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Our goal is to equip and inspire manufacturing leaders who move the industry forward. Hear from a variety of experts and business leaders about what is working, what is not, and what you can try in your business to reach your strategic goals.

Episode 148 | Leadership, Technology

Guests: Doug Woods

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

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Episode 147 | Leadership, Workforce

Guests: Aneesa Muthana

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

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Episode 146 | Leadership, Growth

Guests: Bob Bechtold

  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

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Episode 145 | Leadership, Growth, Process

Guests: Julie Poulos

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

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Episode 144 | Leadership, Community, Growth

Guests: Matt Guse

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

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Episode 140 | Leadership, Process

Guests: Julie Poulos

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

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How I Use Routine to be a More Effective Leader

Challenges: Leadership, Process

In MakingChips Episode 99, I led a discussion about the importance of new and routine to elevate your life and work. In that episode, Jim and I discussed the theoretical approach to establishing routines in order to bring creativity and productivity to your day. In this article, I am going to explain my routines in detail in order to equip and inspire you to create your own.

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Episode 136 | Leadership

Guests: Stacey Bales

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

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Episode 135 | Leadership

Guests: Patricia Miller

Startup” ]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

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Episode 133 | Leadership, Growth, Process

Guests: Phil Sponsler, David Shirkey

Hello Metalworking Nation! We are excited to bring back Phil and David from Orbitform as we conclude our interview with a detailed discussion on Orbitform’s continuous process improvements. We’ll talk about the steps that your manufacturing business can take to start implementing continuous process improvements. In manufacturing news, we give our take on the newly passed tax reform

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Our favorite restaurants in Chicago

Challenges: Leadership
Published: December 21, 2017 | News

Jim’s five favorite Chicago restaurants:  Bavette’s Topolobampo RPM Italian Bar Siena Coco Pazzo Jason’s ten favorite Chicago restaurants: Amanda Zenger’s Kitchen – not a real restaurant, but the best Thai food in Chicago The Bristol – unique American food and amazing brunch Girl and the Goat – very unique and if you’re going to eat

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Episode 129 | Leadership, Growth, Process

Hello Metalworking Nation and Happy Holidays from all of us at MakingChips! We are happy to be back in our DMDII studio where today we will be expanding upon some similar processes from our last episode. What does your future look like?  Do you have a short, medium, and long-term vision of where you see your company? Jason and

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Episode 128 | Leadership

Hello Metalworking Nation and Happy Thanksgiving from MakingChips! Where do you see your manufacturing business in the next five years? Do you have a vision of your company’s future? On today’s episode, Jim & Jason share 5 Questions that Manufacturing Leaders need to ask themselves right now. In manufacturing news, we talk about a groundbreaking new surgical procedure and

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Episode 124 | Leadership, Community

Guests: Patricia Miller

Hello Metalworking Nation! We are excited to welcome back Patricia Miller – CEO of Matrix 4, to the MakingChips Podcast. On today’s episode we hear about Patricia’s visit to the White House on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers. Patricia was seated directly next to President Trump as the group discussed efforts to boost manufacturing in the

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Episode 123 | Leadership, Workforce

Guests: Rich Hoster

Hello Metalworking Nation! We are coming to you LIVE from the Valley Industrial Association’s Manufacturer’s Collaboration Conference in Sugar Grove, Illinois. On today’s episode of MakingChips, we answer the question: What is a chaplet? – Hint, it’s used in castings. We welcome Rich Hoster, President at Smith and Richardson Inc. Rich takes us through some of the strategies that Smith and Richardson uses to help

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Episode 121 | Leadership

Guests: Stacia Hobson

Hello Metalworking Nation! Today on MakingChips we welcome back Stacia Hobson for the second half of our two part interview. On this episode we’ll hear about how her father reacted to their confrontation. Stacia also shares with us how she was able to take control of the business, what she would do differently in hindsight, how Image Industries

