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Meeting The Monkeys And The World Of Manufacturing: MFGMonkey Episode 1

MFG Monkey | Manufacturing


Welcome to MFGMonkey! In this very first episode, Dustin McMillan and Dan Nebraski dive into some exciting topics. Join us as they share valuable sales tips, emphasizing the importance of strong business relationships, and discuss the challenges that students who choose not to attend college may face due to the current education system. Without further ado, let’s get started!

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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Meeting The Monkeys And The World Of Manufacturing: MFGMonkey Episode 1

Have a few notes that we’ll get up and running with. This is podcast one of MFG Monkey. We’ll have some fun with this for sure.

What do you think Dan?

Sounds good to me. Why don’t we start off. Dustin. Tell us a little bit first about yourself being the president and CEO of McMillanCo and a little bit about the history and who we are as a company.

When I got into manufacturing  probably 15 years ago. I never really thought that I would own my own company. Always wanted to and in 2014, I started my company as a Consulting Group helping manufacturers and manufacturers’ reps have a presence on the web getting their website up and running. It wasn’t just something that was a necessary evil. There are so many manufacturers’ reps out there that just have a website just so they can say, “Hey, go to my website,” but what my vision was is that the website would be an engine and it would be a revenue-generating tool where most manufacturers that you come across. They’re good at manufacturing and bad at marketing and sales.

Do you think that’s more because of them being more old school and mindset and being more work first than obviously more of the new generation being more tech-savvy now? People coming out now are using the things more. Do you think this is a tool that you’ve taught them to use to their advantage a little bit more?

Yeah, I think so. My first job in the manufacturing world after a long time was in 2011 to 2012. The manufacturing company here in Columbus that hired me as a business development manager, they didn’t have a whole lot of marketing going on as far as a website that had a good case studies. They hired a really good firm that would do case studies and white papers and push them out to print media. Then around that time, print media started going away. There’s just a bigger focus on social media and all the things that we’re seeing today.

Working with the company, I know this answer but I’m asking you anyway and tell the audience. Is it more of a global thing or is it a domestic thing? What do you feel like works best for you?

Well for us, I think that if we only go after stuff that works well for us then we’ll die. You see manufacturers want to put everyone into their box and I think that that’s where they really make a mistake. If you figure out what the customer needs and for us what the manufacturer needs and we’re constantly evolving, then it doesn’t matter what the market is doing. We’ll block and tackle differently and we’ll change things up as we go.

Right now, obviously, we know that there are 500,000 manufacturing jobs that are unfilled because there’s just not enough workers in the US and that’s because manufacturing is coming back to the US. Therefore, we have to shift and we do a lot of work with domestic partners. We still do some with Global partners, but there’s a bigger focus on domestic partners right now. I don’t know if I answer your question.

No. You definitely did.  I think that’s even hitting on some of the stuff that we’ve talked about before. I know that we have future podcasts we’ll talk about. We’ll go more and more into obviously just a difference in what the United States is now from a domestic to a global manufacturing. How it gotten better? How it gotten worse? I know we’re gonna talk about the future. Just hitting back more on us, just describe a little bit of what our capabilities are.

Capabilities. We’ve focused here domestically on laser cutting fabrication work. Laser cut Ben weld paint finish. We’re doing full assembly, and full machining. Everything from Little jewelry pieces that are Swiss machines to one of our partners, Indian Creek, just bought 144-inch VTL, which will open up a whole new slew of capabilities to us. There’s not a whole lot of really big VTL out there like that. That’ll be a lot of fun. We go after projects that nobody else wants to do

Don’t Be Afraid To Look Stupid

Right? I think the next thing I want to say almost feels like it’s more towards me because coming and joining you, Dustin, it’s been a great experience so far. You say, “Don’t be afraid to look stupid.” I think it’s probably one of the best tools that you even kind of told me going in because whether it’s any kind of sales or manufacturing any kind of business you’re in, it’s always a learning process. If you’re not learning and growing, I believe you’re dying.

You have to be learning and growing in some form. You made me open my eyes to walking somewhere and you don’t need to know everything and people will respect you for not knowing everything and asking the questions. I know you want to hit on that and I want you to just elaborate a little bit more but I also want to express on how that’s actually helped me with working with you in this short period that we have.

Sure. I’ve wanted to do a podcast for a long time. This is obviously our very first one. One of the big that has always kept me from doing it is looking stupid in front of my peers, right? You know before I was working for a company, sat on the board for a couple companies, I never really put myself out there publicly like we are now. I listen a lot to Gary Vaynerchuk and I know that you do too and I finally just got to a point where I’m like, “F it. We’re gonna do this and we’re gonna have fun with it.”

There’s gonna be people that don’t like listening to us and there’s gonna be people that do and let’s just focus our attention on the people that do. That goes hand in hand with us problem-solving with our customers. My message to you is not to be afraid to look stupid in front of those people. Admit your ignorance and just say. “Hey, we’re here to help you.” It looks like we can make this but let’s get Indian Creek or Cincinnati Metal Forming or MRS Machine one of our other dozens of partners and get their engineering firm or their engineering staff involved, especially when it comes to springs and stamping.

