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Keeping Your Business Afloat: MFGMonkey Episode 2

MFG Monkey | Keeping Your Business Afloat


Welcome to the second episode of MFGMonkey. This is a shorter one, but nonetheless, it is very important if you are a small business. Dustin McMillan and Dan Nebraski discuss the effects of the Coronavirus in China on manufacturing businesses in the United States. They also talk about how to keep your business afloat in the beginning. Enjoy the show!

If you have any questions, comments, or topics you’d like to hear about in future episodes, please let us know! 

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Keeping Your Business Afloat: MFGMonkey Episode 2

Staying Consistent

I’m here to have some fun in this episode and go over some great topics with everybody. I’m looking at some of our notes and some of the stuff we hit on before. If you read our first episode, we are a smaller business with a small market. Dustin, there’s something you want to talk about, too. What’s the most challenging thing for us being in a small market of keeping the lights on?

The first one is staying consistent and not getting distracted by the shiny things in the corner. A lot of companies, including myself, will see something shiny, go after it, and get off track of what their core competencies are.

The most challenging thing about being in a small market is staying consistent and not getting distracted by the shiny things around you. Click To Tweet

What makes us good is what makes them good. You have to be smart with your budgeting, too.

Everyone wants to do more than what they can afford. It’s vital to stick to your budget and be disciplined with your money.

The Effects Of Coronavirus

Speaking about budgets and everything that’s going on that we’re seeing, Coronavirus is huge and it’s hitting the manufacturing hard. They’re not even in their factories or working over in China and overseas. Let’s talk about how that’s affecting us and some of the things that we’re seeing.

We work with quite a few shops in China and Taiwan. We have a couple of shops that aren’t even allowed back in the facility yet. One of the facilities that we work with has a special permit from the government to fire things back up. I saw a video that there was manpower going around fogging cities, spraying down the sidewalks, and trying to disinfect the entire country, which is so crazy looking.

Hitting on that, you got to know what’s going on in your business and market. If you didn’t see this and have something on the back burner or so to say, “Something happens,” you could be putting yourself out of business if you’re getting everything from there. Something we talked about in the car ride on the way over here is having all your eggs in one basket. Somebody has that. They could be desperately hurting. You stated to me multiple times that that’s something that you never want to do because if that one contract or that one egg breaks, you’re done.

My idea when we first started was I wanted dual or triple sources for all of the products that we help people out with. Never in my life did I think that it would come this soon. We are taking advantage of that. We have a purchase order for a product that is advantageous to buy out of China. They do a great job. With what’s going on, we ended up getting one of our Ohio partners involved and they’re going to deliver the parts in six weeks. The example saved us and the customer.

Why do you think we were still able to win that client even though the price was not the biggest factor in keeping it domestic instead of going global?

It’s because they needed it.

You think that they probably could have found and shopped around a little bit but they still stayed with us. That goes back to what we said in episode one about relationship building. They trusted us. They knew that we’d get the job done. We got the job done even though it cost them a little bit more out of their pocket.

We’re managing everything for them. They know that we’re going to manage it and then get it delivered on time. They are delivering into a world that they can’t be laid on. They’re entrusting us to manage it and make sure that we hit the deadline.

Exciting things are coming for us. I know that we’re growing. We got a lot of stuff going on. If you’re growing, that’s always a beautiful thing. At the same time, we have a great upcoming episode on February 28th, 2020. We will have Rich Brown on our show. Dustin, do you want to explain a little bit about Rich and his background so that they have an idea of what’s coming forward?

I’ve known Rich Brown and his wife for several years. We connect every few years. One of the big topics in the industry is education. As we talked about in the first episode, there are not enough people to fill all the available jobs. Rich Brown is the Executive Vice President at Compass Tech International. They are a staffing agency. He is extremely passionate about education, specifically about education in the manufacturing world.

One of the things also with Rich is working with the younger youth and growing that educational aspect of jobs, markets, and those things. As we move forward, that’s going to be a huge market to grow with. Not everybody’s going to start going to college. I see that more and more of the younger generations are getting away from it. Rich is going to hit on some amazing topics when he hits on that stuff.

It’s going to be a fun conversation with Rich, for sure. It’s very knowledgeable.

Some of the things that we’re getting into are a lot more into government work and working with the DLA. You wanted to hit on some of the stuff where they’re working with the ground equipment.

We’re very fortunate to be working with a lot of the ground equipment manufacturers out there. We have invested in some systems to go after more government work. Dan, you can probably speak to that a little bit better than I can at this point since you’ve been the one in the system fumbling through your way.

It’s amazing to some of the stuff that they have out there. What I love and respect the most about it, and I know this is part of a government thing, but it has to keep it in-house and create jobs in America and factories. whether it’d be in Ohio where we’re at, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, California, or wherever the case may be. You see a lot of stuff that is shipped overseas. It hits on what we were talking about with the Coronavirus. Nothing’s more important than growing here, too. You have to have both because both keep it all in checks and balances. It’s nice to see how much is out there. That’s one of the most amazing things that I’ve seen from it. Looking at it, it’s like, “There is a lot out there.”

It's nice to see how much is out there, but it’s important to have the right system to navigate and the right people to teach you. Click To Tweet

It’s hard to navigate. Have the right system to navigate and the right people to teach you. We teamed up with a great company to help us navigate those waters, learn, start small, and crawl before we walk type of mentality. A big part of our business is distribution. It’s one part that we want to grow. It’ll be a vital piece of our business moving forward through 2020.

Patience Is Key

Patience is key to this. I will be 100% honest. I feel like grasping it and then something else comes up but then it becomes easier. When you’re working with something that’s so government-oriented, there are so many forms and things to fill out to get access, drawings, and anything. It’s very simple when you’re talking about what we normally do, where it is so complex to get access to something that we normally find very similar through an email or a caller. It’s patience but you got to look at the prize at the end of the road, too.

The fun thing is once we fumble through this and learn about it, it’ll be another service that we can offer our manufacturers that we work with because we can sit down with them, walk them through, and help them capture another piece of revenue that they haven’t had in the past.

Speaking of fumbling, we continue to get better with the show while fumbling through everything. We want questions, topics, and things that you want to know. Please, get ahold of us and comment on our show. You can look at our LinkedIn or Twitter. You can go to almost any social media and look up MCMILLANCO. You will find us. We want to hear from everybody. We want to hear topics and things that you want to know. We want to have this be fun.

If it’s something goofy, something that you do, or something that you knew, like Marty, we did the Broom Challenge at one of our facilities. They had eight brooms standing up. We want to hear about things that are more of the manufacturer, not a Broom Challenge, but things that are going to help us move forward. We’d love to hear from everybody.

We want this to be laid back. Chat and not super over-professional. There are plenty of those podcasts out there. If you want to go hear super stuffy over-professional manufacturing podcasts, you can find those. We’re going to bring a little different flavor to it, be fun with it, and have some fun people on our show over the next year or so. Keep rocking and rolling and talk about topics that you want to know.


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