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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Now displaying: September, 2015
Sep 30, 2015

Word of mouth advertising still works. It’s wonderful when a satisfied customer tells someone else about their experience with your company. But there are more options today than just relying on word of mouth. Technology and social media have created the opportunity to put your advertisements in front of the people who are most likely to buy your products or use your services. How is it possible? Through data that is collected through platforms like Facebook. In this episode of Making Chips, Jim and Jason will be discussing their experience with Facebook ads, including the results they’ve seen, the cost they paid, and why they thought it was a good idea. Listen in to get the whole story.


Getting in front of your ideal customer is easier than ever.


When a person first sets up their Facebook account they’re asked a series of questions about their interests, hobbies, work, likes and dislikes. The responses they give are more than just ways to connect them with other people. Those are data points used by the Facebook machine to organize ad campaigns for those who use the Facebook Ad platform. On top of that, every click, every like, every comment is recorded and logged as well, giving Facebook an immense amount of data on every user over time. That’s the data you could tap into by using Facebook Ads. Find out more about this amazing opportunity, in this episode of Making Chips.


Jim’s experience using Facebook ads for Carr Machine and Tool.


At one point Jim decided to try out Facebook ads and set up an ad campaign for his business, Carr Machine and Tool. He was able to target people who either worked in the manufacturing industry or were interested in machining, tools, etc. It was amazing how easily he could “drill down” into the very group of people he wanted to target to put his ads in front of them, and them only. The results? He actually had one person send him a bid opportunity because of his Facebook ads. Find out more about how Jim and Jason are planning to use Facebook Ads in the future by listening to the conversation today.


The Mazak event is almost here. Act now to be a part of this amazing event!


Mazak is a company that leads the way in the manufacture of advanced technology solutions including Multi-Tasking, hybrid Multi-Tasking, 5-axis, milling, turning, CNC controls and automation. Their upcoming event, Discover 2015 is one of the largest events held in the United States and is an educational, technology, and networking event manufacturing leaders won’t want to miss. How can you be there? Go to the Mazak website and register for this event, coming up October 27-19, 2015, in Florence, Kentucky.

Do you have a question or topic you’d like addressed on Making Chips? How about a guest you’d like to recommend?


Jim and Jason would love to hear from you so they can better craft the show to meet your exact needs. You can leave your question or make your guest suggestion by going to the Making Chips website - . Don’t be shy, the guys would love to hear from you!

Outline of this episode


  • [1:06] The upcoming Mazak event - a valuable opportunity for networking and interaction.
  • [3:05] Introduction of today’s topic: Advertising your Machine Shop on Facebook
  • [5:31] Jim’s experience posting ads on Facebook for Carr Machine and Tool.
  • [7:38] How Facebook ads work to target who gets to see the ad.
  • [9:25] Who Jim targets with his Facebook ads.
  • [10:44] The amazing ways Facebook ads can be nuanced to hit your perfect customer.
  • [11:43] The importance of using images when creating Facebook ads.
  • [13:48] What is the cost of Facebook ads?
  • [14:40] Jim’s success story from using Facebook ads.
  • [16:25] How Jason would use Facebook ads and what his goals would be.
  • [17:56] The Making Chips experiment to test the use of Facebook ads.
  • [20:39] How to leave your info about topics you’d like Jim and Jason to cover on Making Chips.

Links mentioned in this episode


Mazak’s upcoming event -


Making Chips episode about networking:


Or call us at 312-725-0245


Sep 23, 2015

The world has changed since the days of your grandfather’s old, dusty, dingy manufacturing shop. Technology and a global economy are forcing these changes and the American manufacturing industry is changing along with it. Small manufacturers now have to compete on a global level and it’s to the advantage of all manufacturers within the United States to come together and collaborate so the U.S. manufacturing industry can remain a dominant force in the global economy. It’s to that end that a government/private sector organization, the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation was born. On this episode of Making Chips Jason and Jim do their best to explain what the NNMI is, how it came about, and why it’s an important force behind the needed changes that are coming to the U.S. manufacturing industry.

Collaboration for the sake of all.

