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Explore articles below on some of the biggest challenges and opportunities in the manufacturing industry today.

5 Time-Saving Tips for Manufacturing Leaders

Published On: May 18, 2022 12:00:00 PM

After a full work week and four back-to-back business dinners, I was exhausted. I questioned how anyone could handle a schedule like that. It prompted me to think about the importance of time management, which we tackle in episode #313 of MakingChips. Here are five things you can do to better manage your life so you don’t find yourself a complete zombie by the end of every week: 

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7 Life Lessons from the Movie: King Richard

Published On: May 11, 2022 12:00:00 PM

The movie, “King Richard,” shares how Richard Williams coached his daughters, Venus and Serena, to become the greatest female tennis players in history. It’s an unusual story that changed the trajectory of everyone’s lives. I wanted to share the takeaways I learned throughout the movie that can be applied to manufacturing businesses and leaders. 

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4 Ways to Gain Knowledge from Your Expert Employees Before They Retire

Published On: Apr 29, 2022 12:00:00 PM

Jason was surprised when his dad retired. He showed up and served clients every single day. He never thought he’d retire. Jason even offered him a job doing outside sales, solely paid on commission and he hasn’t taken the bait. He’s fully retired. But before he retired, Jason tried to pick his dad’s brain to learn everything he could.  The median age of machinists is 45. Shops need to aim to hire...

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How Gaming Leads to Skilled Machinists

Published On: Apr 20, 2022 12:00:00 PM

Steve Courchane got his start in manufacturing when his best friend—an office manager at a machine shop—got him a job. Steve quickly realized that programming and machining could become his career. At the time, the shop he worked at couldn’t add another programmer. But Steve kept his ear to the ground.  He found out they needed to upgrade their software. Before they purchased it, Steve bought the...

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A Three-Pronged Strategy for Scaling Your Business

Published On: Apr 13, 2022 12:00:00 PM

Matthew Nix’s great great grandfather emigrated from Germany in the 1880s and became a blacksmith in southern Illinois. Around the turn of the century, he moved to Cozyville, IN, and started Nix Company. Matthews’ great-grandpa acquired their first welding machine in 1941. Nix Company evolved into a mom-and-pop welding shop, primarily a heavy equipment repair business. Matthew’s dad joined the...

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The Real-World Implementation of a Focus on People, Process, and Performance

Published On: Apr 6, 2022 12:00:00 PM

We recently had the pleasure to travel to a Tri-State Manufacturing Alliance (TSMA) event in conjunction with the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership. At this event, three panelists from area companies shared how they hire and retain top talent, the processes they follow to meet customer demand, and what they do to incentivize performance.  Leah Curry: The President at Toyota Motor...

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Why You Need to Travel And Visit Your Customers

Published On: Mar 30, 2022 12:00:00 PM

It’s extremely important to humanize your customers by visiting them physically. There’s no substitute for it. While Zoom meetings won’t disappear and you’ll use them, they need to be paired with in-person communication. Why is it so important? How does it serve to strengthen your customer relationships?

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How to Handle an Employee Exit

Published On: Mar 23, 2022 12:00:00 PM

How do you handle a team member resigning? Do you have a formal exit interview process in place? What if you have to let an employee go—how would you handle the situation differently? These are all of the questions we processed in episode #305 of MakingChips.

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How to Create a Bonus Incentive Program that Drives Results

Published On: Mar 9, 2022 12:00:00 PM

How do you create a bonus incentive program that drives action? If you want your employees to behave one way—but you’re paying them another way—there’s likely a disconnect, right? That’s why I implemented a bonus incentive program for my team at ZENGERS. The goal of the program is to: Promote and incentivize desired behaviors Drive specific results Reward those results Create an easy-to-manage...

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How to Hire for a Middle Management Role

Published On: Mar 2, 2022 12:00:00 PM

The Carr Machine & Tool team is growing and we are ready to hire for a middle management role. So I started researching what middle management is and what our role should look like. In a recent episode of MakingChips, Jason helped me walk through the process of determining if we need middle management and how to hire for the role. 

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6 Strategies To Help Your Company Culture Thrive Remotely

Published On: Feb 23, 2022 12:00:00 PM

Corporate culture is the personality of a company. As a business leader, you get to define what the values are in your company. Just as each culture has its own uniqueness—defined by different factors such as food, history, scenery, and more—each company has its own unique identity.  Company culture isn’t just about creating a cool atmosphere with ping-pong tables and beer & wine in a fridge....

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