim and Jason would love to hear from you. Have you purchased a 5-axis machine? If so why?

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • It is better to have a well placed fan than having an oscillating fan
  • Buying new technology requires you to balance risk and reward
  • JIm shares his excitement about a new relationship with an aerospace customer
  • Manufacturing News: Machine Metrics shares shocking machine utilization numbers
  • Jim shares his reasons for deciding not to buy a 5-axis machine
  • Though it wasn’t a 5-axis Carr Machine and Tool did add a new piece of equipment in the shop
  • Buying a machine should be based on the production needs you currently have
  • Jim shares the impact of 5-axis machines could have for his company
  • Jason and Jim ask for your feedback about 5-axis machines

Tools & Takeaways

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Jul 13, 2018

The growth and impact of manufacturing tomorrow depends on the next-generation leaders you are investing in today. During this episode of MakingChips, Greg Jones, Vice President of Smartforce Development at AMT, discusses how he is trying to help reduce the skills gap that exists in manufacturing. He also gives some practical ways that manufacturing leaders can join in the cause of raising up next generation leaders.

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What is the cause of the skills gap?

While previous generations grew up in manufacturing and joined the family business, the future of the manufacturing workforce will not come about in the same way. Many high school graduates only consider traditional college as a post-secondary option. There are approximately 400,000 manufacturing jobs that are currently unfilled because of a lack of skilled workers. In order to reduce this gap, an educational shift must happen. Greg Jones shares how apprenticeships can help create this shift while helping students secure a solid career in manufacturing.

Bridging the skills gap by investing in education

The Smartforce Student Summit started at IMTS in 1988 with the goal of giving students an in-depth look at the opportunities the manufacturing industry offers. It also helped to educate teachers and administrators about the importance of investing in this workforce. 30 years later, the Smartforce Student Summit is continuing to build that legacy. Greg Jones is leading Smartforce Development at AMT to help meet this significant need by exposing alternative opportunities to these students. During this episode, he shares how he is investing in education in order to help build tomorrows manufacturing workforce.

Unlocking the potential of next-generation leaders

While there is change happening on a national level thanks to new legislation and an increased focus on manufacturing, real change occurs on the local level. Greg Jones shares several ways that manufacturing leaders can make an impact. He encourages advocating for STEM programs. He also suggests partnering with local school systems and volunteering in technology programs. This face-to-face interaction can help change the trajectory of a child’s life and could unlock the potential of a next generation leader in manufacturing. Greg also encourages manufacturers to bring a student to IMTS to enjoy the Smartforce student summit.

How to share the opportunities that exist in manufacturing

There have been many news stories suggesting that new technology and robots could reduce the number of job opportunities in the manufacturing industry. Greg Jones says instead that automation is actually creating jobs. IMTS and the Smartforce Student Summit are designed to share those opportunities with next-generation leaders. Students from over 40 states will be exposed to apprentice competitions where high school and college students will show in a tangible way what a career in manufacturing could look like. Listen to MakingChips to hear the entire conversation with Greg Jones.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Jim gives an update on what is new at Carr Machine and Tool
  • Good employees will gravitate to companies with compelling mission and vision
  • Manufacturing News: Inmates in at a prison received manufacturing certificates
  • Introduction of Greg Jones, Vice President of Smartforce Development at AMT
  • Smartforce is seeking to bridge the skills gap through education and workforce development
  • Greg advocates for high school and college students to consider an apprenticeship program instead of traditional college
  • The importance of the relationship between local manufacturing companies and schools
  • How the future of manufacturing might be impacted by the current skills gap
  • What to expect from the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS this year
  • Local manufacturing leaders can make an impact in their community by getting involved in local schools

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest

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Jul 6, 2018

If you are a manufacturing leader, then it is imperative that you learn all you can about MTConnect and the digitization of the manufacturing industry. As the internet of things continues to grow, companies should be prepared to integrate technology into their company. During this episode of MakingChips, Jim and Jason talk with Russ Waddell, Managing Director of MTConnect. With over 200 employees under his supervision, Russ is leading MTConnect to be the standard among manufacturers. Listen and be equipped with information and inspired to grow your company.

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How information is changing the manufacturing industry

Over the last 20 years, the internet has changed not only the daily lives of people around the world, but also the way companies do business. Manufacturers are not exempt from the advances of the internet. Increasingly, the internet of things is becoming a common reality in businesses. The internet of things refers to how different connected devices communicate and share information with each other utilizing wireless connection. MTConnect is an important component for manufacturers considering the digitization and internet of things in their companies.

The importance of standards

Just as it is important to have cultural standards within your company that helps to guide business practices and employee behavior, it is equally important to have technological standards. As the digitization of the manufacturing industry continues to grow, efficiency is a necessity. How can you best use technology to your advantage without over-complicating processes and procedures? Russ Waddell says, “The IT world is getting closer and closer to the factory world, having a basic understanding of how to pick a standard or a set of standards that is going to work is essential.” Hear all about that and more on this episode of MakingChips.

What is MTConnect and how can it help manufacturers

MTConnect is an open-source standard that allows the manufacturing equipment in your shop to capture, store and share important data. It can help streamline communication among machines by providing a consistent vocabulary for your equipment. Being able to access the data that MTConnect collects can help in a multitude of ways and the open-source nature of the software also allows its functions and capabilities to continually be improved. During this interview, Russ explains what MTConnect is, how it is applied, and the benefits your company can experience from using it.

How to adapt your company for digitization

Preparing to adapt your company for digitization first requires a plan. Before using a software like MTConnect, you have to know what questions within your company you need answers to. What data do you need to be able to access and analyze? Russ Waddell points out the importance of knowing spindle time. Your plan must also consider how you will organize and analyze data collected. Manufacturing leaders should also consider how to upgrade legacy equipment so that they can also be connected. Digitization takes planning. For more information on what you should consider and how to plan, listen to this episode of MakingChips.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • The access of information and how it is changing the sales model at Zenger’s
  • Manufacturing News: The Wall Street Journal’s manufacturing beat job opening
  • Introduction of guest Russ Waddell, Managing Director of MTConnect Institute
  • What MTConnect is and how it is used in manufacturing
  • How can a manufacturing leader utilize the capabilities of MTConnect
  • What data should manufacturers be collecting and analyzing
  • The open source nature of MTConnect and the advantages it provides to the market
  • The importance of assessing and implementing a set of standards for your business
  • IMTS will give you an opportunity to get a close-up look at MTConnect

Tools & Takeaways

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Jun 25, 2018

Can you see a return on investment in company culture in your business? It’s a question that every manufacturing owner or operator should consider. Much of the focus in manufacturing is on production. However, one of the biggest investments you can make in your company and brand is in the area of culture. Investing in culture not only ensures that you are aligned internally but also helps you align better with the customers you serve. During this episode of MakingChips, hear about the return on investment in company culture, how it has impacted Carr Machine and Tool and how it can benefit your company.

