What separates successful shops from unsuccessful ones? The people. As a leader, taking care of your people is paramount. So how do you manage and lead your people better? By following the Golden Rule. How do you apply the “Golden Rule” in business? Mike Ruge—the Integrator and Experience Director at ZENGERS—shares what that looks like and it can transform your business in this episode of MakingChips. Because if you aren’t taking care of your people, they won’t be MakingChips and if they’re not MakingChips, you’re not making money. BAM!
How do you select the right ERP for your business? What should the implementation process look like? What are some mistakes you must absolutely avoid making? In this episode of MakingChips, Paul Van Metre shares some of the lessons he’s learned from failed ERP implementations. Because if you’re not MakingChips, you’re not making money. BAM!
Why do you need to create video content, both for recruiting team members and bringing in new business? How do you get started when you don’t have the budget to hire a production company? Casey Voelker and Matthew Nix share what you can do to kickstart video marketing for your shop—and why it’s incredibly important—in this episode of MakingChips! Because if you aren’t Making videos, you’re losing out on money. BAM!
What is FabTech? Why should anyone in welding, fabrication, metal forming, or finishing attend FabTech? They not only hold seminars and have booths and exhibitors to visit. You won’t only learn about trends in technology and meet with potential suppliers. Most importantly, you’ll be able to network. In this episode of MakingSparks recorded live at FabTech 2023, we interview a couple of people we met at FabTech whose careers were positively impacted because they showed up. Don’t miss it.
– Matthew Nix
Recruiting in manufacturing can be difficult. Many students are taught the traditional “Graduate high school and go to college for four years” mentality. While there’s nothing wrong with taking that route, how do we capture the attention of young talent? How do we make them see the career trajectory available in welding or fabrication? Lindsey Nix and Angela Kirlin share some actionable tactics and strategies in this episode of MakingSparks!
– Matthew Nix
Most mom-and-pop shops don’t have to worry about recruiting, hiring, and retaining talent until they decide they want to grow. When you find yourself needing to recruit and hire talent, where do you start? Start with your core values. Your company needs core values and a clear mission and vision to hire the right people, build the right culture, and retain your team long-term. Lindsey Nix and Angela Kirlin weigh in on what it takes to recruit top talent in this episode of MakingSparks.
MakingSparks has officially arrived! Matthew Nix and I, Casey Voelker, are here to speak to the welding and fabrication industry. And just like MakingChips, we want to equip and inspire while attracting the next generation. Everyone will have some takeaways from MakingSparks.
In this episode, Matthew shares more about Nix Companies and their explosive growth over the last 20 years. We’ll also cover what you can expect from MakingSparks, who should listen, and give you a sneak peek at our next episode.
Are you in welding or fabrication? Are you a long-time listener of MakingChips who’s just been waiting for content that speaks directly to you? The wait is over. In this episode of MakingChips, Casey Voelker and Matthew Nix join us to introduce a brand new addition to the MakingChips lineup: MakingSparks. Casey and Matthew will be hosting the show that will bring even more industry voices to the mic. Tune in to this episode to learn exactly what to expect from this new podcast! Because if you’re not MakingSparks, you’re not making money. BAM!
You’ve found your acquisition target. They’ve committed to selling you the business. Now the real work begins. It’s time for due diligence. Where does due diligence start? What factors should you consider? How do you build a checklist?
Jason, Nick, Adam Schmitt, and I tackle due diligence in this episode of MakingChips. Because if you’re not doing due diligence, you may miss important factors that will impact your ability to make chips. And if you’re not MakingChips, you’re not making money. BAM!
– Matthew Nix
How do you increase your capacity, make more chips, and bring on new clients without buying a new machine or pitching yourself to a single end user? Buying a company. Acquisitions are a large part of how we’ve all built our companies. But how do you start acquiring companies? Why would you want to?
In this episode of MakingChips, Adam Schmitt—the Managing Partner of ProFab Alliance—joins Jason, Nick, and I (Matthew Nix) to dive into the starting point of acquisitions. Because if you’re not making acquisitions, you’re not MakingChips, and if you’re not MakingChips, you’re not making money. BAM!
– Matthew Nix
Once you’ve implemented lean manufacturing, how do you sustain a lean culture? How do you motivate your team to focus on continuous improvement? How do you inspire them to keep reaching and passing their goals?
In this episode of MakingChips—part 2 of a live panel discussion at TSMA with special guests Doug Bawel, Femi D-Etti, and Jake Ward—we dive into what it takes to maintain a lean culture. It can be so easy to fall back into old patterns but it’s important to stay the course.
Because if you can’t sustain a lean culture, you won’t be MakingChips efficiently, and if you’re not MakingChips, you’re not making money. BAM!
What is your definition of lean manufacturing? One definition of lean is “Maximizing the flow of value through your business to your customer.” We all want our business to be customer-centric, right? It’s a given that we all want to reduce waste and improve efficiency.
But how do you do that? On this episode of MakingChips, we recorded a live panel discussion at TSMA with special guests Doug Bawel, Femi D-Etti, and Jake Ward. Each of them shares how they’re finding unique ways to build a lean culture through strategic leadership.
Because if you’re not implementing a lean culture, you’re not MakingChips efficiently, and if you’re not MakingChips, you’re not making money. BAM!
What is going on with the economy? We’re all feeling a slowdown in the manufacturing industry. So what gives? What happens in the economy can be directly impacted by politics. It can be impacted by war. It can be impacted by interest rates and the rising costs of consumer goods.