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We work with Norm Rodriguez a lot and Springfield, Massachusetts in Connecticut. Norm is like a little Yoda. I mean, he’s insane. His crew out there with Ryan and those guys I had no idea the amount of metal orgy that goes into spring with firearms and medical. That’s all we concentrate on mission-critical stuff that has to perform or the wrong people die and a lot of instances. That was intimidating for me. Yeah, I know how to get in front of people, but when it comes to sitting down with an engineer who knows about it, you just have to swallow your pride and be humble and just work through those issues.

All right, so let’s talk about something. I know that we could talk about for seven days in a row. Let’s talk about some sales tips.

I forget who asked us to talk about this on LinkedIn. Dan, I’m sure you can get on LinkedIn and find that post. The guy, we’ll give him a shout-out here. Yeah. Sales tips are just being consistent. Doing things like this. We get questions all the time. We don’t have a big budget but we need more sales. What do we do? My answer every time is be consistent with what you are doing. We can get into the micro things of white papers and case studies and emails and what kind of emails and branding emails or personal emails.

A great company here in Columbus, Ohio. Amy Barcus created Click2Sell. She done an amazing job with her company. Very personable emails. At the end of the day, we all know that you have to touch a brand new person 6, 7, 8, 9, times which in this industry, you’re not emailing them every day. It’s once a month maybe. She may touch somebody once a month for a year or two years before they actually respond. Just being consistent, staying diligent, just shifting with the market.

I mean just to hit on that even more. I think people don’t take the time to even just teach their sales force the simple skills of having a conversation or listening to somebody and answering a question and realizing that they don’t give a shit about your life and what’s going on with you. You know what I mean? You’re there to please them, not the other way around. Yeah. It goes so far and you don’t have to invest money. Time is an investment as well. People definitely look at that where invest your time and sitting down and role-playing with somebody.

Invest your time with them listening to you. Make a sales call or invest your time into how are you making the process of making that new salesperson that you want to replace you or vice versa. Dustin, you’ve done great with me but at the same time, new people coming in. They’re like, how do you teach somebody else? Well, you teach them. You sit down and you go I say it, you say it, we say it together is something that I think it goes very on used especially in Salesforce where they just expect you to read a book or watch a video and be the guru, right? It doesn’t happen that way.

Manufacturing Is All About Solving Issues

No. In our industry, I think one of the first things that I told you is we’re problem solvers. If somebody doesn’t have an issue or a need, then there’s no reason for them to talk to us unless they like how our hair is cut and the shoes that we’re wearing. I had an old mentor who taught me that a long time ago. He shaped the person that I am, out in California. I work with them very closely. I respect the hell out of them and I would get frustrated because I came from a world that is all about getting the check.

I honed my sales skills and the new home sales market which was such a different sales environment and manufacturing. Manufacturing is all about solving issues. If somebody doesn’t have an issue or a need, then you’re wasting your time. If they’re not having an issue with quality or they’re not having an issue with delivery or personality, then you’re wasting your time because nobody’s gonna take time to change something that’s not broken. It just is what it is. Move on, forget about that thing and I still today have a hard time letting go of some projects.

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You just saw me email a customer out in California. I’ve literally been working on a deal for two years, but I know his problem and we’re trying to solve it. I sent him an email yesterday or the day before and said, “Hey, I’ve been beating this dead horse for two years. If we don’t figure this out this week, I don’t think that I can finally.” The guy was like, he’s just kind of laughed and said, “Yeah, but I appreciate you trying.”

The other thing is you bring that sense of humor to it as well. A lot of people put their guard down to just showing your personality and showing that you’re a real human and you’re not a robot. I think that’s one thing that you’ve shown me that you do extremely well and why your company’s been successful is the relationship part of it. Many people just want to send an RFQ out or they just want to get a PO and then it’s done. You know what I mean? They don’t want to have that conversation where we sat down with a company, we won’t say names, that was losing millions and dollars in business over five grand.

It was a $10 million bid.


That’s the crazy shit.

If they would have gotten a car and go play it around golf or went to lunch.

Dinner is worth its weight and gold. Marty and I went to dinner one time and he walked out and he looked at me and he said, Marty is our VP by the way, Marty Whelan, he looked at me any kind of smiled and he’s like, “All right. You got me.” He goes, “Dinners are worth it.” I’m like in this business, It is man. He comes from the gas utility world which is it’s similar but different but he didn’t put as much weight on dinner and just sitting around and laughing about stupid stuff.

I mean just being who you are and cracking dirty jokes and everyone laughing and being on the same page. It’s absolutely priceless. If you have a company that’s looking at spending $10 million get a freaking plane and go hang out with them and just learn who they are as a person.