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Manufacturers Should Begin Creating a Compelling Culture

What started out as a discussion about search engine optimization quickly turned into a conversation about the importance of culture. That’s because one of the contributing factors to Carr Machine and Tool’s success in SEO is the compelling culture Jim is developing in his business. The return on investment in company culture that Jim has seen is in several areas of his business. In this episode, Jim shares about how he began investing in culture, the steps he implemented and the results that he continues to evaluate.

Great Change Can Come From One Small Step

Lao Tzu famously said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This is true when it comes to the process of developing culture. You won’t see a return on investment in company culture overnight. Small, incremental steps can have a cumulative impact that will eventually pay large dividends. Jim explains the small steps he took to start investing in his company’s culture during this conversation. He also gives helpful tips for small steps you can take to start implementing culture discussions in your company.

The Return on Investment in Company Culture Is Measured in Multiple Ways

Investing in culture has both internal and external benefits. Internally, culture helps guide the hiring process. It ensures that you hire the right employees who align well with your core values. It also helps employees grow and develop their skills, instilling greater accountability and pushing them to a higher level. Externally, your company’s culture also ensures that you partner with the right customer. Solidifying your mission and vision clarifies your brand to potential customers. Culture ensures a greater sense of alignment across all facets of your company.

How Culture Sets Your Company Apart

Because of the competitive nature of manufacturing, it is important to be able to differentiate yourself from other companies. Rather than relying on shallow gimmicks, you should focus on being authentic. Determining your core values and communicating them consistently helps your business better convey your unique ability to serve customers. Julie and Jim talk about the return on investment in culture and how it sets you apart from the competition during this episode of MakingChips.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Jason and Jim discuss the importance of maintaining a positive work culture
  • Manufacturing News: The challenge of meeting increasingly complex customer expectations
  • Jason shares how Zenger’s exciting new partnership
  • Jim introduces Julie Poulos, Vice President at Red Caffeine Marketing + Technology
  • Julie takes over the interview to talk with Jim about the ROI of company culture at Carr Machine and Tool
  • The first step to developing culture for Carr Machine and Tool
  • How Jim implemented core values into his company
  • Identifying the skill set of your employees and pushing them to use those skills at a higher level
  • Communications role in helping to maintain the type of culture you want
  • The differentiating factor that core values and culture can add to your brand

Tools & Takeaways

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  • Julie Poulos - Vice President at Red Caffeine Marketing + Technology

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Jun 14, 2018

On this episode of MakingChips, Jason and Jim sit down with Doug Woods, President of AMT to discuss the digital transformation in the manufacturing industry. Doug has had a lifetime of experience in manufacturing and now shares that experience with manufacturing leaders around the globe. He has a passion for innovation and for helping others integrate new technologies into their companies. Listen as Doug Woods shares his perspective on the future of manufacturing and gives tips for how your company can benefit from the digital transformation.

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Is there a manufacturing industry image problem?

Prior to 2008, it seemed like the entire manufacturing industry was suffering from an image problem. However, following the recession, there was a shift in focus on the importance and opportunity of manufacturing jobs in America. With the rising cost of college and the plethora of irrelevant degree fields, manufacturing is starting to recover its image. The excitement of the digital transformation is also helping to change the perception of manufacturing, especially among younger men and women.

The innovation and technologies at the forefront of the digital transformation

Every generation since Ford introduced the assembly line has considered itself to be in the era of advanced technology. However, Doug Woods explains that what makes manufacturing different now from previous generations is the speed at which technology is advancing. This rapid introduction of technology and innovation is enabling the manufacturing industry to grow and change in new and exciting ways. Doug talks about some of these specific technologies and how they are contributing to the digital transformation during this interview.

Being a part of the digital transformation of manufacturing requires a strategy

New technologies are being introduced at such a fast pace that it is easy to become overwhelmed. However, there is a way to assess the opportunities that the digital transformation of manufacturing can provide for your company. The best way to prepare your company for these opportunities is by developing a strategy. Doug Woods says that you don’t have to dive into new technology all at once. He encourages leaders to assess their areas of expertise. By finding a digital solution that can enhance your position in the market, you can begin the process of transformation in your company. Listen as Doug gives more tips for introducing new technologies during this interview.

Tips for Cultivating a Positive Culture in Your Company

You spend a lot of time at work. The people you work with can become family. If you have to spend so much time with your co-workers, you should do everything you can to enjoy it. The digital transformation can help you work better and more efficiently, but it can’t create a new work culture. It is important to invest in the type of culture you want to have in your company. Doug Woods shares the four cornerstones that he has implemented into the culture of AMT. Applying these tips could motivate your employees to be better while enjoying their work more.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Introduction of Doug Woods, President of The Association of Manufacturing Technology
  • Doug Woods background working on the tool and die shop floor
  • How AMT serves manufacturers through industry intelligence and market access
  • Does the manufacturing industry have an image problem?
  • The innovation and technologies contributing to the digital transformation of manufacturing
  • Developing a digital strategy that will help you integrate new technologies
  • Doug Woods explains what blockchain technology is and how it is useful
  • How to implement a digital strategy by leveraging your area of expertise
  • Learning about future technology at IMTS
  • Four cornerstones of business that Doug Woods has instilled at AMT

Tools & Takeaways

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Jun 9, 2018

Few people are champions of manufacturing education like Jim's guest on this episode of MakingChips, Aneesa Muthana. Aneesa began working in her father's manufacturing shop when she was a very young girl, answering phones and making chips of her own. She has grown up with a deep understanding of what makes the manufacturing industry special and now, as President of Pioneer Service she is a true champion of educating the public about the inspirational meaning behind being a manufacturer. This is an inspiring conversation that you won't want to miss.