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Episode 120 | Leadership

Guests: Stacia Hobson

Hello Metalworking Nation! On this two part episode of MakingChips, we welcome Stacia Hobson, Co-Owner of Image Industries, Inc to our remote studio at the TMA in Schaumburg, IL. Image Industries offers stud welding solutions for compact construction equipment to service the agricultural and construction markets. They are the industry leaders in manufacturing threaded fasteners &

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Episode 119 | Leadership

Guests: Patricia Miller, Will Scott

Hello Metalworking Nation! Two weeks ago we were joined by Patricia Miller and Will Scott of Matrix 4 as they introduced us to the roles of Visionary and Integrator. Today, we take a deeper dive into those roles as we learn how they have been implemented at Matrix 4. Patricia and Will share the impact that these vital roles

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Episode 117 | Leadership

Guests: Patricia Miller, Will Scott

Hello Metalworking Nation! We are excited to bring back a former guest who’s incredible journey over the last few years has seen her go from an industry “newbie” to a manufacturing “rockstar”. Two years ago we introduced you to Patricia Miller of Matrix 4, who had recently left her career in marketing to take over

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Episode 116 | Leadership

Guests: Nicole Wolter

Hello Metalworking Nation! On today’s episode, we bring you part two of our interview with Nicole Wolter, President of HM Manufacturing. Last week we heard about a dire situation within HM Manufacturing that rocked the family business to it’s core. On this episode, Nicole shares how the company recovered, implementing new procedures and processes to help lift HM

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Episode 115 | Leadership

Guests: Nicole Wolter

11Hello Metalworking Nation and greetings from our studio at the DMDII in Goose Island, Chicago.  On this two part episode of MakingChips, we welcome back Nicole Wolter, President of HM Manufacturing Company. Nicole shares the captivating story of HM Manufacturing, a company that began with her father’s passion for F1 racing. The downturn of the economy in 2008 proved

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Episode 112 | Leadership

In business, we all know things don’t always go the way they’re supposed to. Shipments become delayed, orders aren’t finished on time, and plans can change in an instant. Sometimes you can’t keep up with your end of the transaction. So what is the appropriate way to respond to these unfortunate occasions, even if they’re

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Episode 108 | Leadership, Workforce

Hello Metalworking Nation! We are excited to be coming to you from our brand new studio at the DMDII in Goose Island, Chicago. On this episode of MakingChips, Jim and Jason talk about overtime in the manufacturing industry. Should workers count on it as a guarantee; or should it be considered a special privilege? We

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Episode 106 | Leadership, Process

Guests: Andrea Olson

Hello Metalworking Nation! We are thrilled to bring in a very special guest this week; someone who we truly believe can help elevate your leadership to the next level. Today we welcome Andrea Olson, founder and CEO of Prag’madik. Prag’madik  works with technology companies, industrial manufacturers, and professional service companies that are facing challenges to growth, and looking to

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Episode 103 | Leadership

Guests: Tom Carmazzi

Hello Metalworking Nation! We are back in Burr Ridge, IL — headquarters of the Tuthill Corporation for Part 2 of our interview with CEO Tom Carmazzi. “It’s the foundation of our success and it’s something we require of each other no matter what our role or what day it happens to be.” -Tuthill (Four Sticks) Tom shares with us

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Episode 102 | Leadership

Guests: Tom Carmazzi

Hello Metalworking Nation! We are coming to you from Burr Ridge, IL — headquarters of the Tuthill Corporation where we welcome CEO Tom Carmazzi to the MakingChips Podcast. Tuthill Corporation, established in 1892, has been manufacturing pumps, meters, vacuum systems, and blowers for use in a variety of foundational markets including agriculture, construction, chemical, water &

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Business Succession Plan

Challenges: Leadership, Workforce

One sensitive issue for midsize companies, particularly family-owned businesses, is succession. How does one generation pass on control to the next? Business succession planning is difficult to begin with, which is why so many people avoid doing it at all.