People Will Buy People Over Products

I think this hit like this is one of something that I had and I’ve set for years and years of every sales position or leadership position I’ve ever had is people will buy people over people buying products 100% of the time. Me and you, Dustin, are sitting right here and I’m trying to sell you a product and say you don’t know me. You have your brother or cousin down the road that’s selling it which is that $5,000 dollars your example.

People will buy people over buying products 100% of the time. Share on X


$5,000 more who you picking?


You’re picking them. Why? Because you know them.

Yeah. You have the relationship. It’s the same thing. Everyone gets annoyed, all the non-sports people get annoyed with the sports and analogies and business, It’s the same thing. If you have a player, I don’t care what sport it is, it can be tennis or it can be rugby. If you have two players with equal skill set or you even have player with slightly less of a skill set but they get along with their peers and they’re a leader and everyone jokes around and they play harder for that person on the field or on the court. Who are you gonna recruit? You’re gonna take the kid with slightly less skill that has more heart and gets along with everyone. It’s the same thing in life. It’s same thing in life.

Every time without a doubt. It’s amazing what add to an effort will put you in places. I always compare business to growing up and going to school and going education in college. There’s no such thing as plagiarism now. You can’t get in trouble for that. You can plagiarize anybody’s skill set or anything that they’ve done or you listen to learn. It goes a very very long way.

That’s a great point even into what we do. I sent you a podcast from the Ohio State University, right? I forget what the industry even was you probably remember.

It was Marketing in Ohio.

It was Marketing in Ohio, but marketing to recruit students for the University, right?


Seth Godin, marketing genius and it’s like, “Okay. Listen to this and if you can pull one point out of this podcast, it’s worth listening to it.” I just absorb as much as I can from any industry and if I can take one idea and plug it into our industry, then it’s a win. I try to read as much as I can or listen to my buddy Justin Sirois always busts my ass because I always say, “Oh, I read this many books,” and he’s like, “You don’t read any books. You listen to them,” like, “Yeah. You’re right.” I fall asleep when I actually read. You just take one point out of a book or out of a podcast or whatever and you implement it into your life or into your business, I think it’s a win.

If You’re Not Growing, You’re Dying

I mean you could say there’s all kinds of quotes and things that you could say, but if you’re not growing, you’re dying. You know what I mean? You got to be growing. Your mind is just like any kind of muscle you got to work it out and you got to continue to grow and you always can get some nugget. I don’t care if it’s somebody that just comes in as a brand new hire and then their first day or somebody that you’ve been speaking to and they have a hundred years of experience. You can always learn something from somebody or some situation or you could be your waitress at lunch.

Yeah. I think that that’s what we’re gonna have a lot of fun with this show is we’re gonna sit down with owners of companies that like Indian Creek for instance, Mike and Chris Dakin. We’re gonna sit down with them and our conversation with those guys is going to be a lot about making things that other people don’t want to make and how. A lot of business talk and how to grow and what business to go after and it’ll be a lot of fun. Then we’ll also, have our CPA. He’ll talk to us about cash flow and what to do and things to look for in new laws.

One of the big things that changed this year with meals and entertainment. Everyone’s learning the hard way where you’re able to ride off this for decades and now you aren’t allowed to write that off. I know a guy that worked for me is now working at a Fortune 500 company. It’s a payroll company and they’re going after manufacturers hardcore because they don’t have enough receipts and they are absorbing big fines and things over something simple like taking clients out to dinner. We’re gonna have people on here to talk about that.

We’re going to talk about job opportunities. How they work with kids from elementary school, and middle school, and all of them into manufacturers.

I’m glad that you brought that up. That’s gonna be so much fun. Rich is going to come on here and a couple of weeks. I know that we already have a date for him. February 28th. He is extremely passionate about developing our youth for skill sets. One of their first clients was Honda. They like many other manufacturing companies all there right now don’t have enough welders or enough machinists. As I said earlier, there are 500,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs right now. That’s according to the NEM.

I didn’t sleep a whole lot last night. I was watching it. I apologize I can’t remember his name but he was talking it was 500,000 jobs right now that are unfilled that are a specific skill set that we don’t have the bodies and Rich is going to talk about that on a macro level of state to state. What states are doing? Well, what states aren’t doing? What they’re doing to inner cities? The unemployment in inner cities is higher than in other regions which right now I mean a few of heartbeat you can get a job.

Unemployment in inner cities is higher than in other regions. Share on X

I mean unemployment today is the lowest and our lifetime. It’s lowest and last 50 years. We have not been on a manufacturing upswing for so long that we just don’t have that skill set. We’re gonna talk a lot about that on a macro level and then on a micro level we’re gonna talk to Matt Goosen. Matt, if I’m pronouncing your last name incorrectly, I apologize. Now, I’m sure you will correct me here when we talk to you but he is in Augusta, Wisconsin. If you don’t know anything about Augusta, Wisconsin, what’s their population in Augusta, Wisconsin?

When I looked it up I was about right or a little over 1500 people in the entire town.