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As Manufacturers We Have A Responsibility to Educate The Public

The belief that many parents have - that their children need to go to college in order to get a good job - is fine for as far as that goes, but as Aneesa points out in this conversation, it leaves out the very real and profitable possibilities that the manufacturing industry provides. Aneesa believes that the average person doesn't understand the true purpose and contributions that are made by the manufacturing industry and that every person who works within the industry has a responsibility to educate those around them in order to raise the level of understanding about the vital nature of what manufacturers do. Don't miss this challenging conversation.

Every Day Is Manufacturing Day At Pioneer Service

Manufacturing Day℠ is a celebration of modern manufacturing that is organized to educate and inspire the next generation of manufacturers. The first Friday in October is when the official celebration occurs, but because she is so passionate about manufacturing and equipping the next generation of manufacturers, Aneesa says that every day is manufacturing day at her shop. The doors of Pioneer Service are always open to community leaders, newspapers, school groups, and anyone else who desires to learn about manufacturing. Aneesa’s enthusiasm is contagious, so listen to this episode to be inspired by her story and her efforts at raising the awareness of the importance of manufacturing.

The Challenge of Equipping A Trained Workforce Is Real

During this conversation, Jim asks Aneesa about her biggest concerns regarding the future of the manufacturing industry. Like many of us, she believes that the challenge to equip and raise up the next generation as a trained manufacturing workforce is a formidable challenge that we must take seriously. She is doing her part in her own community and on a national stage and shares how she is encouraging education and mobilization on behalf of the manufacturing industry.

Children Today Need To Be Taught The Inspiration In Being A Maker

It’s interesting to note that when you ask a young child what they want to be when they grow up, they typically mention policemen, doctors, firemen, etc. Why don’t they mention being a manufacturer? Aneesa believes it is because the education that should be happening about manufacturing's vital role in our culture is lacking. She encourages every opportunity for children to be taught about the inspirational role that makers are able to play in the creation of instrumentation that launches people into outer space, or the development of inventions that help to cure cancer. Being a part of those world-changing things is a worthwhile endeavor that children need to know about. Hear Aneesa’s story and how she became so passionate about the manufacturing industry, on this episode of MakingChips.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • [0:45] The excitement about the future of the manufacturing industry
  • [3:31] Aneesa Muthana - Stereotype destroyer extraordinaire: her story
  • [7:30] From working in her father’s business to President of her Uncle’s company
  • [10:55] Raising prices to become profitable, cold calling to gain new business
  • [12:43] The impact of the great recession on Pioneer: Aneesa’s willingness to change
  • [16:02] Manufacturing has a purpose greater than just the business
  • [20:22] The purpose that fills Aneesa’s days and fuels her vision
  • [21:50] Why Anessa is breaking boundaries and why she does it
  • [24:20] The key things Aneesa has learned as a shop owner
  • [27:01] The vision and goals for Pioneer at this point in its history
  • [30:34] Aneesa’s efforts to build a skilled workforce
  • [35:30] What Pioneer is doing to spearhead outreach in its community
  • [37:40] Aneesa’s top 3 lessons-learned
  • [40:39] Digging deeper into Aneesa’s insights

Tools & Takeaways

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May 27, 2018

In order for your manufacturing company to outlast your leadership tenure, it’s a good idea to have a succession plan. After investing so much time and energy into building a successful company, it can be difficult to hand over your responsibilities to another person. Having a succession plan can ensure that the right person is in place when the time comes. Doing so protects your employees and prepares the company for continued longevity. In this episode of MakingChips, you’ll hear Bob Bechtold talk about his success in starting and leading HARBEC in Ontario, New York. You’ll also hear about the challenges of developing his own succession plan.

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Do you have a 30-year plan?

What will your business be like in the next 30 years? While it used to be necessary to have a long-term vision for your company, it is becoming increasingly difficult to plan far into the future. The rapid changes in technology and the global economy require more short-term planning. However, it is still important to consider the long-term future and goals of your company. During this episode, Bob Bechtold talks about his four decades of manufacturing experience and how he has dealt with challenges and changes throughout his career. Listen as Bob also shares his approach to future planning that will prepare Harbec for continued success.

Fear of change could lead to failure

Bob Bechtold started his manufacturing career as a journeyman toolmaker. His years of experience both in making and teaching gave him the knowledge and wisdom to start his own manufacturing business. One of the qualities that made Bob so successful was his willingness to embrace change. He says that most people in the 1980s saw computers and technology as a threat to manufacturing. However, instead of resisting new technologies, Bob saw them as an opportunity. Hear how he has continued to lead his company to adapt and use new technologies during this interview on MakingChips.

The Challenges of Developing a Succession Plan

Bob Bechtold says his main focus at HARBEC currently is finding the right leader to take his place. Because he cares about his employees and wants to ensure their well-being, Bob is dedicated to implementing a succession plan. He describes the thought of letting go of his leadership role as unnerving. Bob shares candidly about the challenges he has experienced while developing this succession plan and the ways he is seeking to overcome them.

3 Keys to Manufacturing Success

A succession plan is only as good as the foundation upon which it is built. There are some practices that a manufacturing leader can implement to help set their company apart and increase the likelihood of long-term success. During this interview, Bob Bechtold talks about the three keys that he has put in place at Harbec that has contributed to the company’s success. These three keys can help you not only see growth, but also help develop a culture that more readily can be passed on to the next generation of leadership.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Jim and Jason talk about trends that could change manufacturing over the next 30 years
  • Manufacturing News: The future of American manufacturing
  • Introduction of IMTS Rockstar Bob Bechtold, President at HARBEC in Ontario, New York
  • The changes in manufacturing technology throughout Bob Bechtold’s career and how he started HARBEC
  • Bob Bechtold talks about his company’s core competencies and who they serve
  • How Bob is preparing HARBEC for future leadership
  • The three most important lessons Bob Bechtold has learned during his career

Tools & Takeaways

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May 18, 2018

In order to generate measurable growth in your manufacturing company, you need to develop a sales playbook. While marketing can help you get noticed among prospective clients, a sales division converts them into revenue producing clients. In order for these two branches of your organization to work effectively, they need a unified process. The sales playbook will help streamline your operation, improve alignment and ultimately lead to increased revenue. During this episode of MakingChips, Julie Poulos, Vice President at Red Caffeine Marketing + Technology, details how to develop your own sales playbook.

