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

How Thomas™ Can Transform Your Business

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

Thomas™ is another marketplace where buyers can search among 500,000+ different North American suppliers using 193 different filters in 70,000 different categories to quote jobs. Their goal is to help buyers and suppliers get the job done. The President of Thomas™, Shawn Fitzgerald, is an executive and leader with a history of building teams, packaging products, scaling processes, and...

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How to Find and Address Skills Gaps: A 7-Step Plan

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

Crystal Van Vleet is a skilled industrial marketer, technical designer, 3D mechanical animator, people manager, strategic planner, culture builder, and the 8th female CMTSE (Certified Machine Tool Sales Engineer). She is THE Director of Marketing for Advanced Machine & Engineering and the MakingChips Administrative Assistant.  Crystal’s job has evolved extensively over her years with AME and...

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How EBITDA Growth Systems (EGS) can Help Your Business Increase Profitability

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

Michael Watkins and David Capkovitz are Principals at EBITDA Growth Systems, a consulting firm dedicated to helping organizations transform themselves into profitable companies.  David started as a machinist in Indiana, after which he became a toolmaker. Shortly after that he started a business in manufacturing and building surgical implants and instruments. He sold that company in 2010—one of...

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A Genius Strategy to Recruit New Talent for Your Business

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

Matt Carr is a manufacturer, inventor, welder, and the President of Storch Products and Aerotrust LLC. He works with talented and dedicated professionals who serve over 1,000 customers annually. Matt’s also had a difficult time replacing retiring team members. And according to the American Welding Society, the welding industry will face a shortage of about 400,000 welders by 2024. Matt found a...

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How Do You Define Your Ideal Customer?

Published On: May 25, 2022 12:00:00 PM

How do you decide who the right customer is for your manufacturing business? How do you choose where to allocate your time and resources? The article, “Gaining Customer Traction: 5 Steps to Customer Growth,” covered some ideas that you can use to gain traction. In episode #314 of MakingChips, we talked about each of these points and how they could be applied to our businesses. 

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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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