Talking to Matt. He was very passionate, very knowledgeable. I mean, he’s working with those kids as young as late elementary. Yeah.


Yes. It’s extremely impressive that you could work with somebody from a kindergarten perspective all the way up. You don’t even do that through athletics let alone. A manufacturing company or any kind of schooling or anything. It’s awesome and he recognized that and they developed a coloring book of all things of machining centers and parts and pieces and it’s really cool. He sent me a couple of samples of their coloring book and it’s amazing. I can’t wait to have him on here and talk to us about his ideas.

He’s also gonna bring in a couple of those students. You guys will get to hear.

From somebody who started in elementary school and now works for them as an adult.

I think it’d be it’s gonna be great to hear their perspective. Here’s somebody else went through it. I think even going back to what you were talking about Rich, think about how many kids in the inner city and don’t have that platform or they do and they don’t realize it so to get into growing and knowing that they don’t have to go to college and be successful.

We’re both very fortunate. We also both grew up and In an area that the economy wasn’t banging. I grew up in Pickwall, Ohio. Back 20 years ago, there may have been two true economic backbones in the town. Since I moved away, there’s been Founders that have shut down. There are paper maker felts that have shut down. There’s all these things that have just disappeared. My mom and dad owned a small business. My grandparents owned a small Dairy Queen in town.

Even growing up in that part of the country, you look at things like being a locksmith or taking over my grandfather’s store serving ice cream cones and things like that or you’re lucky enough to just work for one of the companies in our town. There’s always such a huge pressure to go to college which I was never a good college student. I wasn’t a good Elementary School. I mean, I almost didn’t graduate high school. That’s the funny thing is there’s so many people out there like that. If you can have a skill set a machinist, a welder, purchasing agent, there’s tons and tons of things that you do not need a college education for and make a very very good living.

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I could agree with you more. I mean, I grew up in a small town called Madison up in Northeast, Ohio. Where there’s not a ton of work. It was ingrained. Growing up really 2000, that’s where we went to college. “Hey if you don’t have a college degree, you’re not doing anything.” Be lying to see here with you, Dustin right now. I don’t, not that I regret or not that it wasn’t a good time, but I don’t use either one of them.

Growing up with small means, I didn’t grow up rich by any means. I didn’t grow up poor either but I had enough to get by and thank God that other things came into place when you get to college, but it doesn’t ease that bill. Speaking with kids now, I wish more people would look at manufacturing or look at the trades or those things and go into those things because that they don’t need that extra bill.

You get all the living, right?

Absolutely. I wasn’t I geared to go to college. I finally finished my bachelor’s degree last year. Probably 40 next year. I’ll be 40 next month, and I finally finished my bachelor’s degree and I remember my uncle and he probably remembers when he said this, I don’t remember exactly but it was a big motivating factor for me is he told me, “If I didn’t have my college education, that I would never ever make over $40,000 a year. Ever.”

It’s a crazy small fact about that and I’m gonna hit you with this real quick is do you know what the average college student makes after they graduate?

As of today, I have no idea.

As of right now, 35 to 40 Grand. That’s what they make

Most average college students come out of school debt-wise.

I think it’s I want to say it’s 60 to 100. I want to say 60 low but I think that if you go to Community College but I want to say it’s got to be at least a 100 to a 150.

I bet  Rich knows that number. All right.

If you go for four years, you get that college degree. Do you know what a labor maker or a machinist will make after four years of being in the service? They make $25 to $27 an hour so they’re making 50 Grand. You’re already 15,000 ahead of those students without the debt.

Yeah. My son is actually graduating this year and he is way smarter than I am. Very good athlete looking at going to school to play lacrosse the D3 school that he’s looking at that has the program that he wants to go into they offer academic scholarships, which is amazing and he’s very fortunate that he has the grades because he works his ass off, but it’s 53,000 a year. I mean so you look at coming out of college, you graduate, you come out of college and you’re 53, 106. You’re $225, 000.

I mean, I have to be honest with you. I mean I had some athletic help which I hope that Shelby get some his too, which Shelby is Dustin’s son, and I was 90,000. I mean that’s not a small chunk of change. I mean that’s almost a house.

Yeah. Well, I wish that there were programs out there. Shelby has buddies that are amazing football athletes at Dublin Coffman that don’t want to go to college and they’re wicked smart. These guys are over at our house. We’re sitting around talking about what they’re gonna do and he has buddies that they just don’t want to go to college. They don’t they don’t know what else to do. They want to go play ball. They want to go play but they don’t want to go to college.

They have been kind of I don’t want to use the word brainwash, but I will, that you know, they’re not gonna be successful if they don’t go to college. Yeah. I was the same way. I had a conversation with a couple of them about going into some sort of skilled labor and going that route. It’ll be interesting. I Know Rich when we were talking to him on the phone throughout statistic areas like Dublin, New Albany, Olentangy, around here in Columbus, like 95% of graduating students from those schools will go to college and then you can go 15 minutes away and the numbers much much different and ritual absolutely.

