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

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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Automation is the Ultimate Solution to Labor Shortages

Published On: Feb 16, 2022 12:00:00 PM

Is the labor shortage accelerating automation? According to Michael Gaunce—VP of Sales for Tooling and Workholding at SCHUNK—the short answer is yes. Automation is the ultimate solution to labor shortages—but not everyone recognizes that. Many shops haven't delved into automation as they should. Those who have implemented automation are the success stories.  But if you don’t embrace automation in...

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MakingChips 3.0: BIG Changes are Coming!

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

MakingChips has been through some iterations, right? We started as a podcast. Then we started a marketing company for manufacturers. Then we realized that none of us wanted to run a marketing company. So in 2022, we’ve decided to pivot away from that. We’re doubling down on creating manufacturing content and media, focusing on where we provide unique value. We are shifting to MakingChips 3.0.

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How to Take Your Meetings from Terrible to Terrific in 2022

Published On: Jan 19, 2022 12:00:00 PM

In your manufacturing business, there is often nothing worse (from your team’s perspective) than a bad meeting. The problem is that many leaders don’t recognize a bad meeting when they see one because THEY are the ones leading them. We’re not trying to bust your chops, we’ve all done it, and with the best of intentions. But intentions don’t translate into effectiveness… we just need to learn how...

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8 Advantages of Setting Annual Goals

Published On: Jan 12, 2022 12:00:00 PM

If you are not a goal-setter — personally or for your business — it’s our hope that this article changes your mind. Many people don’t set goals because it feels like more effort than it’s worth, but the reality is that it’s one of the most important and beneficial things you can do. Goals benefit you in eight specific ways.  

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How the Ownership Mindset Behind ESOPs Could Make Manufacturing Companies More Profitable

Published On: Dec 29, 2021 12:00:00 PM

Back on episode 292, we featured Jeff Taylor, President and CEO of Craft Technologies. When Jeff came into the role as CEO, his first and highest goal was to make the company world-class in everything it did. His leadership was instrumental in making that happen, but it wasn’t through his charisma and smarts, it was through utilizing approaches to employee empowerment that he’d long wanted to see...

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How You Can Retain Team Members In Spite of “The Great Resignation”

Published On: Dec 22, 2021 12:00:00 PM

Bankrate conducted its “jobseeker” survey this past August and the responses received are of concern for manufacturing leaders. When questioning 2,452 adults, 55% of people currently employed in the workforce, meaning that they’re currently working or actively looking for employment, said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months.  

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Overcoming the Challenge of Retiring Machinists with the Knowledge of Legacy Parts

Published On: Dec 15, 2021 12:00:00 PM

As older skilled machinists begin retiring many manufacturers are going to start running into a significant problem: they will lose irreplaceable legacy knowledge. These skilled machinists have mastered decades of parts manufacturing of things that are considered intellectual property. How can manufacturing businesses combat the loss of this knowledge?  

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