That’s the idea behind the creation of the NNMI. If the government can facilitate and encourage the individual manufacturers within the United States manufacturing industry to come together, share knowledge, data, and resources, and work together to increase the manufacturing capacity and ability within the nation, everyone will win. Hear how Jim and Jason are thinking about this new effort and how you can be involved, on this episode of Making Chips.

One organization, many institutes with specialized areas of focus.

The NNMI is focused on helping the manufacturing industry overcome the obstacles to remaining a global force in the world-wide manufacturing community. Toward that end it has created many specialized institutes. Among them are America Makes, Digital Manufacturing and Design, Lightweight Metal Manufacturing, Power America, the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing, AIM Photonics, the Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute, the Innovation Institute on  Smart Manufacturing, and the Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Find out more about each of these on this episode.

What do Jim and Jason think about the DMDII from their participation on a panel at their facility?

Jim and Jason were both very impressed not only with the amount of time and money that obviously went into the event they were asked to participate in, but also in the genuine concern those putting on the event had with their input and concerns. As representatives of the smaller manufacturers in the U.S. the two had a unique perspective that those running the DMDII event were very interested in hearing. Jason and Jim are hopeful that is a good sign of the desire to truly cooperate and work together for the benefit of all manufacturers. Hear more of their impressions by listening to this episode.

Do you have comments, questions, or resources you’d like to share with the Making Chips crew?

Jason and Jim would love to receive your feedback, learn from your knowledge, and share it with the Making Chips community. You can connect with either of them through the website at or call them at 312-725-0245. They’d love to hear from you and build a connection that will benefit the entire manufacturing community.

Outline of this episode

  • [1:06] The upcoming Mazak event October 27-30 and November 30-5.
  • [2:21] Introduction of Ryan Scanlan, social media manager for the Making Chips crew.
  • [4:20] Demystifying the NNMI.
  • [6:03] Jim and Jason’s input through the DMDII (Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute), regarding smart manufacturing.
  • [7:47] What the NNMI does: collaboration between government, private companies, and academics to improve the manufacturing industry.
  • [8:40] What these sorts of partnerships could accomplish in the industry.
  • [9:44] A vision for collaboration surrounding innovation within the manufacturing industry.
  • [10:56] Issues surrounding time to market that the NNMI wants to address in light of the change toward a global market.
  • [12:42] Why those manufacturing companies that are resistant and inflexible could be left behind.
  • [13:20] The different NNMI institutes, what they are focused on, and where they are.
  • [19:19] Jim and Jason’s impressions of the DMDII facility and their time there.
  • [22:04] Your invitation to contact the Making Chips crew with your thoughts and ideas.

Links mentioned in this episode

Mazak’s upcoming event -

Workshops for Warriors -

Or call us at 312-725-0245

Tweets you can use to tell others about the episode

Government - private cooperation in the manufacturing industry?

Demystifying the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation #NNMI

What would happen if #manufacturers across the board could collaborate and innovate?

A movement to increase #TimeToMarket speed in the @manufacturing industry

#ManufacturingInnovation through cooperation, on this episode of #MakingChips

Sep 16, 2015

MC039: A Young Woman with Manufacturing Dreams: A conversation with Michelle Mabry


Traditionally the manufacturing industry has been dominated by the presence of men. That’s not a bad thing. But it’s not necessarily a good thing either. Today’s episode of Making Chips is a conversation with one of the many young women who are stepping into the once-male-dominated manufacturing industry and making a very positive difference. When Michelle Mabry moved to Chicago she enrolled in a welding class at a local community college and was set on fire by the wonderful skills and things she could do with a welding torch in her hand. She’s confident that she has a ton to offer the manufacturing industry. Hear her story on this episode of Making Chips.


What inspires a young woman to become a welder?


The answers to that question will be is as different as the young women you’re talking about, but for Michelle Mabry it was the way that welding could be an outlet for creativity and inspiration. She discovered that the skill of welding enables her to create things that otherwise might never come to reality, and that she could transfer those skills to others through teaching and enable them to establish a solid future when there otherwise may not be any hope. Hear more of how Michelle is using her welding experience and education to inspire others to make something great of their lives, on this episode.


Is the modern machine shop an appropriate place for women to be?