This guy will talk without a breath for hours because he’s so passionate about all that and then we’ll have Matt on here that it will talk more on a granular level of what he’s doing. I really hope to get those two guys together or Matt in the state of Ohio. Because from what I understand, I think that Rich is going to throw the state of Ohio under the bus because we’re not developing our skilled labor like States like Kentucky. We’ll talk about those stats when we have him on.

We’ll have Matt on March 27th. Rich will come first on February 28th, and then we’ll follow with Matt on March 27th.

Yeah, and then we have Brian Drisco.

Brian will be on March 2nd.

Okay. Brian Driscoll has similar themes education, corporate education, leading coaching teaching. Brian’s more in the weeds with going into bigger to small medium companies. I met Brian I think in 2012, 2011. Brian has a much better memory than I do. He’ll probably remember the day and time and the shirt that I was wearing when I met him. He is in companies teaching leadership skills and sales skills and that’s how I met him. He was one of my teacher’s coaches. He coached wrestling for a long time.

Brian, if you looked at him you would think that he was 35, 40 years old. I’m sure that he won’t tell us how old he is but he’s a little older than that and still crushes it every day. I did a workout with him back in 2011-2012 and I thought I was gonna die. What was that workout? It was a CrossFit workout when CrossFit was just coming up. It was called Fran I think. I literally thought I was gonna puke and die and Brian just laughed at me and invited me back the next day and I did not show up.

Well Fran, is close to farmers. Let’s talk about how we’re not farmers. I know we kind of went off and a lot of other topics and obviously it’s great to hear everything that we have to say, but at the same time, why we hunt and what we do. Who we hunt and why we’re not farmers?

The Hunter Mentality

Yeah. No and I appreciate you keeping me on track because I can definitely get off. No and that is a theme, you want your salespeople to be hunters and not farmers and gatherers. I feel very very strongly about that. I feel that you can’t teach the hunter mentality. It’s kind of you’re either wired that way or not and you can take whatever test you want to take or you can talk to somebody and you’re either gonna go after it or you’re not. You can’t teach it. Yeah. With our company, we have a very hunter mentality and I mean you came on before Christmas which was a good time to come on because we’re a little slower with everyone doing their thing with Christmas and New Year and all that fun stuff, but for us being a small company, we go after, we don’t sit back and just wait for stuff to come to us.

Absolutely not. I love that mentality and I believe in it. You sit around and wait for something that’s gonna come to you. Well, you’ll be waiting for a long time.

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Yeah. That’s the same thing in manufacturing. With our principles that we represent, we represent a very select few, we visit every single location. I know Norm Rodriguez, he was kind of flattered because I flew to Massachusetts in February and like they literally had a snow Squad to pull over and get a hotel because it was snowing so damn hard and Norm left. He goes listen, “I’ve been in this business for over 30 years. I’ve never had anyone fly out here and walk my shop.”

You know what that’s something that hits back on when we’re talking about earlier is the relationship building and how important that is and just meeting face to face and putting a face to the name and doing those things. It goes into exactly be having a success plan and having a plan.

I truly believe and I know the same mindset of how I think with this is people don’t plan to fail. They’ve failed a plan like you don’t get up today and go, “Hey, you know what? I’m gonna fail today you get up today and say I’m gonna kick today’s ass.

As cheesy as that sounds.

You’re exactly right. Norm’s gonna be on our podcast too and he’s probably one of the funniest individual that I’ve ever met in my life. When I flew out there, I spent two days with him. I literally had tears rolling down my face for 90% of the time like we literally talked about business for maybe 10% of the time. Out of two days. We walked these facilities. They’re amazing. I have a lot of key things I look for when I walk of the facility. One you can eat off of the floor and and all three of their facilities which they’re in firearms and medical.

Norm is the owner of Springfield Spring.

Yes. Sorry. Thank you. He knows what the hell he’s doing, but I had to see that for myself. It’s just like working with Matt up in Augusta, Wisconsin. I drove up there and walked the shop because I needed that conviction to talk to my customers to say I had physically been in the shop. I’ve talked to the machinists. I see what they what they do. I know what their processes are. I’ve seen their QA lab. They’re gonna do all the right things and one of the things that we all know in Manufacturing something somewhere is going to get screwed up 100% of the time. I don’t care what you’re making.

110% of the time. Yeah.

That’s something’s gonna get messed up and all depends on the reaction. How you react to something being messed up? I don’t care if you’re making a piece for our warfighters or you’re making a piece that is going into lighting. They’re both mission-critical. Warfighters, people can die lighting people be in the dark, but if you treat both the same way, then you you’re gonna win.

Even listening on that more, you know what I love about, you hittin’ on Norm and talking about him laughing and hitting on Rich and Matt and all those people and even Chris at Indian Creek and all them. I feel like every person that we’ve met or meet in all these fields and have these relationships with and there’s so many more that I’m missing. If I didn’t say your name, I’m sorry.

