Growing a Machine Business While Living 1,400 Miles Away

Episode 48 | Challenges: 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 through your fingers.” - Eric Schmid

In this extended episode of MakingChips, we sit down with brother and sister Eric Schmid and Heidi Schaefer of Schmid Tool and Engineering. Eric and Heidi share their story of how and why they made the decision to work remotely, while still maintaining their respective roles in the company. There were many important decisions that they needed to make along the way in order to ensure a seamless transition. This episode covers a range of topics that can help manufacturing leaders decide if working remotely is the right move for them. Topics include Letting Go of Control, Planning the Transition, Bumps in the Road, Being Accessible, Holding Accountability, and Mastering Fear.

Episode Outline:

  • [0:07] Intro/ Preview
  • [1:34] Manufacturing News
  • [5:00] Welcome Heidi and Eric
  • [6:10] The Roots of Schmid Tool
  • [7:40] Roles in the Business
  • [9:30] Working Remotely
  • [11:40] Letting Go of Control
  • [14:00] Planning the Transition
  • [14:50] Bumps in the Road
  • [17:00] Being Accessible
  • [19:00] How Do You Let Go?
  • [22:30] Cultural Consistencies
  • [24:00] Making the Move
  • [27:20] Management and Leadership
  • [29:20] Steps to Working Remotely
  • [31:25] The Illusion of Control
  • [33:00] Accountability
  • [35:30] Mastering Fear
  • [37:00] Give and Take
  • [38:40] Helping the Owners
  • [40:00] Conclusion

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