Michelle Mabry thinks so… as do the hosts of  Making Chips, Jason Zenger and Jim Carr. Modern manufacturing facilities are not your grandfather’s machine shop. By and large today’s shops are clean, technical, skill-oriented environments where women and men can work alongside each other to create the parts and machinery that keep our country running. Jason, Jim, and Michelle have a very open and candid conversation about the unique perspectives that women bring to the manufacturing industry on this episode, and you get to listen in.

Why are women needed in the manufacturing industry?


A unique mindset and perspective is one of the many things women bring into manufacturing, and Jason Zenger and Jim Carr believe it’s sorely needed. Men and women are different and they feel it’s about time we utilized those differences to move the manufacturing industry forward, opening up doors of possibility that until now have gone unnoticed. With the combined insights and creativity of both sexes, manufacturing companies can innovate and grow in ways we’ve not seen yet. Hear more about how this combination of the sexes in the manufacturing industry could move things forward, in this episode.


What about you? Are you willing to take a step into a new field?


When Michelle Mabry first told people that she was going to enroll in a welding class at her local college, she hit opposition almost immediately. People took exception with her choice because she was a woman, because it wasn’t “normal” for a women to don a welding helmet and apron. But Michelle says the naysayers only fuel her determination. It’s not that she wants to be like a man, she wants to be who she is, and welding is one of the channels she uses to express her creativity and make a difference in the world. Hear Michelle’s inspiring story on this episode. Maybe it will inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and develop a new skill as well.

Outline of this episode


  • [1:06] The upcoming Mazak event, “Mazak Discover 2015” - click to register for this incredible event.

  • [3:12] Introduction to this episode: An inspiring story about following your passion!

  • [3:45] Industry news - Jim’s participation on a panel discussing smart manufacturing, and Jason’s journey in working through some acquisitions for his company.

  • [6:10] Introduction of today’s guest: Michelle Mabry.

  • [7:50] Michelle’s move to Chicago as the catalyst that moved her into the field of welding.

  • [9:00] What inspired Michelle about welding?

  • [10:15] Michelle’s enrollment in a welding class: what she learned and the certifications she is earning.

  • [14:00] Michelle’s aspirations to teach welding once she’s finished with her education.

  • [16:02] Hopes for the future: Sculptures, encouraging others to consider their possibilities, and the desire to help others excel.)

  • [17:56] How to get the younger generation or women interested in the manufacturing industry.

  • [19:21] How a welding lab can breed confidence in people who otherwise might not have it.

  • [20:26] The power of manufacturing skills to give people a new lease on life and dreams for their future.

  • [22:04] What the average manufacturing employer is looking for.

  • [22:43] Michelle’s “Ah Ha!” moment when she knew manufacturing was what she wanted to do.

  • [23:20] How Michelle dealt with the naysayers.

  • [24:16] The importance of women in the manufacturing industry.

Links mentioned in this episode


Mazak’s upcoming event -


Workshops for Warriors -


Or call us at 312-725-0245


Tweets you can use to tell others about the episode


What motivates a young #woman to become a #welder?


A young #woman who became a #welder, and how she dealt with the #naysayers


Why women are vitally needed in the #ManufacturingIndustry


How #manufacturing skills can inspire and motivate people to a better more productive life


Using #welding to #inspire and #motivate others, in this episode of #MakingChips

Sep 9, 2015

Business growth what we all want to see. More customers, more jobs, and more revenue. But there are other ways to grow your company, including the purchase or acquisition of another company in your niche. In this episode of Making Chips Jason and Jim chat with Tom Hilaris who has recently become CEO of Ergoseal, a company that manufactures seals for OEMs in the industrial and aerospace rotating equipment industries. Within a two month period Tom’s company acquired 2 other companies and grew both his manufacturing capabilities and his bottom line. Find out more about Tom’s experience, including things to watch out for in acquisitions, on this episode.


What is the right motivation for acquiring another company?


While the individual details of each situation will vary, there are a couple of foundational motives that would make the acquisition of a company a good deal, and there are others that wouldn’t make sense - financially or otherwise. Tom Hilaris shares his experience in leading Ergoseal in the acquisition of two other companies in the last year, on this episode. It’s about more than simply acquiring another company. It’s about adding to your product line, cutting expenses, and making greater profits. Find out how to make those determinations regarding possible acquisitions on this episode of Making Chips.