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2 key factors to becoming sales enabled

How can you get a prospective client interested and motivated to buy your product or service? Some might argue that it is through marketing. Others say it’s through sales. The truth is that it takes both. A sales playbook is the key to helping your marketing and sales team work together to boost your company’s growth. Julie Poulos is a marketing and sales guru who not only understands the importance of the sales playbook, but also how to implement one effectively into a business. Listen as Julie identifies 2 key factors in helping your manufacturing business become sales enabled through the use of a sales playbook.

Fostering alignment through a sales playbook

Because marketing and sales are complementary, it is important for them to be aligned. In some cases, a company could have a marketing department that is great at attracting prospective clients but lacks a sales team equipped to close deals. Or maybe the sales team is outpacing the marketing division. Just as a car that is out of alignment can be tough to drive, a company out of alignment has difficulty growing. Julie Poulos explains how having an organized infrastructure can help support both marketing and sales. By improving technology and processes through a sales playbook, manufacturing companies can restore alignment.

How to identify your company’s current reality and future potential

One challenge manufacturing business leaders face is evaluating the health and culture of the organization. Knowing the current reality of your company will help you make appropriate adjustments in areas of operation and personnel. It will also help you forecast future growth and opportunity through both your current contracts and new-acquisition clients. Julie Poulos says that a sales playbook plays a key role in the evaluation process. It also helps you establish clear goals and objectives for your team. Hear all about that and more during this episode of MakingChips.

The sales playbook by the numbers

Numbers don’t lie. Therefore, it is critical for manufacturing companies to keep track of their sales and production data. From customer acquisition costs to your website visitor count, Julie Poulos explains the value of understanding past and current numbers. Empirical data can help empower the sales team and enable owners and operators to develop realistic growth expectations. She also talks about the importance of systems integration so that you can easily access vital information. Listen to this episode, as Julie reveals tools and technologies that can help you measure and manage progress in your manufacturing company.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Jim and Jason talk about how they manage growth in their businesses
  • Manufacturing News: Area schools promote manufacturing through a contest
  • Jason shares how he is reorganizing his leadership structure at Zenger’s
  • Julie Poulos explains the difference between marketing and sales and how to align both
  • The 2 key factors to help your business become sales enabled
  • How to differentiate yourself by identifying purpose and communicating it to prospective clients
  • Forecasting sales and then creating structure for your sales team
  • The importance of collecting data to track progress and manage expectations
  • Utilizing integrated technology to organize your sales process and measure ROI
  • IMTS conference breakdown with Bill Herman, Director of International Exhibitions and Sponsorship for AMT

Tools & Takeaways

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This Week’s Superstar Guest

  • Julie Poulos - Vice President at Red Caffeine Marketing + Technology
  • Bill Herman - Director of International Exhibitions and Sponsorship for AMT

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May 11, 2018

Developing a positive culture within your manufacturing business could be the key to reaching the next level of success with your company. On this week’s episode of MakingChips, you’ll hear from Matt Guse, President of MRS Machining in Augusta, Wisconsin. Matt took over his family manufacturing business in the late 90s after being a machinist under his Dad’s leadership. Drawing from years of experience, Matt has grown his business by creating a positive culture and work environment for his employees. His success makes him one of this year’s IMTS Rockstars. During this interview, Matt talks about the challenges he has experienced and the lessons he has learned while leading a growing manufacturing company.

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Carrying on the legacy of manufacturing

Manufacturing is largely a multi-generational, family-business industry. Many of today’s manufacturing leaders are third and fourth generation owners. MRS Machining was started by Matt Guse’s dad in the mid-1980s. Matt details how his family began the business in their garage and the factors that propelled the growth of the business. After his Mom and Dad passed away, Matt took over. He talks about the difficulties of losing his parents and the succession plan that was in place before his father passed away. He also shares keys of leading the business that he learned from his father and how they helped him develop the positive culture that is prevalent in MRS Machining today.

Learn how to build a positive culture

With his only experience being on the shop floor, Matt determined to learn as much as he could about the operational side of manufacturing. His first step was to join a peer group of business leaders in his community. Matt details what he learned by listening to the experience of others. By gaining wisdom and understanding from successful leaders, Matt was able to establish an employee friendly, positive culture in his company. Hear about the importance of being connected to a community of leaders and how that support can help you through the inevitable difficulties and challenges of manufacturing during this episode of MakingChips.

How to unleash the talent in your company

One key that Matt Guse reveals about developing a positive culture within your company is recruiting and maintaining talent. His goal is to discover the unique gifts his employees have so that he can empower them to excel. Creating a positive culture where people feel trusted and valued not only helps with employee morale but also helps attract quality talent. Matt says, “Your best recruiters are your current employees.” Listen as Matt shares the ways he intentionally cultivates talent at MRS during this interview.

3 keys to building a positive culture

Because running a business can be overwhelming, it is important to have a clearly defined set of directives that help keep you on target. While there are many good things you can do with your company, it is up to you to determine the best things and then drive your company to pursue them every day. Building a positive culture and work environment doesn’t happen by accident. And it doesn’t happen overnight. Matt Guse defines three keys that have impacted his company’s culture. By focusing on these three things, Matt has led MRS Machining to not only grow and produce, but also to be an enjoyable place to work. Hear about these three keys and much more on this episode of MakingChips.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • JIm and Jason talk about the multi-generational nature of manufacturing
  • Jim shares about hiring a new sales manager and the importance of brand and culture in attracting talent
  • Manufacturing News: The impact of the new tariffs on costs and supply chain
  • Introduction of Matt Guse, President of MRS Machining in Augusta, Wisconsin
  • How MRS started in a family garage and grew into full scale machining business
  • Matt Guse describes the importance of investing in technology
  • The expansion of MRS and how it navigated the recession
  • How Matt Guse took over as president of MRS and what he learned through a local community of business leaders
  • MRS’s succession plan and lessons learned after Matt’s dad was diagnosed with cancer
  • Matt shares the impact of his investment in a positive culture for his employees
  • 3 Keys to leading a successful manufacturing business

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May 3, 2018

Buying used equipment might sound like a bad idea. Purchasing brand new brings about a sense of excitement and confidence. However, in the manufacturing world, buying new equipment can be incredibly expensive. This week on MakingChips, find out how buying and selling used equipment can be a great option for your company. While it may seem risky, buying used can keep you on the cutting edge of technology without breaking the bank. Listen as Jim and Jason talk with Ryan Wiegel, Vice President of Operations and Co-owner of Wiegel Tool Works about his strategies for buying and selling used equipment.