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Episode 100 | Leadership, Workforce, Community, Technology

Guests: Brian Panek, Jess Giudici, Bill Downey, Tom Simeone

Hello, Metalworking Nation! Today is an exciting day in the history of MakingChips as we release the highly anticipated Episode 100! We are coming to you live from the Technology & Manufacturing Association in Chicago, IL where we have assembled a round table panel of some of the most progressive manufacturing leaders in the Chicagoland

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Episode 98 | Leadership

Guests: Paul Van Metre

Hello Metalworking Nation! Today we are excited to bring you another story that we hope will equip and inspire the younger generation of manufacturing leaders. Flying all the way in from Washington State, we are joined by Paul Van Metre, Co-Founder and VP Marketing of Adion Systems, an ERP-based software solutions company. Paul shares with us his success

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Episode 89 | Leadership

Series: IMTS Live - 2016 Guests: Scott Gasich

Hello Metalworking Nation! Today on MakingChips, we speak with Scott Gasich, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Haas Automation. Haas Automation is an American machine tool builder that designs and manufactures precision machine tools and specialized accessory tooling. Haas is one of the largest machine tool builders in the world by total unit volume. Starting with company culture, Scott gives

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Episode 88 | Leadership

Series: IMTS Live - 2016 Guests: Nicole Wolter

On this episode of MakingChips, we welcome Nicole Wolter, Vice-President of H.M. Manufacturing to the show. H.M. Manufacturing is a family-owned, gear and pulley manufacturing facility in Chicago that specializes in Custom/Standard Pulleys, Gears, Sheaves, Shafts and Pulley Stock. Today’s topics of discussion include Nicole’s rebranding of H.M. Manufacturing, ingenuity & innovation in machine technology, and shopping

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Episode 87 | Leadership, Technology

Series: IMTS Live - 2016 Guests: Ray Ziganto

On today’s episode of MakingChips, we welcome back our good friend Ray Ziganto, President of Bi-Link, to the show. Bi-Link is a global mechanical component supplier that specializes in Stamping, Injection Molding, Die Cut, EMI/RFI Shielding, and  Assembly. Today’s topics of discussion include advancements in manufacturing technology, 3D measurement systems & scanners, and IMTS “Orphans”. Later on

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Episode 80 | Leadership

Today on MakingChips, we answer a question from a listener and aspiring manufacturing leader named Doug. Doug asks the question: “Not being a manager yet, what can I do to promote a positive culture/work environment at work?” Jim and Jason share their respective opinions on the matter. In Manufacturing News, we talk about concerns over rising wages

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Episode 77 | Leadership, Process

Where are you going? Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing (your mission), where you’re trying to go (your vision), and how you’re going to go about it (your values) are the glue that holds an organization together. On this episode of MakingChips, Jim and Jason dive into the subject of corporate vision. Notably, the

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Episode 76 | Leadership, Process

On this episode of MakingChips, we welcome to the show Bill Angsten, co-founder of Compass Automation. Compass Automation designs and builds custom equipment to automate manufacturing processes. Bill talks with us about how he started the company, what Compass Automation does differently, maintaining a strong company culture, and marketing yourself differently. In manufacturing news, we talk

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Episode 75 | Leadership, Process

It is not unusual for multiple members of a family to work at the same business.  However, such situations can be troublesome if the relationships give rise to suspicions of favoritism or unfair treatment. We see this a lot in family business, government, everywhere.  After all, it’s in our human nature to help those we love and

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Episode 70 | Leadership

Today on MakingChips: We welcome a very special VIP guest to our show,  Sean Holt – President for the Americas at Sandvik Coromant. Sean has more than twenty years of engineering, business development and management experience. He is currently responsible for Sandvik Coromant’s organization in North and South America. Sean shares his background with us, his history with

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Episode 62 | Leadership, Process

Throughout history, successful individuals such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison all met with groups of like-minded people on a regular basis, to help one another achieve common goals and grow. Today, this concept is called a “mastermind”, and is very well known amongst successful business owners.  In fact, many consider some concept of