Did you know that you can hire an acquisitions advisor to guide your company in an acquisition process?


A very important part of Tom Hilaris’ story of leading his company to acquire two other companies, is the role a hired Acquisitions Advisor played. He was instrumental in helping Tom and his team pull together the paperwork they needed, locate the right companies to purchase, and strike the deal in a way that was beneficial for everyone. Looking back, Tom feels that he could possibly do those things himself from here on out, but feels that he’ll stick with an Acquisitions Advisor for future acquisitions as well simply because the expertise the Advisor had made his role much simpler and the process more streamlined. Find out more on this episode.


What are the funding options for acquiring another company?


Jim and Jason asked that question of Tom Hilaris in this episode and his answer came from his experience in leading his company in 2 acquisitions. He says that owner financing is obviously the best deal if you can make it work, but most owners who are trying to sell are wanting out of the situation entirely and aren’t open to carrying the financing. They want to take the cash from the sale and leave. That means that other types of financing will be required and Tom found that the tight formulas used by the larger banks made it impossible for his smaller manufacturing company to get financed with them. He wound up going with a smaller bank that took other things into consideration. Find out what options might exist for your situation by listening to Tom’s advice on this episode.


Hear the 3 fundamental things to consider when looking at a possible acquisition.


The lessons we learn from experience are often the best ones, and Tom Hilaris shares 3 important things to keep in mind when you’re considering the acquisition of another company. First, he cautions that you make sure you have the right motives for making the move, second, that you figure in at least 3% more than the costs that show on paper for related expenses, and third, take into account the cultural impact the acquisition will have on your employees and the employees of the incoming company. Hear more hard-learned wisdom from Tom on this episode of Making Chips!

Outline of this episode


  • [1:17] Extended promotion of from Thyssen Krupp (sponsor). Get your 15% discount by using the code CHIPS2 (through September 2015)

  • [3:12] Business news: Acquiring a new business as part of your current business?

  • [5:17] Introduction of our Guest: Tom Hilaris, CEO of Ergoseal.

  • [6:16] Tom’s recent experience acquiring companies to add to his present company.

  • [7:12] The motivations involved in buying and selling companies.

  • [8:29] The steps Tom took to begin acquiring companies and how they navigated the journey.

  • [9:34] What is an acquisitions advisor? How does his role help in the process of acquiring a company?

  • [11:24] Gaining a product line through an acquisition - the benefits Tom experienced.

  • [12:31] How gaining the customer list of an acquired company boosted sales, etc.

  • [14:11] Tom’s decision to acquire a second company that was in the same building his company was in.

  • [15:22] How an acquisition could be a good option for older owners who are thinking of liquidating.

  • [15:59] How the advisor helped them determine the costs and projections for the acquisition.

  • [18:09] What is the best approach to finding funding for a company acquisition, and what hurdles or roadblocks might you experience?

  • [21:50] The impact federal regulations have on business financing for acquisitions and growth.

  • [22:47] The 3 fundamentals to consider when thinking about an acquisition of another company.

  • [25:07] Be careful of the overall costs - add 3% to what you see on paper.

  • [27:40] Tom’s plans for further acquisitions.

  • [28:44] Contact Tom Hilaris on LinkedIn.

  • [29:19] Please comment or interact about these issues on the show notes page


Links mentioned in this episode


Connect with Tom Hilaris through his LinkedIn Profile -


Tom’s company - Eergoseal -


Or call us at 312-725-0245


Tweets you can use to tell others about the episode


Benefits of company acquisitions, on this episode of Making Chips


There are more ways to #GrowYourNusiness than adding customers


3 fundamentals to consider when looking to acquire another company


Add 3% to the acquisition costs you have on paper - here’s why


Company culture is a huge consideration when acquiring another company

Sep 2, 2015

In this great part-two episode, Jason and Jim continue their conversation with Sarah Caldicott. Besides being an extremely intelligent student of business and innovation, Sarah is an author and the great grandniece of Thomas Edison. Her study and writing is largely based on her own interest in her famous relative who was not only an amazing inventor, but also a manufacturer in his own right. Listen in to hear tales of Edison’s life and systems and why his contributions to the manufacturing industry continue to impact us today.