Nicole Wolter—the President and CEO of HM Manufacturing—joins us again to dissect what we see happening with the economy and what you can do to start marking more chips. Because if you aren’t MakingChips, you aren’t making money. BAM!
Today’s controversial topic: What is a woman…in manufacturing? We need to inspire the next generation of women to pursue a career path in manufacturing. But is the “sex sells” movement killing any chance of that? I’m Nicole Wolter—the President and CEO of HM Manufacturing. In this episode of MakingChips, I share how we can attract more women to manufacturing. Because if you’re not making chips, you’re not making money. BAM! Segments
Many companies strive to move toward digital transformation. Some struggle with the process. Others—like JJR Fabrication—see remarkable results. They’ve seen enormous efficiency and throughput improvements by embracing digital workflows while ensuring the physical side of their shop is in full alignment.
This includes doing things like lean manufacturing work, Kaizen activities, and really embracing the ProShop way of doing things. Kevin Richards and Lynne DuBose from JJR Fabrication join us in this episode of MakingChips to share how their leap toward a digital transformation was a game-changer for their business.
Because if you’re not being efficient, you’re not making chips, and if you’re not making chips, you’re not making money. BAM!
– Paul Van Metre
How do you grow a business while raising a family? When you and your spouse are business partners, how do you choose what to prioritize and when? Matthew and Lindsey Nix have been navigating this challenging road together for years.
In the second part of a two-part episode (check out episode #1 first), Matthew and Lindsey share some of the lessons they’ve learned about leadership and family life. Because if you aren’t making chips, you aren’t making money—and you aren’t providing for your family. BAM!
What is it like to be married to your business partner? Especially when both people are very involved in the business. The metalworking industry is dominated by family-owned businesses. I’d love to see more husbands and wives team up to grow manufacturing together. In the next two episodes of MakingChips, special guests Lindsey and Matthew Nix share what it’s like to grow a business as a united front. Because if you aren’t making chips together, you aren’t making money. BAM!
Are you embracing automation in your shop? Or are you hesitating because you’re unsure how to implement it so that you’re making the best use of your time and money? Brian Kippen—the owner and CEO of KAD Models & Prototypes—reframes how you can use automation.
In this episode of MakingChips, Brian Kippen, Steve DeGrasse, and I share how you can approach automation from a different perspective. Because if you’re not automating efficiently, you’re not MakingChips, and if you’re not MakingChips, you’re not making money. BAM!
I created a campaign to build awareness for machinists. Why? Because, sadly, the general public knows very little about manufacturing. They don’t look around them and see what we see: That almost everything is machined.
So in this episode of MakingChips, I’ll share a few ways you can highlight manufacturing in your communities. It’s not just to build awareness but to also grow interest in manufacturing in the next generation. Because what would happen if no one was MakingChips?
– Paul Van Metre
Paul Van Metre is no stranger to MakingChips, and we’ve shared his story before. But this time, we’re looking at it through a whole new lens. Paul and his partners started in the industry running a machine shop. Then, it morphed into a software company: ProShop. What started as a solution to their problems became a solution for thousands of businesses.
How has ProShop become a game-changing ERP? How are they growing and supporting the industry at large? Find out in this episode of MakingChips. Because if you’re not making an impact, you’re not MakingChips. And if you’re not MakingChips, you’re not making money. BAM!
How do you create and cultivate a manufacturing leadership mindset? What can you do to recharge? How do you take care of yourself so you can take care of your team? How do you unify your team toward a shared goal? Special guests Eric Nekich 5th Axis® Workholding, Michael Gaunce with SCHUNK USA, and Kaleb Mertz with AME help me tackle these questions in this special round-table episode of MakingChips. Because if you aren’t leading your team well, they won’t be productively making chips, and they won’t be making money. BAM!
What is the most impactful factor that helps machine tool distributors sell tools? Is it the quality of the tools themselves? Is it the skill of the salesperson? Is it the service that the distributor can offer? Tony Harrod—General Manager at Methods Machine Tools, Inc.—believes that one of these things sets you apart: Service: But is the answer really that simple? If you aren’t providing quality service, will you be making fewer chips, and making less money? Find out in this episode of MakingChips!
In this special Bonus Chips episode of MakingChips, we’re guests on Chris Luecke’s podcast, Manufacturing Happy Hour. Of all the manufacturing podcasts, we both double down on leadership topics. So in this episode, we seek to tackle one question: What does it mean to be a manufacturing leader? Tune in to hear what it takes to lead. Because if you’re not leading your team, they won’t be making chips, and if they’re not making chips, you’re not making money. BAM!
In 2018, the US Government set a standard for cybersecurity, so anyone in any industry that touched the US government had to meet the requirement—but it wasn’t happening. Now, CMMC is coming out and you will be audited. So what is CMMC? Does your shop need it? How can ProShop ERP help you accelerate the adoption of the different security standards? We cover it all in this episode of MakingChips. Because if you’re dealing with a security breach, you aren’t making chips, and if you aren’t making chips, you aren’t making money. BAM!
There is a widening disparity in the manufacturing industry: Insanely busy shops and shops that are barely treading water. In any business, there will always be companies that thrive and grow and those that don’t. But successful shops are doing something differently. In this episode of MakingChips, Kelsey Heikoop shares four things you can do differently to get more business and make more chips. Because if you’re not MakingChips, you’re not making money. BAM!
– Paul Van Metre