They’ll be on

They’re all people. I think so many people especially, we had a lot of the sales tips and those things It’s like don’t be afraid to go talk to these people. They’re people.


99% of the time, they’re really genuinely good people. There is that one percent. I’m not gonna say there isn’t that one percent, but at the same time 99% of the time you’re gonna have a good conversation, you’re gonna have a great lunch. The worst thing that they’re gonna say to you is no. You always take that expression.

You’re gonna run into somebody that you just don’t get along with.


We have been working through a relationship like that for the last year and a half. They’re an amazing manufacturer. They bring a ton of skill to the table. There is a huge personality conflict between myself. I’m not too proud to say that. One of their managing executives with the company. What we came to the conclusion is we just can’t work together. We’re gonna go on our separate ways and my life is going to be so much more amazing because we had that stance just just to walk just to go, you know, what?

We are just not good to work together. You guys do an amazing job. I appreciate all your effort. You treating our customers amazing, but we just need to go our separate ways because I turned 40 next month. I don’t have it in me anymore to bang my head against the wall to try and get along with somebody that quite frankly I’m just never going to get along with. It’s taking a lot for me to realize that and have the confidence to go, “You know, what? We just need to go our separate way.” I think that people just need to do that and it’s and it goes all the way back to not caring what people think.

Multiple Income Streams

Well, and I think that talks about, it’s not on our notes, but me and you have talked about it multiple times is speaking in manufacturing and doing these things, one thing that everybody needs to realize is you never put all your eggs in one basket. You can’t put your whole business on one relationship.

You can't put your whole business into one relationship. You need to have other people, whether it be other people bringing in products or you pushing out products or selling or whatever it is. You have to have multiple streams coming in. Share on X

You need to have other people whether it be other people bringing in product or you pushing out product or selling or whatever it is. You have to have multiple streams coming in because when you put one stream there, so if it was just me and Dustin right now, and he was my full force of income with bringing me product and he says he wants to raise it 130%, what am I going to say?


You have to have multiple streams and I think there’s a lot of people that will get stuck in one stream because they’re like, it’s not broke don’t fix it, but there’s no reason to reach out either.

We’re seeing it right now. I mean one of the biggest things that we have been really successful with is that exact point right there is that so many people had all their eggs in the low cost country basket. Many companies that are between 2 and 10 million dollars, or 2 and even 20 million dollars may not have the budget to have an international trade professional on staff like huge companies do. Honda has them on staff. Caterpillar, John Deere. They’re manufacturing all over the world.

They have multiples facilities all over the world, but when you get into that, small to medium size company, you don’t have that budget to have that personal and staff that concentrates on just global purchasing. We have helped multiple companies out with that. They call and they’re like, “Hey, we’ve been buying this this product in China for 20 years and the tariffs are 20% or 25%.” We don’t know what they’re going to. “Can you help us?” Because now it does no longer make sense to import this product where we’ve been saving forever.

We don’t even know where to start and we have a hundred line items that we need to source. That’s where we end up being an extension of their purchasing team is going. “Okay. Let’s sit down. Let’s take the most critical part and we’ll go after that first.” We sit down. We become an extension of their purchasing team. If we don’t have it in our quiver already, then we go find it and it’s not just opening up Google and finding a manufacturing company that can make it or they say that they can make it, we’ll go do a soft audit.

We have the capability of doing a hard at it. Where we can hire an individual or a team of people and go do a full-blown audit on that company because maybe that company doesn’t have the resources to go do that. We’ve really tailored what we’re offering and I know I went off on a huge huge tangent on that but it I am really really passionate about that because we want to be a team player. We want to be part of the family.

I think I told you that, Dan like, “Welcome to the family man.” My mentor used you say that. I took that the heart because we all sat down a big Italian-style dinner one Christmas and we’re all drinking wine and everything was about welcoming the family. I really really believe in that with you go to our website and that’s one of our missions. We want everyone to be successful.

I think that’s so important. I joke with my wife about it. I tell her all the time I go when I came aboard and this with all this and it’s still fresh, but I was like, “I feel like you’ve almost like took me in like an older brother concept more than a boss,” which I love. What I mean, but at the same time sometimes all the brothers got to put you in check and I know that too. Maybe that’s coming here a little bit later. Maybe not you never know.

But you did, I will hope not, but you did hit on some other really great things there and just talking about success and and investing in it and we want your success. The biggest thing that you said there. There was no I, there was no me. You didn’t talk about yourself. You talked about others. You talked about the company. You talked about the people around you. I think that’s one of the best things about you about where we are and it made me more excited to be a part of this is there is a we, it is a team.

It isn’t us. There is no I and that’s what I think’s gonna be really good about this in the future especially with this show too because we can’t wait to hear everybody else’s opinions and your questions and everything. Bring them in because we want to share it with the world.

Yeah. No, absolutely. We’ve listened to a ton of podcasts and we’re probably getting off to a pretty rocky start here.

I think we’re pretty damn good.