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Episode 61 | Leadership, Process

We come to you from two separate locations (Dallas & Chicago) on this remote episode of MakingChips. Today we talk about establishing and exploring your manufacturing company’s niche. Jim and Jason share their idea of what niche means to them in their respective companies. In Manufacturing News we discuss Five Vital Steps to Set Up a

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Episode 60 | Leadership, Workforce, Technology

On this special episode of MakingChips, we recap the 2016 Crain’s Manufacturers Summit with interviews from several VIP guests. First, we speak with John Sapiente of Elgin Die Mold and Trident Manufacturing about the challenges of running two businesses. Second, we have Jason Scher of Vosges Chocolate who speaks to us about working with your spouse, and the evolution of Vosges

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Episode 59 | Leadership

Women are the future of manufacturing industry leaders and essential to the success of the industry. However, many women in manufacturing have experienced a gender bias which has excluded them from core managerial roles such as production supervisors and operations managers. Compounding the issue, many people think of manufacturing jobs as dirty, unskilled, back-breaking labor. That’s not

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Episode 53 | Leadership

For many manufacturing leaders, the idea of delegating tasks can cause a feeling of uneasiness. Maybe you think you’ve got everything under control, or that things always have to be done your way. In reality, doing everything yourself is simply impossible, and can cause you unnecessary stress. To be an effective leader you must be

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Episode 50 | Leadership, Workforce, Community, Growth, Process, Technology

This is MakingChips Episode 50! In this episode of MakingChips, Jim and Jason recap some of their favorite episodes and interviews from the last year. This episode highlights the story behind MakingChips, as Jim and Jason share their experiences from the beginning to where they are today. “Jason and I really want to thank each

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Episode 49 | Leadership

Guests: Peter Zelinski

What makes a good leader? Leadership is the single most important factor in the success or failure of any business. Great leaders use their leadership traits to motivate, inspire, and build high performance teams around them. The role of an innovative leader greatly differs from the conventional image that many people hold of good leadership.

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Episode 48 | Leadership

Guests: Eric Schmid, Heidi Schmid

The thought of leaving your machine shop for even a few hours can be enough to cause anxiety for many manufacturing leaders, so it may seem impossible to imagine running your business from halfway across the country. “To make manufacturing work, to make money, you feel like you have to grab it so hard it slips

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Episode 47 | Leadership

Guests: Craig Zoberis

Last week on MakingChips, we sat down with Craig Zoberis of Fusion OEM for the first half of a two part interview. This week, we cover a range of topics relating to a company’s Core Values. In part two of this episode, Craig shares with us his set of Core Values that define his company while guiding his team member’s

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Episode 46 | Leadership

Guests: Craig Zoberis

In the modern business era, we consistently hear the terms “core values” and “company culture”. Among many other business terms, we have integrated these words into our everyday language. But what are company core values and why are they so important? In this two part episode of MakingChips, Jim and Jason sit down with Craig

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Episode 42 | Leadership, Community

Chambers of commerce have been around for a very long time. The very first recorded mention of a chamber of commerce was in Marseille, France in 1599. Trade associations have an equally long history with Associations finding their roots in organizations such as the church, medieval craft guilds, and merchant trading groups. Both groups still

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Episode 39 | Leadership

Guests: Michelle Mabry

  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 and Jason’s participation on a panel at DMDII discussing smart manufacturing, and Jason’s journey in working through

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Episode 38 | Leadership, Process

Guests: Tom Hilaris

Welcome to Episode 38 of the MakingChips podcast.  In this episode Jason Zenger and Jim Carr discuss growth through acquisitions in the manufacturing industry with Tom Hilaris of Ergoseal. Outline of this episode [1:17] Extended promotion of www.OnlineMetals.com from Thyssen Krupp (sponsor). Get your 15% discount by using the code CHIPS2 (through September 2015) [3:12] Business