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Why you should buy used equipment

Ryan Wiegel has had great success in buying and selling previously owned equipment. He has a unique ability to identify a good piece of used equipment on the secondary market and purchase it for an excellent price. During his conversation with Jim, Ryan explains why buying used might be a good strategy for manufacturers. Even though buying new ensures top operating condition while including a factory warranty, he says you don’t have to sacrifice quality when purchasing used equipment. Listen as Ryan Wiegel explains why you should consider buying used equipment for your company.

Guidelines for buying previously owned equipment

In order to ensure that you get the best deal on a great piece of used equipment, Ryan Wiegel suggests that you follow certain guidelines. He identifies several factors to consider which will give you confidence about the condition of the piece of equipment and will help you identify the true value of the machine. The key, he says, is to do your homework. Researching the cost, testing out the used machine, and talking with the manufacturer are just a few of the steps Ryan mentions. Hear more about the guidelines for buying previously owned equipment as you listen to this episode of MakingChips.

Staying on the cutting edge of technology while saving money

One of the concerns when buying used equipment is staying current. As technology continues to evolve, manufacturing companies can’t afford to be behind the technological curve. Ryan Wiegel addresses this concern by suggesting a balanced approach to buying machinery. There are some pieces of equipment that have to be purchased new. However other machines can be retrofitted to make them current. You could pay half the price of a new piece, spend a marginal amount to retrofit the used machine, and still save money while adding a great piece to your shop. Hear more of Ryan’s advice on this week’s podcast.

Strategies for Selling Used Equipment

Not only can a manufacturer employ a strategy to buy used, they can also sell their used equipment. Internet and social network channels have opened a world of opportunities for selling equipment to customers around the globe. Utilizing those free marketing channels can help you move older pieces of equipment at a fair price. Even if a piece is in need of repair, there is a market of buyers willing to purchase and refurbish used machinery. Listen as Ryan explains his selling strategy while sharing stories of his successes and failures on this episode of MakingChips.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • [3:58] Manufacturing News: Advocating for more manufacturing jobs in Washington
  • [7:50] Jim and Jason discuss their experience with buying used items
  • [10:11] Jim introduces Ryan Wiegel, Vice President of Operations and Co-Owner of Wiegel Tool Works
  • [12:16] Ryan Wiegel details the history, niche and future of Wiegel Tool Works
  • [18:03] How Ryan Wiegel started buying used equipment
  • [20:03] The guidelines for buying used machinery
  • [26:20] Staying on the cutting edge of technology while buying used equipment
  • [32:09] The sequence of finding and procuring a used machine
  • [37:40] How to get the right price on used equipment
  • [41:55] Ryan Wiegel shares stories of success and failures in buying used equipment
  • [47:50] Strategies to sell used equipment on the open market
  • [51:23] Three tips for manufacturers when buying a used piece of equipment

Tools & Takeaways

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Apr 26, 2018

Whether you are a veteran attendee of IMTS, or you are planning your first experience, this week’s episode of Making Chips is for you. For 90 years, the International Manufacturing Technology Show has been the premiere manufacturing show in North America. It takes place in Chicago on even-numbered years. Peter Eelman has been involved with IMTS for 40 years. He is the Vice President of Exhibition and Business Development for The Association of Manufacturing Technology (AMT). On this episode, Peter joins Jason and Jim to give an in-depth preview of IMTS 2018.

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What makes IMTS 2018 a must-attend event

Beyond just a machine tool show, IMTS encompasses all of manufacturing technology. It is the place to learn about and experience cutting-edge manufacturing technology and innovation. The show continues to get bigger and better, featuring over a million square feet of exhibition space with 1599 exhibitors. This year's show is September 10-15 in Chicago and will further the tradition of being the number one place to discover the newest technology that is revolutionizing the industry. During his conversation with Jim and Jason, Peter Eelman reveals how IMTS 2018 is gearing up to be the best yet.

It’s all about the experience at IMTS

Throughout four buildings, there will be an exciting array of companies showing off the latest and greatest in manufacturing technology. Peter Eelman says that the exhibition space is expanding to include more CAD/CAM software and digital factory automation companies. IMTS gives you the opportunity to get to know these companies and see the products and services they offer. You can also expect to see million dollar pieces of equipment on display. Hear much more about what you can experience during Jim and Jason’s conversation with Peter Eeman.

The exciting Emerging Technologies Center at IMTS 2018

IMTS has always been about emerging technologies. During the 2014 show, IMTS featured the world’s first 3D printed car. Peter Eelman explains how IMTS will give attendees an opportunity to explore the digital transformation of industry. You will be able to explore virtual and augmented reality and learn about the impact those technologies are having in manufacturing. Peter Eelman says that because digital manufacturing is now a reality, manufacturers should be learning as much as they can so they can begin applying it in their businesses. The Emerging Technologies Center at IMTS 2018 can give you the jump start you need.

How to maximize your IMTS 2018 experience

Peter Eelman explains that in order to have the best experience at IMTS, you have to make a plan. There is so much to see and so much ground to cover that failing to plan will leave you overwhelmed and exhausted. Prioritizing your time will help you get the most out of the show. IMTS.com has an invaluable tool called “My Show Planner” which was developed specifically for IMTS attendees. Plan to stay for a couple of days so that you can see all of the new and exciting technology available. Hear more about how you can maximize your IMTS 2018 experience as you listen to this episode of Making Chips.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • [5:40] What’s new at Zenger’s Industrial
  • [7:11] Jason’s take on the book The 4 Disciplines of Execution
  • [8:19] Manufacturing News:Harry Moser and The Reshoring Initiative
  • [14:12] Peter Eelman, Vice President of Exhibitions and Business Development at AMT
  • [16:25] The scope and size of IMTS 2018 in comparison to past years
  • [23:13] How the layout of IMTS is different and the new business that will have exhibits
  • [27:00] Emerging technologies and innovation on display at IMTS 2018
  • [31:20] How IMTS attendees should prepare themselves
  • [38:06] The registration process for IMTS
  • [41:36] When and where you can see Jason and Jim at IMTS

Tools & Takeaways

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Mar 31, 2018

In order to have a successful cutting tool manufacturing business, you must have a plan. As Benjamin Franklin once said, failing to plan is planning to fail. Manufacturers shutter their doors every day, not because they aren’t providing a valuable service, but because they have an outdated business plan. You have to consistently invest in the business and adapt to new technology in order to best serve your customers. So how can you develop a solid plan for your cutting tool manufacturing business? Mike Polizzi, President of Hartland Cutting Tools is here to help by revealing 5 Keys that will help you build and sustain a successful cutting tool manufacturing business. You don’t want to miss this week’s episode of MakingChips.