We’re gonna have fun with it. I can guarantee that. We did team up with CCAD, Columbus College of Art and Design. We’re so fortunate to be working with those guys. Even our podcast equipment that we have was all referred to us from Jordan Bell. Jordan Bell kind of took us under his wing. We were doing a project with their videography department, which they’re amazing. We just brought Luke on as a part-time.

Luke Laughlin.


Amazing. It’s gonna be an amazing intern for us. Can’t wait.

Yeah. He’s been working with us for months now, but he’s going to be doing a part-time internship the next few months and Dan’s gonna be working with him in the college. Just having a really cool relationship with the college because CCAD they’re one of the top five art institutions in America. We’re so fortunate to have them in our backyard. We’re gonna have amazing content come out of these guys, like everything that we’re talking about right now, It took me an hour and a half to figure out how to record this damn thing which I think is hilarious. Hopefully, it’s recording right now. I’ll be really disappointed if we do all this and none of it is recorded.

Hour and that’d be pretty rough.

Yeah. We’ll hand it off to Luke and Luke’s gonna make it sound professional at least in the beginning and then the end. Whatever we say is probably the least professional thing that you’re ever going to hear but we’re gonna have a lot of fun with it. That’s what I can promise. I have a really really good buddy that is a Black Hawk pilot and he worked for me part-time for a little while. He’s an amazing guy. Amazing dad. Amazing husband.

We were talking one day and he just brings up, he goes Dustin, “You have your buddies over there in Columbus.” He’s like, “How much did I talk about football or Sports?” I’m like, “Every one of them bro.” He’s like, “How do you handle that?” and I go, “I just kind of disappear.” He goes,”Really?” I go, “Yeah.” I grew up a Brown’s fan. I grew up a hockey fan. I played hockey. Dan can talk about this all day long.

If you want me to talk about like the Browns and the receivers or who they’re gonna draft and where they play college and what their stats are and who the coaches, I can’t do it. I have all my bodies do and I feel so awkward most of the time because that’s not what I enjoy talking about. When it comes to business, I can talk about it for hours. Unfortunately, for some. It’s what I’m passionate about it. I really really love it. I love having people excel. We’re gonna have a lot of fun with this for sure.

A Win-Win

Absolutely, just hitting back to investing in your success and those things. If you’re somebody out there and you have a company, think about an internship, think about having people commit.

Yeah. That college is close to you.

You don’t have to pay them. It’s free labor. If you want to go after it. We’re fortunate enough to be where we are taking care of ours. Dustin’s nice stuff to do that and I wish everybody would and I hope you would out there too, but that doesn’t mean you have to. It’s just a great thing where you’re developing other people, you’re reinvesting in them, and not only that they’re helping you too.

They’re learning.

It’s a win-win and when it’s a win-win, it’s success for you and it’s success for them.

When you’re investing in people and developing them as they’re learning from you and helping you, it's a win-win. It's success for you and it's success for them. Share on X

Yeah. No. We have amazing videos that we just released today. The videography team released them. They did an amazing job. We have a ton of content coming. I mean, that’s the thing that I think that every manufacturer struggles with this content because every marketing firm that you ever meet, I don’t care if they charge you $100 an hour or $300 an hour, they all want content. I’ve been in that boardroom where everyone’s looking at each other and they’re like, “We don’t even know what the hell to do.” We get in a situation today where the manufacturers they’re so used to seeing what they do. They don’t think it’s cool.


I mean, Dan you’ve been into three factories now or four.

It’s unbelievable. Something as little as a laser cutter cutting into a design of some metal.

You know what, it looks awesome. It’s hard because it is Monday.

It is repetitive. Yeah.

You’re coming in you’re looking at the same thing every single day for years of your life whether it is a welder or whatever the case may be. It does definitely gets to the point where it’s second nature almost. It’s almost like getting up and putting your pants on. We’re getting ready to represent a huge company out of Springfield, Ohio that they walked me around the shop and I have been in hundreds of manufacturing facilities around the world. I walked into this company. They were doing stuff on four machines that I’d never ever seen done before.

It was impressive.

It was insane and you went there. You haven’t seen the cool shit yet at this company.

I mean when I saw I thought was cool. I mean, that was amazing.

The things that they were doing with the machine.

They were spinning metal into a pulley. I’m sorry. I’ve never seen it done before and I’m sure somebody’s gonna listen to this and go, “Oh, we’ve seen that done a million times.” There’s like 4 or 5 companies in the US that do it.


It’s really really cool shit.

You wanna see YouTube videos not in person.

Yeah. The guy that was giving us a tour. He’s like, “You’re really excited about this aren’t you?” I’m like, “Yeah, I am.” He goes, “Why?” I go, “I don’t know.” I can’t explain why I’m so excited to see this but they do things in this factory that are just amazing. We cannot wait to represent them and to help them grow and it’s so flattering to have how we gotten in touch with this company is a company that we currently represent talk to an owner.

