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Whether it’s increasing productivity, streamlining operations, or facilitating innovation, the right processes are critical to your business’s success.

Episode 158 | Leadership, Growth, Process

Guests: Rob Sattler

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.

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Episode 156 | Growth, Process

Guests: Paul Van Metre, Ryan Carr

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

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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 141 | Workforce, Process, Technology

Guests: Mike Polizzi

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shutter their doors every day, not because they aren’t providing a valuable service, but because they have an outdated business plan.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

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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 137 | Process, Technology

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

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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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Episode 131 | Growth, Process

Guests: Phil Sponsler, David Shirkey

Hello Metalworking Nation! On today’s episode, we welcome two very special guests from Orbitform to the MakingChips Podcast. We are pleased to welcome Phil Sponsler (President of Orbitform) and David Shirkey (Manager of Strategic Initiatives). Orbitform (Jackson, Michigan) manufacturers custom assembly machines and assembly systems to customers and industries around the world. Phil and David tell us the

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Episode 130 | Process, Technology

Hello Metalworking Nation! We are coming to you from our studio at the DMDII in Goose Island, Illinois. On today’s episode, we continue to have a dialogue about what you can do to prepare your manufacturing business for the future. Jim and Jason talk about how future technologies will impact their respective businesses as they build on

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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 125 | Workforce, Process

Guests: Bill Strauss

Hello Metalworking Nation! We are pleased to welcome back by popular demand, Bill Strauss – Senior Economist and Economic Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. On today’s episode Bill shares his professional insight on several different topics relating to manufacturing and the global economy. We’ll hear about manufacturing’s economic performance in the U.S., the potential

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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 99 | Process

Hello Metalworking Nation! After a short break, we are so excited to be back in the MakingChips studio. On today’s episode we’ll discuss the importance of creating routine processes in order to take you and your business to the next level. “Anyone that’s a manufacturing leader knows… When you own a business that consumes you 24/7 ..

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Episode 93 | Process

Hello Metalworking Nation! We welcome you to another episode of MakingChips. On today’s episode, we share some tips that will help you stay productive and battle distractions. From resisting the temptation of checking email first thing in the morning to minimizing distractions in the workplace, we’ll give you some guidance on ways to avoid being unproductive. In Manufacturing News, we discuss

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Episode 92 | Process

Hello Metalworking Nation, we are excited to be back in our MakingChips Studio! On this episode of MakingChips, we dive into the 5S Methodology and how it’s implementation can help your business improve it’s productivity. The five key steps, just like its name suggests, all start with letter S.5S is the name of a workplace

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Episode 91 | Process, Technology

Guests: Paul Ricard

Hello Metalworking Nation! On this episode of MakingChips, we sit down with Paul Ricard, Co-Founder, Co-Owner and President of DP Technology Corp. Paul has nearly 35 years of experience in the CAM industry in managing sales and marketing, application engineering and customer support as well as product design and software development. Paul’s passion in manufacturing has helped DP Technology

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Episode 82 | Process

Series: IMTS Live - 2016 Guests: Noah Goellner, Nick Goellner

Welcome to another special edition of MakingChips! On this episode, we meet with Nick Goellner and his brother Noah at the IMTS 2016 TV studio. Nick works as the Marketing Director at Hennig and AME. Hennig designs and produces custom machine protection and chip/coolant management products for state-of-the-art machine tools. We talk about how Nick and Noah got involved

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Episode 81 | Process, Technology

Series: IMTS Live - 2016 Guests: Jason Harrelson

This week: We are coming to you live from IMTS 2016! On this special episode of MakingChips, we welcome Jason Harrelson, founder of Harrelson Trumpets to our IMTS TV studio. Harrelson Trumpets is a leading manufacturer of world class trumpets and accessories. Jason talks about how he got started building custom made trumpets, the process and

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Episode 78 | Process

Guests: Karla Dobbeck

On this episode of MakingChips, we welcome back Karla Dobbeck to the show. Karla is a certified professional in Human Resource Management with over 20 years experience in many aspects of human resource management and employment law compliance issues. Karla shares some tips and tricks to help machinists elevate their resume to the next level. In manufacturing news,

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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 72 | Process

On part 2 of this episode of MakingChips, we continue our discussion with Bill Strauss, Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Topics discussed in this episode include the world economy, energy prices and their impact on manufacturing, borrowing and loans, education, growth rate, future economic trends, and the millennial generation. Episode Structure:

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Episode 71 | Process

On part 1 of this 2 part episode, we have a conversation with Bill Strauss. Bill is a senior economist and economic advisor in the economic research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. His research papers include analysis of the manufacturing sector, the automotive sector, the Midwest regional economy, the trade-weighted dollar, business cycles

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Episode 69 | Process

We’re all familiar with Murphy’s Law; “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. We’ve talked about this extensively in a previous MakingChips episode on crisis management, but what can you do to make sure that your manufacturing company is covered in the event that something goes wrong? “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of

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Episode 68 | Process, Technology

