BY STEPHANIE JOHNSTON
Pindel Global Precision CEO Bill Berrien is a former Navy SEAL platoon commander who does a lot of reading on stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy that the wise are governed by reason – not emotion – and thus should be impervious to the slings and arrows of fortune. Put more simply: Suck it up and keep on trucking.
Pindel began in 1947 as a small screw machining business in downtown Milwaukee, but now takes up 20,000 square feet of space in the suburb of New Berlin. Berrien bought the business, which had expanded into CNC machining, in 2012. He set about giving 75 employees the latest technological tools and, applying the Navy SEALs field team concept of decentralized control, the authority to problem-solve across the shop to get something done.
When the pandemic hit, a couple small customers shut down but key accounts continued placing orders. Pindel’s lead time was about four weeks. On March 20, the company got a purchase order for five ventilator part numbers that had to be produced in volume within a week. While he and his team were figuring out how to do that (which they did), they got two more purchase orders. They hit their delivery date on those, too.
Through it all, Berrien urged employees to practice a stoicism principle: Be where you are. Be present. “There’s only so much you can control, so make peace with the rest,” he told them. “Wherever you are, appreciate it for the opportunities, like family dinners because everyone’s home, this very unusual situation presents.”
Many of you responded in the same way regardless of what you were personally dealing with.
On 9/11, I worked in the construction equipment industry. The twin towers had barely fallen when dealerships nationwide began sending bulldozers, excavators, wheel loaders, and cranes to lower Manhattan. Whether or not the machines had been requested, the owners of these businesses had to help alleviate a huge national pain.
Fabrication and machining companies responded to the pandemic the same way, and still are. Regardless of complete and utter upset in staffing and budgets, metal manufacturers across the nation saw need and went about fulfilling it. It’s also American manufacturing’s way to evolve to survive, which is also happening. Across the country, manufacturers are pulling customers and suppliers into conversations about configuring smart supply chains. Good partnerships prove their worth in times of crisis, and many U.S. companies are beginning to look for domestic suppliers that help mitigate risk.
As Berrien says, “the biggest barrier is having to change the mindset of OEM sourcing entities—overcoming the legacy model of Asian supply chains. The solution is right in their backyard, but they’ve got to think differently.”
Click here to learn how to teach them the true cost of products they could more safely procure from you.
Star Cutter Expands Tool Offering with 3D-Printing Capability
Star Cutter Co., in alliance with its strategic partner Neher Group, has announced the availability of 3D-printed PCD monoblock tool bodies and chip deflectors in which the 3D-printed bodies are integrated with the holder interface to create a single robust tool.
Fabtech Announces Plans to Return to Chicago’s McCormick Place in September 2021
After in-person events came to a halt due to the pandemic, the large-scale manufacturing trade show Fabtech will return to McCormick Place in Chicago, September 13-16.