Retirement Celebration! Sandi Pandy – 33 Years of Energy, Dedication & Love

Taryn - Sandi - Kathy
Taryn – Sandi – Kathy

It was a warm Saturday afternoon when the Team at Bowden gathered with their families to celebrate the career of Sandi Pandy.

For over 33 years, Sandi’s enthusiasm has been a hallmark of Bowden’s world as Sandi worked tirelessly doing so many different tasks:  Payroll, HR, purchasing, accounting, party planning, answering the phone, inventory, budgeting…..the list could go on and on.

Sandi has been such an important part of all that we do and we wish her well as she plans to spend much more time with her family in the months and years ahead.  Thanks very much, Sandi, for all that you’ve added into our lives!

Sandi - Carl - Mike In Front of Sandi's Surprise Piano!
Sandi – Carl – Mike
In Front of Sandi’s Surprise Piano!

Bowden Product Introduction – AR-15 Handguards

Bowden Handguard Photo 3 - Best

After years producing parts for the defense industry and more recently, the commercial gun market, Bowden is launching a series of handguards for the AR-15.  Designed to be easy to install, these handguards come in two main styles (M-Lok and keymod) for 6″-15″ lengths.  They are Made in the USA and will able available this Fall.

This is exciting news for our Team and we’re excited to establish begin production in the coming months.  Stay tuned as we’ll report on our progess in the weeks ahead!

The Bowden Blog is Back!

The Bowden Blog is Back!

I’m sure we’ll give it a catchy name soon, but it’s been a few months without activity since the departure of our chief correspondent, Cory Zikesch.  Thanks, Cory, for kicking the Blog off in terrific fashion earlier this year and I’ll look to try and keep the quality of the posts up to your standards.

It’s July and it finally feels like summer here in Northeastern Ohio!  It’s remarkable how great it feels to have some sunshine and warm temps instead of daily rain showers.

Our shop has been very active and we’ve had some great effort from a variety of part-time high school and college students so far this summer and it’s been fun to watch.  They’ve rolled up their sleeves to help in many ways, from running machines and making inventory transactions, to preparing reports, scanning material certifications and plenty of cleaning.  It’s been good on-the-job training for them, while filling in specific requirements for our Team.  Thanks for the help!

We’ve settled into a nice rhythm as a company of establishing our Weekly and Daily Wins to Accomplish.  It definitely focuses the Team efforts and we accomplish more each day as a result.  Our discipline to our daily activities is growing and will be a key element in our ongoing success.

I’m excited for our growth as a Team to continue as we seek to live up to our ideal to be Honest, Friendly Manufacturing Partners.

Until next time, Andy

Quote of the Week“Whatever You Are, Be A Good One!” – Abraham Lincoln

I see what you do, but what are you REALLY good at?

As we prepared to launch a new blog on our website, our Leadership Team was wrestling with a question posed to one of our sales reps by a prospective Customer.  After describing the CNC machining and laser-marking of a wide variety of materials for a wide variety of industries, our rep was questioned in a very direct way….”You’ve told me what you do, but what are you really good at?” this question came with very heavy emphasis on the word “really”.  He wanted to know, in an extremely concise way, what distinguished us from the multitude of machine shops out there.  I thought this was a great exercise for our Team and we spent some time together discussing how to boil down Bowden Manufacturing to our essence.  Though the result wasn’t quite as concise as I had hoped, I think it definitely captures who we are and what we are really good at:

       Honest – Friendly – Manufacturing – Partners

         Honest – Faith-Based Integrity is Our Foundation

         Friendly – A People Business and We Enjoy it!

         Manufacturing – Solving Problems & Developing Processes

         Partners – Uncommon Win-Win Spirit & Communication

 

So, welcome to our new blog.  We’ve got a plan to provide regular content to tell Our Story as we strive to Establish, Maintain and Grow Long-term, Mutually Beneficial Partnerships with our Customers, our Teammates & their Families, our Suppliers and our Community.  We hope you’ll enjoy getting to know us a little better and we will welcome your feedback as we embark on our continuing journey.  Thanks very much, Andy McCartney

Bowden

7 Qualities of a Bowden Customer Partnership

Partnership is an often-used term in the business world today. At Bowden Manufacturing, we use it as the core of our company purpose: “To Establish, Maintain & Grow, Long-Term, Mutually-Beneficial  Partnerships with Our Customers, Our Teammates & Families, Our Suppliers, and Our Community.” These days, it seems that the word “business” implies “impersonal” relationships and justifies  treating people poorly, without courtesy or respect. We believe that to conduct business properly,  people need to care about each other and to have their partner’s best interest in mind.