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Be A Better Salesman by Staring on the Shop Floor

Mike Polizzi is the third-generation president of Hartland Cutting Tools. Hartland is a leading supplier of standard and custom high-performance cutting tools. Mike’s start in the business was not in a sales office, but rather on the shop floor. His knowledge of the tools his company manufactures comes from actually having made those very same tools early in his career. Mike is able to leverage his experience and credibility to help the manufacturers he now serves. As president of the company, Mike has turned his attention to helping Hartland increase its sales revenue with a solid marketing and technology plan. Listen now to hear Mike Polizzi give his 5 Keys to a successful cutting tool manufacturing business.

Stay on the Cutting Edge of Custom Cutting Tools by Investing in Technology

When the recession hit in 2008, many manufacturers were forced to close their businesses. While Mike had to cut his workforce significantly, he was able to help Hartland survive the downturn by utilizing technology. One of Mike’s 5 keys involves having a specific plan and approach to technology, keeping overhead low and prices competitive. Mike talks about how often he upgrades his machinery and about the manpower it takes to keep those machines operating. Hear more about how you should invest in technology, keeping you on the cutting edge of making cutting tools in this week's episode of MakingChips.

Should You Sell Direct to Consumer or Use a Distributor?

When it comes to delivering your tools to the consumer, you have two options. You can employ your own sales force and sell direct or you can rely on distributors. One of Mike Polizzi’s 5 keys to a successful cutting tool manufacturing business is deciding how you will distribute. Mike has made a firm choice on how he delivers to his customers.  He believes that making this decision will help you stay competitive and allow you to give the level of service that will win lifelong customers. Find out what Mike calls the “old idea of the flywheel” during this episode of MakingChips.

Build Your Business by Understanding Trends in Custom Cutting Tools

Mike Polizzi continues to grow Hartland Cutting tools by knowing the latest trends in cutting tool manufacturing. He is then able to adapt and provide those tools and services to the end user.  As Mike discusses his 5 keys to a successful cutting tool manufacturing business, he details the importance of the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) System. Hint: Not investing in this critical aspect of the business could threaten efficiency throughout your business. Mike also discusses the latest trends in custom/special tools, including coatings, carbide grades, and other options that can make tools last longer. Hear all about that and more on this week’s episode of MakingChips.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • [0:42] Jim debriefs his recent trip to Ireland and updates about Carr Machine and Tool
  • [6:40] Manufacturing News: Is the trend toward automation slowing down?
  • [12:06] Mike Polizzi on 5 points of Hartland Cutting Tools’ three generations of success
  • [13:31] How Mike’s extensive experience in tool grinding gives him credibility in sales
  • [18:40] Technology's impact on the long-term success of Harland Cutting Tools
  • [21:11] The core value of selling exclusively through distribution companies
  • [24:33] The human touch of knowing and empathizing with the end user
  • [27:11] Hartland’s ERP system and how it helps them serve clients
  • [28:19] Latest trends in custom special tools
  • [32:36] Advice for manufacturers who are attempting to produce their own tools
  • [47:58] Takeaways from the interview with Mike Polizzi

Tools & Takeaways

VIPs From The Metal Working Nation

This Week’s Superstar Guest

  • Mike Polizzi - President of Hartland Cutting Tools Inc.

Connect With MakingChips

Subscribe to Making Chips on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify 

Mar 22, 2018

Building an outbound marketing strategy for your marketing business is crucial. The reality is that, in order to stay in business, you have to have customers. You need someone willing to buy what you are manufacturing. While it would be great to have a product or business that sells itself, more often than not there is some legwork involved in finding the people that need your product or service. Then you have to showcase your work so that they can become a customer. This means that in manufacturing, having an outbound marketing strategy is essential. It’s not always easy but it is necessary. In this week’s episode, Jason and Jim discuss how to institute a simple 3-step sales process, with Julie Poulos, Vice President at Red Caffeine Marketing + Technology . If you’re ready to step up your sales game, then be sure to tune in to this episode.

Connect with us: www.MakingChips.com/contact

The End Goal is to Close a Sale, So You’re Gonna Need A Plan

Every manufacturing businesses ultimate goal is to close sales. You make things so that people can buy and use them. However, closing is the last step of the process. You can’t close sales unless you have attracted potential customers. And what do you do after you’ve attracted them? You have to prove your value to the potential customers in ways that lead to closing a sale. In order to do this well, you have to have a good outbound marketing strategy. The good news is the process doesn’t have to be difficult. You can do this and MakingChips is ready to help you. Listen as Jason talks with Jule Poulos about a 3-step sales process that will help you be in a better position to do your outbound marketing in a way that enables you to close sales.

Julie’s 3-step process: Identify Your Best Customers, Warm Them Up, Then Make the Call

You don’t have to have a thousand potential clients or customers. But you do need a list. When developing an effective outbound marketing strategy, start with what you know about your best customers to help you develop a good customer profile. Channel your marketing energy and resources where you’ll see the most likely returns. Narrow your list down to the handful leads that seem most promising. Do your homework on those customers in order to show them how you can offer them value.The key is to be intentional and specific. In this episode, Julie gives tips on how to create what she calls an ”intentional warm” across 4-8 weeks. You will learn how to make your outbound marketing strategy more targeted and natural. Then after “warming” the potential customer, you can call with confidence and get one step closer to converting a lead into a customer.

What Do You Do Once You’ve Warmed Up a Prospect?

One of the hardest parts of managing a manufacturing company’s outbound marketing strategy is knowing what to do with a potential lead after you’ve warmed them up. What’s the best way to contact them? When is the best time? There is no hard and fast way to contact a lead. It might be a phone call, email, or a LinkedIn message. Julie Poulos explains that the best rule is to approach each lead individually and give them an opportunity to respond. She gives great advice on how to be natural and authentic throughout your marketing and sales process. Julie also shares practical examples of exactly how to follow up with a lead. Hear all of this and more on this week’s episode.

