AWT: Promoting Rewarding Careers in Manufacturing

On October 8th, 2014,  Bowden Manufacturing was part of the Think Manufacturing Expo held at Willoughby South High School. The event was hosted by AWT along with the Lake County Chambers of Commerce. It featured many of the areas top manufacturing companies and STEM-focused technical programs.  The Expo was designed to promote rewarding careers in manufacturing.

There was a great student turnout and the event was a brilliant success!  We generated some additional excitement by bringing our 3D Printer, along with some additional 3D printed components, for the students to view.  It can be mesmerizing to watch the printer in action as it builds a part layer by layer.  It just another example for the students that it can be pretty cool to make stuff!  All that’s needed is a good design and the printer can bring a part into reality.

Bowden Manufacturing is proud to be a part of the Alliance for Working Together program.

Alliance for Working Together (AWT)

Lake County Chambers of Commerce

Link to the List of Businesses who Attended

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IMTS: International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014

IMTS_Logo_2014The 2014 IMTS: International Manufacturing Technology Show was held in Chicago this September. “The International Manufacturing Technology Show is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, featuring more than 2,000 exhibiting companies and 114,147 registrants. The event is held every two years in September at McCormick Place, Chicago.”

Team Leaders of Bowden Manufacturing, Andy McCartney and Wes Holder, had the opportunity to attend the show this fall. Read more for the full interview with Andy McCartney about this years show!  Continue reading “IMTS: International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014”

Throwback Thursday: Office Space

Talk about flashback! Here is a trip down memory lane with a picture of Bowden Manufacturing’s office space from the 60’s!

What is your fondest memory from the 1960’s!?

Notice the trendy flooring and Royal typewriters! Our office gals here were hard at work and that is no different today!

With Christmas and the New Year just around the corner there is an excitement in the air! Bowden Manufacturing is heading into 2015 with a positive outlook and a confident game-plan! We have a troop of new Customers and sophisticated products ahead of us.  It is sure to pose a challenge, but our Technically Skilled and Patient, Team Players are ready to embrace the task at hand!

Call Bowden Manufacturing  – 440.946.1770

 


 

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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.