We took some time to reflect on our company experience and describe the qualities that we have  seen in our best partnerships. These are the same qualities that we try to exhibit in all of our  partnerships.

SEVEN QUALITIES OF A BOWDEN CUSTOMER PARTNERSHIP

Personality – We appreciate good, old fashioned, human contact! Cooperative, positive people who  take the time to make a personal connection with others are the type of people that tend to make a  partnership work. “All business,” “Just the numbers,” or “I’m the Customer, Hear Me Roar!” doesn’t  work well for us. Lasting partnerships start by taking the time to get to know the other people, their  perspective, and their situation so that we can work for mutual success.

Visitation – Our experience shows, unquestionably, that on-site visits in both directions help create  deeper understanding on both sides of the partnership. We typically visit new partners within the first  year so that we can get a better understanding of our partner’s environment, and meet the  engineers, inspectors, purchasing agents, and others that make the relationship work at multiple  levels. We expect that new partners will come visit our shop within the first year, so that they can  develop an understanding of our environment, our people, our commitment, and our sense of  ownership of the products we produce for them.

Connection – Communications between multiple levels within partnering organizations dramatically increases mutual understanding and speeds problem solving.

• Our engineers seek to understand how the products we produce are intended to function for the  end-user of our partner’s products. This understanding typically goes beyond basic print  tolerances, so that our processes can be engineered with the end-use in mind.

• Our Quality Assurance personnel seek to understand and replicate the inspection processes  that will be used by our partners once we’ve delivered products. This helps us discover  potential defects prior to shipment.

• Our Customer Service teammates endeavor to provide accurate and timely status of our  partners’ orders.

Volume – We invest a lot of time, energy, and resources into a partnership. We want to develop  robust processes for producing our partners’ products. So, we seek to be regularly engaged in  supplying our partner’s products, rather than every once-in-a-while. When we are regularly engaged  in providing their products, the result is usually a six-figure annual sales machining relationship.  Our typical partners outsource a significant volume of products of “our type” of machining work, rather  than producing them in-house. We aspire to function as an extension of our partner’s company, rather  than as a competitor to their internal machining capacity. This reduces our partner’s asset intensity.

Typically, our partner requirements vary in quantity from 10-25 pcs per month for complex designs up  to 1,000-3,000 per month for more simple products.

Product Wheelhouse – The products we manufacture for our partners tend to be a consistent  combination of part size, geometry, tolerances, and quantity required. They tend to have some  complexity so that not just any shop can do the work and they routinely have both milling and  turning required.   

Raw materials we use often are net or near net shape, which we can obtain from our supplier  partners. We regularly work with a wide variety of castings, forgings, and extrusions. The  work-holding, engineering, and inspection requirements of these types of products tend to be  more challenging and require our deep skill set.

Our “product” extends beyond the physical item that we manufacture. We have suggested design  changes that improve manufacturability and may reduce cost. We can develop supply and inventory  strategies that improve our partner’s reaction to their marketplace dynamics.

Open Pricing Discussions/Trust – Often business dealings are shrouded in secrecy…. particularly when relating to pricing in a business-to-business relationship. We talk openly with our  partners about pricing, since we know the value we provide means we are typically not the lowest  price supplier. Our ability to streamline the process of decision-making, by getting pricing discussions  out in the open, can help facilitate direct action in a timely fashion.

Early in a partnership, openness requires trust. Typically, our preliminary estimates are 5% to 25%  higher than final pricing. We seek an avenue to begin producing the product in a short-run, low-risk  manner for both sides. This serves to begin the working relationship of the partnership, lets us prove  out our manufacturing process, and allows us the chance to see what pricing we might be able to  offer in production.

Long-Term, Win-Win Thinking – If a partnership is going to last, it has to benefit both partners. We  are not seeking short-term victories at the expense of a potential long-term partner; rather, we try to  set appropriate expectations and over-communicate as we start a new partnership. We work hard to  discover what is a “win” for our partners and that is different for each company. We see a marathon  when it comes to partnerships, not the 100-yard dash and our partners share that mindset.

At Bowden Manufacturing, we are excited to meet new people, learn new things, and develop new  partners. It’s exciting to see our products and services help our partners on their long-term road to  success.

Andrew McCartney was honored with a Pillar Award

Bowden’s own Andrew McCartney was honored with a Pillar Award at the 2013 Ronald McDonald House annual meeting. The Pillar Award is presented to companies, groups and individuals who have given quietly and generously to the House on a long-term basis. This award recognizes the commitment and constant support, allowing the Ronald McDonald House to sustain its mission.