An Outbound Marketing Strategy Doesn’t Have to be Intimidating or Time-Consuming

For manufacturing business owners, sales skills don’t always come naturally. Manufacturers know how to make things but going after sales can be intimidating. Also, managing the time between making products and generating sales can be overwhelming. Julie Poulos delivers a marketing strategy with a clear process and easily applicable steps. Listen as Julie and Jason give you a 3-step marketing strategy that will help you simplify your own outbound marketing strategy. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming or intimidating. Let your mind-shift about marketing and sales start today as you listen to this episode.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • [2:38] Jason asks Jim about his sales processes and ideas
  • [6:43] Manufacturing News: Great Britain & Northern Ireland Ads for manufacturing
  • [8:31] Julie Poulos on equipping a sales team with a 3 step outbound marketing strategy
  • [12:06] What to do with a potential client list
  • [15:10] How to “warm up” the client with a personal touch
  • [18:00] Creative and intentional ways to stand out
  • [21:00] Now that the you’ve warmed the lead determine the best method of contact
  • [25:47] Following up authentically with potential clients
  • [28:30] The difficulty of manufacturing sales and how the 3 step sales process can help

Tools & Takeaways

VIPs From The Metal Working Nation

This Week’s Superstar Guest

  • Julie Poulos - Vice President at Red Caffeine Marketing + Technology

Connect With MakingChips

Subscribe to Making Chips on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify

 

Mar 15, 2018

This episode, recorded live at a recent conference, consists of a conversation between Jim and Jason and their guest, Mike Ramsey, Global Vice President of The Industrial Diversified Market Unit at Kennametal. Kennametal is a global manufacturer of cutting tools, mills, drills, taps, and more, so Jason and Jim thought it would be great to ask Mike about the newest cutting tool advances and his perspective on the future of manufacturing. Mike shares insight into the newest cutting tool technology, the power of automation, the need for a new generation of skilled metal workers, and more, so don’t miss it.

Connect with us:www.MakingChips.com/contact

PCD use in manufacturing

PCD tools (polycrystalline diamond) are one of the items Mike Ramsey pointed to as an example of cutting tool innovations that are making a huge difference in the manufacturing industry. Many people think of PCD as being used only for finish machining, but some PCD cutting tools are now durable enough to be used in a much wider range of applications. Mike points to the more common use of aluminum in the automotive and aircraft industries as examples of what has caused PDC tools to be improved and to become more useful. Mike mentions a handful of other cutting tool innovations in this episode as well, so don’t miss it.

Carbon Reinforced Polymer Fibers make new styles of cutting tools a necessity

Carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) is a material that is growing in popularity and being applied in a wider and wider range of applications. Its strength, durability, and corrosion resistance make it ideal for automotive and aerospace uses. But CFRP is not exactly friendly to many cutting or drilling tools. It can cause the tool geometry to wear down in a matter of minutes. That requires cutting tool manufacturers like Kennametal to go back to the drawing board to come up with cutting tool solutions that don’t have the same disadvantages. In this conversation, Mike Ramsey explains some of the newer tools available and why it’s important for manufacturers to make the switch as soon as possible.

Today PVD coatings on various cutting tools enable many advantages

One of the major costs of any manufacturing operation is the replacement of tools. Therefore, manufacturers do everything they can to extend the life and usability of the tools they purchase. One of the enhancements to tool technology mentioned by Jim and Jason’s guest, Mike Ramsey is the implementation of PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition). Coating appropriate tools in this manner can bring about increased performance, improved productivity, reduced wear and friction, and more. Get the inside story on PVD coatings and discover if they may be of benefit to you, on this episode of Making Chips.

How Mike Ramsey and Kennametal stay ahead of the competition

Every manufacturer is looking for ways to be more competitive and superior to their competitors. Jim and Jason asked Mike Ramsey what he’s seen successful manufacturers do that those who are unsuccessful do not do, as well as what should be done to stay ahead of the competition. In answer to the first question, Mike says those who are not afraid to implement automation are the ones who are succeeding. And in order to stay ahead of the competition, Mike advises manufacturers to be aware of what’s going on in the metallurgical end of the market (What are the materials being cut?), listen to your customers in order to better understand and meet their needs, understand where the market is going, and know what’s being developed in the machine tool industry. That’s the information that will enable you to know what you need to do to supply customer needs and stay ahead of your competition.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • [0:08] The MFG introduction to Jason and Jim at their live podcast recording
  • [5:22] The increasing growth of the manufacturing industry
  • [9:07] Introducing Mike Ramsey of Kennametal
  • [10:28] The latest trends in cutting tools
  • [14:17] Cutting tool advances and the leap frog with machine tools
  • [17:20] What’s happening in other parts of the world that the U.S. should consider
  • [18:52] The biggest challenges Kennametal faces in the future: demographics
  • [20:18] How Mike and Kennametal stay ahead of the trends
  • [21:25] The difference between manufacturers who are growing and those that are not
  • [23:08] Advice for a successful career in the manufacturing business
  • [26:31] What are you doing to automate and bring up the next generation?

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest

  • Mike Ramsey - Global Vice President of The Industrial Diversified Market Unit at Kennametal

Connect With MakingChips

Subscribe to Making Chips on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify

 

Mar 8, 2018

Every now and then a technology comes along that everyone is talking about, and high pressure coolant systems are the big topic of conversation in the manufacturing world right now. Jim and Jason discuss these amazing systems on this episode of MakingChips. They cover the advantages of high pressure coolant systems, how you can determine whether or not your company is ready for them, and wrap up the episode with tips about how you can get your team ready to take on this new technology. You won't want to miss this episode.

Connect with us:www.MakingChips.com/contact

High pressure coolant systems are the flavor of the month. Have you tasted the goods?

There's a reason that manufacturing companies all across the United States are talking about high pressure coolant systems. It's a new way of drilling that helps control some of the major elements of the manufacturing process. These systems can actually prevent chips from falling back into the tool, which prevents damage and prolongs tool life. It's the high pressure part of the system that makes it happen. Lubrication and coolant are provided where they are needed the most and flush chips away from the cut. This enables your metal workers to have much greater control over the process. You can learn more about high pressure systems from Jim and Jason, on this episode.

Your shop could be drilling holes like a hot knife through butter. Here's how

High pressure, through spindle coolant is not a magic wand that makes every problem in your manufacturing process go away. But it is a major advancement in the way drilling happens that enables a faster workflow and production process. These high pressure systems enable tools to last longer, the chips to have less impact on the process, and enables metal to be cut at a much higher speed without the damage that can occur at lower speeds. On this episode, Jim and Jason put in a call to a specialist and find out whether it's true that by using these systems, production times could increase by up to 10X. You can hear what they discover on this episode, so don't miss it.