That’s probably well-retired. The gentleman that called me. He called me and said, “Hey, I don’t make any decisions for my company anymore, but I was referred to you guys by this guy and he had a lot of good things to say about you.” That’s probably one of the most amazing phone calls that I ever had and I was really fortunate to be able to take that phone call on speakerphone with Jess in the car.

Jess is Dustin’s Girlfriend, by the way.

Yeah, and she looked at me and smile and there’s nothing more flattering than that like when you start to gain that and have those relationships. It’s just fun. It makes it makes things fun. In this industry, nothing sexy and there’s very little that’s fun. People have lost that and I want to bring that back.

I think it hits on it. I hate to say it’s not fun. Because I hope that all these individuals there where they’re working and what they’re doing, you take pride, I already do too, we’re infatuated with what we’re making to take pride in what they’re making because what they’re making is amazing.

We won’t represent them if they don’t take pride in it, which this company does. I mean, that’s why they’re that’s why we were there.

Absolutely. They’re represented very highly with I mean, we walked into a glass case of awards. I think they take a little bit of pride.

Yeah. They’re amazing. The CEO is he’s my age maybe a little younger and just an amazing guy really humble. How he may be 3rd or 4th generation army. Just just a great dude. You walk around the factory and you talk to people, that’s one of my favorite things to do is just walk and talk to the people on the floor.

Relationships Will Take You A Long Way

How many people don’t do that? It’s a forgotten past because there are so many people that are 3rd, or 4th generation like the person we’re talking about, he does do that. I know that I do that. Where they don’t do that because they don’t care. It’s a paycheck. That goes back to so many things of what we were talking about whether it was sales tips and success plans, it comes back to relationships.

Absolutely. Yeah, you’re absolutely right and I don’t know if people don’t do it because they don’t find it important or they just don’t do it because they just don’t know to do it.

When people don't do relationships because they don't find it important or they don't know to do it, they’re missing a huge boat. Share on X

If they don’t find it important, they’re missing a huge boat like the Titanic. It might sink if they don’t figure it out.

One of the first sales calls I ever took you on, we walked into this facility is probably one of the cleanest, newest most technologically advanced facilities that I have been in period.

Absolutely. No names by I know exactly what you’re talking about.

Yeah. I mean it was amazing.

It was impressive.

We sat down with the owner and it was one of the first meetings that Dan went with me. We’re talking to him and we’re just having a conversation and that’s the fun part about her, right? We’re just in there and just bullshiting and having the conversation. He tells me that he is losing $10 million jobs over five grand which we’re we’re repeating ourselves now, but it blows me away. Just from what we’re talking about with having a relationship, it blows me away. Now, there’s a lot of different things to go into that. It is the car industry. It is a car manufacturer.

There’s always variables. There really is but when there’s no relationship, you can always look at that and have that be a factor. The certain things where you can check boxes. You can check things. There’s always going to be somebody who beat you by price. It’s gonna be something. You know what I mean? I don’t care where you get and obviously if you get it in America compared to China it’s gonna be cheaper in China. Maybe that’s common sense.

Right now, we have seen a flip-flop.

Yeah, depending on how far it is away. Those things too. At the same time, there’s always going to be that the deciding factor is, like we talked about earlier whether it’s Dustin’s brother’s cousin compared to me and him talking about selling ideal, who’s he picking? Those prices don’t matter when it comes to relationships. Relationships will go a long way. Relationships will take you a long way too. It will take you into successful years not successful bits. I think that’s a big thing that I know that’s important to you.

Price doesn't matter when it comes to relationships. Relationships will take you a long way. Share on X

Yeah. Longevity. I mean we want to and I tell everyone that we work with, I want my grandchildren to be working with your grandchildren. There’s only one way to do that and that’s to have a successful relationship. We are all about investing into your success. I want to steal this from our web partner Forefront Web here in Dublin, Ohio. He calls everything a success plan and I steal that from him. I’m sorry Scott, but I think it’s amazing.

No such thing as a copyright.

Right. Yeah. We go in and we help companies create a success plan. We have Rodney out and Philadelphia that created our logo and rebranded us. He does an amazing job with MFG Empire just a great dude, very responsive great very very creative and you know what he started out doing? A machinist.

Right. Speaking of us if you ever want to come and check us out. Look at some of our capabilities and those things, please look us up. Again,

Yep. We’re gonna launch everything. I appreciate everyone listening. There are a ton of good manufacturing podcasts out there. We invite your questions. We invite your emails. We want to hear what you want us to talk about.

Calls us. all of it. We want to be different.

Yeah. We do. The podcast going forward, there are going to be a lot about what the folks coming in. I just want to really have a lot of fun with it. We talk about all the time anyways, so why not record it and get everyone’s input. We’re Going on an hour, and I could probably talk another hour about it.

Absolutely. We’ve had a great time today. Thank you all for listening. I’m Dan Nebraska. I’m a sales engineer and you’ve been speaking with Dustin McMillan, the president the CEO of McMillanco.

Thanks guys.


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