Thomas Edison’s “systematic innovation”


Edison had a process that he followed to not only innovate in his own thinking and processes, but to encourage innovation in his employees. It was a different way of thinking which included many aspects, including collaboration, product creation, and looking at issues from a variety of angles. He demonstrated that true innovation comes about by truly getting outside the conventions that exist to approach situations and problems in different ways that provide new solutions to the problem. Listen in as Jim and Jason chat with Edison’s great grandniece, Sarah Caldicott.


“Charismatic optimism” is how Sarah Caldicott (Thomas Edison’s great grandniece) describes his attitude


It’s more than a “rah-rah” mindset that is filled with unrealistic fluff. It’s a “can do” mindset that sees opportunities where others see obstacles. Edison was legendary for that kind of optimism even in the face of incredible difficulty or tragedy. In this episode Sarah shares quite a few instances of how Edison pushed through difficulties to accomplish incredible breakthroughs and turns a corner to help you see how that kind of attitude can become infections in your company, enabling you to accomplish more, innovate to a greater degree, and become more profitable. That’s on this episode, so listen in.


Better educated employees make for a more productive and innovative company


Thomas Edison had a library IN his manufacturing facility that contained over 50,000 volumes. He encouraged his employees to borrow books from the library to read, learn, and grow at all times. His belief was that employees who were growing in their knowledge and in their ability to see and recognize patterns. He believed that individual growth in his employees would make them better employees and enable his company to thrive and innovate even more. Hear the entire story by listening to this episode of Making Chips.


When you assess things, how are you at “engaging other senses?”


Thomas Edison had a summer home in Florida, at which he had a manufacturing facility, garden, and many other atypical things. He loved to get out into the gardens and feel, smell, and experience natural things. He believed natural things could be used as inspiration and even elements of the design itself. As an example, the first filament Edison used in the light bulb was made of bamboo. Listen in to hear Sarah Caldicott’s take on how manufacturing leaders can engage all of their senses in the manufacturing realm, all on this episode.

Outline of this episode


  • [0:58] Do you know what the “L” at the end of a metal designation means? (sponsor)

  • [8:14] Thomas Edison’s “systematic innovation” and what it means for manufacturers today.

  • [10:01] The different way of thinking Edison used and how it integrates with collaborating with others, creating products, etc.

  • [11:43] How Edison’s positive mindset helped him differentiate himself from others in industry.

  • [12:35] How non-product-creating manufacturers can bring innovation to their organization.

  • [14:05] How anticipating a client’s needs is powerful in helping them make the decision to go with your proposal.

  • [15:09] How to move forward in collaborative ways once an order is placed.

  • [16:10] How you can develop your brand with potential customers.

  • [17:00] What is charismatic optimism and how can leaders employ it to be better leaders and business owners.

  • [18:09] How a tragedy in Thomas Edison’s career was turned around to become an opportunity instead of a liability.

  • [19:59] The reason Making Chips exists and how Edison’s story inspires that goal.

  • [20:50] How Thomas Edison encouraged learning in his employees, and why he did it.

  • [22:05] How Jason is following Edison’s model to raise the bar for his employee’s productivity and the company’s success long-term.

  • [23:01] How Edison was a fan of “engaging other senses.”

  • [24:43] Thomas Edison’s experiments with using natural substances for manufacturing.

  • [25:34] How manufacturing leaders should use a notebook as Edison did.

  • [29:38] How to connect with Sarah.


Links mentioned in this episode - Thyssen Krupp’s website - our sponsor.


Midnight Lunch - Sarah’s book


Innovate Like Edison -  Sarah’s other book


Sarah’s website -


Or call us at 312-725-0245


Tweets you can use to tell others about the episode


Learn the #1 way to boot up your mind and become an innovator


What was in Thomas Edison’s notebooks, and how it can help you innovate


Why Thomas Edison encouraged his employees to learn and grow… in this episode


What is charismatic optimism & how can leaders employ it to be better leaders & business owners.

How non-product-creating manufacturers can bring innovation to their organization