If you want the competitive advantage in your market, high pressure coolant systems may be the way it can happen

Imagine the difference to your production process and order fulfillment if you were able to double your production speed. What if you could triple it? What if you could crank out product even faster than that? You would have a distinct advantage in your market and could easily beat your competition, hands-down. Through spindle, high pressure coolant systems can enable your machine shop to be running at a much higher-capacity that makes those things possible. Find out why Jim and Jason are so excited about this technology and why they are encouraging manufacturers all across the nation to take the leap the next time they consider upgrading equipment.

High speed coolant systems require a team that is up to speed in order to be of benefit

The new technology available through high pressure coolant systems is advantageous in many ways, but those advantages will not be yours if you don't take the time to properly train and equip your team to use the equipment properly. There is a learning curve involved, one that requires adjustments to technique and speed. Your team needs to understand the capabilities of the system and the advantages they can experience from these 1000 to 1200 RPM systems. You might encourage them to listen to this episode of MakingChips to get a quick education. It will fill them in on how amazing these new systems really are.

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • [0:07] Jason and Jim fill you in on why they are approaching the show in a fresh way
  • [4:04] 1000 PSI Through-Coolant Spindle: A new technology for machine tools
  • [6:48] Manufacturing News: The Manufacturing Industry in the U.S. is Growing Rapidly
  • [9:03] Why companies need to release their P.O. sooner in order to get products on time
  • [14:09] Verifying the veracity of the effectiveness of 1000 PSI coolant
  • [18:31] Avoiding chip problems with a high pressure coolant system
  • [21:25] The competitive advantage of a high pressure, through spindle coolant system
  • [22:29] Making sure your team is ready to take on the new technology

Tools & Takeaways

VIPs From The Metal Working Nation

Connect With MakingChips

Subscribe to MakingChips on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify

Feb 20, 2018

Hello Metalworking Nation! We are thrilled at what’s to come in the near future for the MakingChips Podcast. While Jim and Jason are busy implementing the final changes to the new MakingChips, we wanted to share with you one of our favorite episodes from the MakingChips Vault.

On this episode we interview Matt Sump, Account Executive at ShopWare Inc, to discuss CAM Software and Dynamic Machining. ShopWare is a value added reseller of Mastercam Cad/Cam Software & ProShop ERP.

Matt shares his 3 most important actions that manufacturers can take now to improve their utilization of Computer-Aided Manufacturing.

Episode Outline:
[00:01] - IMTS 2018
[03:15] - What Shopware Does
[07:24] - Integrating Cutting Tool Data
[10:28] - 90% Utilization
[14:55] - High Speed Machining
[19:07] - The MFG Meeting 2018
[20:12] - 3 Ways to Improve Your CAM Skills

Links Mentioned in this Episode:
IMTS 2018 - Register Today!
The MFG Meeting 2018
Matt Sump| LinkedIn
ShopWare Inc.

We Want to Hear From YOU, The Metalworking Nation:
• Jim@makingchips.com
• Jason@makingchips.com
• Ryan@makingchips.com
Telephone: (312) 725-0245

Feb 19, 2018

Hello Metalworking Nation! We are thrilled at what’s to come in the near future for the MakingChips Podcast. While Jim and Jason are busy implementing the final changes to the new MakingChips, we wanted to share with you one of our favorite episodes from the MakingChips Vault.

On this episode we interview Stacey Bales, 2nd generation owner and President of Bales Metal Surface Solutions. Bales provides engineered coating and finishes to mold makers and OEMs.

Stacey highlights the struggles that occurred in the family business after the untimely passing of her father, who was serving as acting president of the company. Without a succession plan in place, Stacy was forced to overcome several challenges while dealing with the grief of losing her father. Stacy shares her remarkable story and the hurdles she overcame while providing some advice on what you can do in the event that a similar tragedy happens in your company.

Episode Outline:
[00:01] - IMTS 2018
[02:36] - Introducing Stacey Bales
[03:40] - Getting Respect
[05:00] - Unexpected Passing
[08:34] - Help Through the Transition
[10:25] - Biggest Hurdles
[13:13] - Transition with the Bank
[14:13] - The MFG Meeting 2018
[15:18] - Family Business Advice
[16:49] - Conclusion of Episode

Links Mentioned in this Episode:
IMTS 2018 - Register Today!
TMA Illinois
The MFG Meeting 2018
Stacey Bales | LinkedIn
Bales Metal Surface Solutions

We Want to Hear From YOU, The Metalworking Nation:
• Jim@makingchips.com
• Jason@makingchips.com
• Ryan@makingchips.com
Telephone: (312) 725-0245

Feb 9, 2018

Hello Metalworking Nation! We are thrilled at what’s to come in the near future for the MakingChips Podcast. While Jim and Jason are busy implementing the final changes to the new MakingChips, we wanted to share with you one of our favorite episodes from the MakingChips Vault.

On this episode, we will be speaking with Patricia Miller, CEO of Matrix 4, a design and manufacturing house of plastic products based out of Woodstock, IL. Matrix 4 is 40 years old, yet operates with a start-up mentality thanks to Patricia’s progressive leadership.

When we first interviewed Patricia Miller, she was a relative newbie in the business, however in the years following this interview, she has grown Matrix 4 to new heights, redefining the business model, strategy, and culture of the company.

Patricia shares her 5 Points that helped drive the business into the success that it is today.
1) Get Connected
2) Understand Customers
3) Drive Innovation
4) Embrace Change
5) Give Hope

Episode Outline:
[00:01] - IMTS 2018: Register Now!
[03:42] - Get Connected
[05:21] - Connecting with the Manufacturing Community
[08:10] - Understand Customers
[12:14] - Meeting with Customers
[14:21] - The MFG Meeting 2018
[15:31] - Drive Innovation
[16:40] - Embrace Change
[19:04] - Shaking Up the Status Quo
[20:56] - Changing Culture
[23:55] - Facing Roadblocks
[27:30] - Next Stages

Links Mentioned in this Episode:
IMTS 2018 - Register Today!
TMA Illinois
The MFG Meeting 2018
Alan Beaulieu | Economist
Patricia Miller | LinkedIn
Matrix 4

We Want to Hear From YOU, The Metalworking Nation:
• Jim@makingchips.com
• Jason@makingchips.com
• Ryan@makingchips.com
Telephone: (312) 725-0245

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