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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.