Today on MakingChips: We are coming to you from the Sandvik Coromant Headquarters located in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. On this episode, we have a conversation with special guest Troy Stashi, Industry & Application Specialist in Automotive/Milling at Sandvik Coromant. Troy shares his expertise on several different topics including milling, efficiency, and trends in machining. In manufacturing news, we talk about HP’s

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Episode 65 | Process

There are several options when it comes to selling one of your old machines. Some are more convenient than others, but might offer you less money than what you expected. With a little bit of added effort, you can get the most money out of your old machine. On this episode of MakingChips, Jim shares his steps for creating

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Episode 63 | Process

There is an old saying: “Expect the best, prepare for the worst.” It’s not something we want to think about, and it can be a difficult topic to discuss. Crises don’t happen very often, but when they do occur, they tend to have significant consequences. Without a well-thought out, strategic plan, your business is at

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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 58 | Process

A few months ago, we met with Craig Zoberis of Fusion OEM to talk about his company’s Core Values. In that episode, we covered the importance of figuring out who you are as a company and what you stand for.  More than anything, being a leader is about staying true to the values and principles that you have built your company on. Leadership

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Episode 55 | Process, Technology

Guests: Elena Valentine

An important part of what makes a manufacturing leader successful is their ability to think outside of the box. This line of thinking should also extend to the hiring process. Successful companies are good at bringing the right people into their team, but it isn’t always so easy. What if you had the ability to see candidates

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Episode 54 | Process, Technology

Guests: Elena Valentine

Finding the right person for your company is crucial for building a thriving business. When recruiting for open positions, employers look for candidates with the skills, experience, and demeanor they believe will benefit their company. That said, it isn’t always easy to identify candidates who understand the needs and expectations of the job. What can

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Episode 51 | Process, Technology

Some people think additive manufacturing will radically change the face of manufacturing. Although it is still a relatively new technology, additive manufacturing (also referred to as 3D Printing) has caused quite the buzz in the manufacturing community. Will additive manufacturing eventually become the way of the future, or has it’s usefulness been overhyped? “Additive can not do

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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 44 | Process

Episode 44 of MakingChips is inspired by Matthew Feight of Miller Welding.  He writes: I should start by saying that I am a Plant Manager for contract manufacturer in central Pennsylvania. We have approximately 400 employees within our 3 locations and are a contract manufacturer of fabricated metal products with capabilities in cutting, bending, welding,

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Episode 43 | Process, Technology

Guests: Jon Berard

Get out your scuba gear, we’re taking a deep dive today! In this episode of Making Chips Jason and Jim are with a guest, Jon Berard who has a ton of experience in the research and implementation of ERP (Enterprise Resource Management) systems in manufacturing businesses. Jon’s got a lot of actionable advice for both

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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 33 | Process

The nature of things in the manufacturing industry has changed. Gone are the days when a physical filing system will adequately contain all the documents and resources you need to help your company thrive. The technology era is here and the manufacturing leaders of the future will be the ones who are able to stay

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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 29 | Process

Today’s episode of Making Chips features a listener question. You can leave your question for Jim and Jason to answer by going to www.MakingChips.com to leave your question. They just might answer it on an upcoming podcast episode. Today’s question has to do with costing out a job. Is there a standard formula or way

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Episode 23 | Process

Every now and then we like to go to square one to discuss some fundamental issues surrounding the work done in the average machine shop. This episode is one of those episodes. Jim and Jason are talking SFPM – Surface Feet Per Minute in this episode. If you don’t understand what SFPM is, or if

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Episode 20 | Process, Technology

Does your machining company need a vending system? This is a hot topic edition where Jim is asking Jason about vending systems.  You may have the impression that vending machines are just for large manufacturing companies, but is that true? You’re going to find out that and a ton more about vending systems in this episode of

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Episode 17 | Process

Guests: Michael Magliano

In this episode, we interview Michael Magliano, an industrial real estate broker from Cushman & Wakefield, about strategies for buying, selling and leasing industrial real estate. Disclaimer: This episode is just over 37 minutes, which is longer than our typical 20-25 minute podcast. Please let us know whether you think we should stick to 20-25 minutes

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Episode 15 | Process, Technology

Guests: Matt Sump

What are the 3 most important actions that manufacturers can take now to improve their utilization of Computer-Aided Manufacturing?  In this episode, we interview Matt Sump with ShopWare to discuss CAM Software and Dynamic Machining.  Jim answers the question: If you put 10 machinist in a shop and gave them a piece of material and

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Episode 14 | Process

In this episode, Jim and I discuss how grant money can help to expand your manufacturing business.  We specifically discuss the Federal TAAF (Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms) Grant that Jim was awarded and the process that he went through to receive the money. MakingChips.com/TAAF In our Manufacturing News segment, we discuss an article in the LA Times

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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 6 | Process

Are international standards important for your company or your partners?  In this sixth episode, Jim and I discuss ISO and the impact of ISO on his company.  We discuss the specific standards of ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) & OHSAS 18001 (Health & Safety). Fun Facts: ISO, the International Organization of Standards, has 3 official languages (English,

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