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Episode 32 | Leadership, Process

Guests: Karla Dobbeck

Why are employee annual reviews a bad idea? It’s not the idea of having a meeting with employees that’s a bad idea, it’s the verbiage we use to describe what is happening. An “annual review” or “evaluation” has a top-down implication that puts the employee in a helpless and often defensive posture. They are going

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Episode 30 | Leadership, Process

Guests: Karla Dobbeck

Every employer has to deal with the complex issues that are a part of employment law in the modern age. But they also have to run a shop that is well-tuned and efficient. Too often those two responsibilities conflict in ways that they don’t expect. In this episode of Making Chips, Jason and Jim are

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Episode 28 | Leadership

Guests: Patricia Miller

We introduced you to Patricia Miller of Matrix IV back in episode 26 and in today’s episode we’re going to do a deeper dive into the challenges and victories Patricia has faced as she’s taken over the reigns of her family’s ailing manufacturing company. The insights she shares as a former marketer from the biotech

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Episode 26 | Leadership

Guests: Patricia Miller

They still said, “You’re crazy… but there were positive things.” That’s what Patricia Miller’s professional associates told her when she started investigating the possibility of taking over her family business after she’d already pursued and been successful at a career that included marketing, corporate leadership, and politics. Put yourself in her shoes and you’ll probably

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Episode 22 | Leadership, Growth

Guests: Julie Poulos, Ray Ziganto

Manufacturing leaders know what they do because they do it every day. But how do you communicate your areas of specialty and expertise in a concise, powerful way so that your prospective clients are able to get it right off? That’s what a corporate snapshot is for. In this episode of Making Chips, Jim and Jason

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Episode 18 | Leadership, Community

Guests: Ray Ziganto

In this episode, we interview Ray Ziganto, who created a new concept called “The Hardware Store” for reaching his customers by being innovative, thinking outside the box and finding the Alpha Engineer. Your first place is your home. Your second place is the workplace. The “third place” is another location that connects you into a

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Episode 16 | Leadership, Workforce, Community

Guests: Ray Ziganto, Dave Szczupak, Jim Schultz, Cary Wood, David Boulay

In this episode we pack 5 VIP guests into one MakingChips episode.  We start with Ray Ziganto, President of Bi-Link, a global manufacturing company with 1,500 employees, sharing his take-aways from the Crain’s Manufacturing Summit.  We want you to ask yourself these 3 questions: Are you on the “leading-edge”? Are you re-thinking the education of your workforce? Are you

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Episode 13 | Leadership

Guests: Fernando Ortiz

In this episode, we interview Fernando Ortiz about his inspiring rise from driver to managing Roberts Swiss, a 60 year old manufacturer of Precision Swiss Machined Parts.  Fernando gives actionable advise to others who are not born into privilege and do not have a lot of resources, but desire to seek advancement starting from the ground floor. Fernando

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Episode 12 | Leadership, Process

Guests: Aaron Wiegel

When should the owners of a business start succession planning?  NOW! Successful business succession was a vital move for the overall success of Wiegel Tool Works.  Aaron’s advise is that you can never start the planning process too early.  Marty Wiegel started thinking about succession planning for Erica, Aaron and Ryan while in his 50’s. Aaaron suggests that unsuccessful

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Episode 10 | Leadership, Community

Who is in your network?  In this episode, we discuss the power of networking and how to properly cultivate relationships within the Metalworking Nation. Why is networking important?  For Jim and I, our network is composed of peers who share best practices, support each other, make sales referrals AND enjoy spending time together. SPONSOR: Join

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Episode 3 | Leadership, Workforce

Welcome to Episode 3 of the MakingChips podcast. In this third episode, we will give you 7 points to consider BEFORE a recession hits the manufacturing industry. This episode is about tactics for manufacturing companies WHEN the recession hits. That’s right, I said WHEN, not IF. If there is one thing that nobody understands, it’s

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