Wisconsin Manufacturing Summit on Building Great Teams

Last Friday, EFCO Finishing’s Terry Schultz attended the Wisconsin Manufacturing Summit, put on by the Independent Business Association of Wisconsin, and geared toward businesses in the manufacturing sector. Christine McMahon was the keynote speaker at the event, with her presentation titled, “Why Should I Work Here”.  Her focus was geared toward getting the right people on your team, and once you have them, the keys to retaining them. Three areas of emphasis include:

Company Culture – This is the identity of the organization, and how it engages with customers and employees.  Values drive behaviors and determines how the work gets completed.  Key initiatives she mentioned: simplify; invest in talent; and performance management (eliminating performance reviews and replacing with an on-going performance conversation.)

Talent Attraction – Her key points in this area included humanizing the company, personalizing the experience, building community, connecting candidates to the company, being inviting, and making it real.  She added that social media is an excellent way to attract talent, and if you’re not yet doing this as a company, it’s a missed opportunity to showcase your brand and personality.  

Talent Retention – 94% of employees with managers who care about them stick around. Companies with high trust cultures outperform low trust cultures by 300% as trust is a performance multiplier.  She also discussed reasons people leave their jobs, such as not feeling connected to others or their work.  Retention interviews are also a good way to avoid issues down the road: discuss what is liked most about the job, challenges faced, and how strengths and talents can be leveraged better.

Christine McMahon has held a variety of different sales positions and writes a regular column for BizTimes. It was a great way to kickoff the Friday with her expertise, and we’re excited to consider how her suggestions fit into our existing practices and determine how some could be added.   

EFCO Metal Finishing attends Wisconsin Manufacturing Summit


EFCO Metal Finishing to Attend Women in Manufacturing October Meeting

Kickoff Manufacturing Month with the Wisconsin Chapter of Women in Manufacturing Oct 7 (Wisconsin Club 6-8:30p) for an evening continuing our conversation on Leadership & the Emerging Workforce. Our meeting will feature Aleta Norris on “Living As A Leader”.  Our own April Schultz (Business Development Manager) is excited to attend this upcoming event!

Emerging professionals are approaching work differently. Have you noticed? Aleta Norris, partner at Living As A Leader,  will touch on the expectations and preferences of this generational group (roughly ages 20 – 35), along with the societal changes that are fueling their view of the world of work.

Women in Manufacturing Wisconsin - Leadership & the Emerging Workforce

Join us to learn:

  1. The ways in which upbringing and societal factors have impacted the expectations of this 70 million strong generation.
  1. Key information about generational expectations, the imminent (and necessary) transformation of workplace cultures and the impact of these issues on the futures of our companies.
  1. The fundamental tension that exists between the contemporary mindset of the Gen Y generation and the long-standing mindset of the Baby Boomer generation.
  1. Eight strategies for maximizing performance and retention of the Generation Y workforce.

Sign-up here!


EFCO Finishing Service Spotlight: Ball Burnishing

Ball burnishing is another metal finishing service offered by EFCO Finishing Corporation with several machines available, ranging from small to large, with a wide variety of different shaped and sized medias.  EFCO can achieve your surface requirements and attain the luster, sheen and brightness your project calls for in a timely fashion at competitive prices.

This process works as follows:

  1. Parts are loaded into a circular style machine, similar in nature to our vibratory machines, filled with burnishing media.  
  2. When machine is in operation, the bowl sits on springs on a motor, causing the parts to rotate around the machine in a circular fashion, with the burnishing compound pumped into the machine on a continual basis, and the parts rubbing against the media.  
  3. Upon completion, a dam raises in the machine, allowing the parts to travel over a screen to get taken out, and the media to fall through the screen and back into the machine.  
  4. Parts are usually unloaded into wire baskets, inhibited, and centrifugally spun dry.

The burnishing media is made from case-hardened steel media, and as mentioned above, comes in many different shapes and sizes, to prevent lodging in the parts being finished.  The media texture is smooth in nature, as opposed to many vibratory medias that have abrasives built into them.  Because of this smoothness, no significant deburring will occur.  If anything, the burr tends to be rolled, or pounded, over.  This is an ideal process where surface requirements are the only critical factor, and not specific to any one industry.  Examples of industries served include metal stamping, die casting, tool and die, foundries, aluminum casting companies and several others.  Another possible effect is that the weight of the media can actually work harden the surface, or strengthen, the part.  This can again be ideal for a number of different industries, many of which were named above.  The compound is acidic based, and pumped into the machine on a continual flow, as this is key to achieving the sheen or luster desired.

At EFCO, we have burnishing machines readily available, with many different medias to achieve the desired results without lodging.  We have processed many different parts over the years, from small parts to large, and we can meet your needs in a timely manner, at a competitive price.  We will gladly process no charge samples, so you can see firsthand the range of finishes that are actually available. Contact an EFCO representative today for a quote.

Different burnishing medias available
Different burnishing medias available


Larger ball burnishing machine - EFCO
Larger burnishing machine


Ball Burnishing machine interior
Burnishing machine interior



Ball Burnishing machine exterior - EFCO
Burnishing machine exterior


Ball Burnishing machine interior
Burnishing machine interior


EFCO Finishing’s Bob Schultz Announces Retirement

Bob Schultz, currently serving as Chairman of EFCO Finishing, has announced he will be retiring from the company at the end of August, 2015, after a tenure of almost five decades, dating back to 1966. Including time spent working at the business during high school, the timeframe is well over 50 years, a remarkable accomplishment!

During that time, Bob was a key component in establishing EFCO as one of the leading job shops in the area, which the company established in 1958 to complement the sales side of the business. He worked closely with his father and two brothers to get the company on firm ground.

Early on, Bob’s main responsibility was operation of the shop, overseeing the processing of parts, and insuring customer objectives and requirements were being met.  Eventually, he would move into a management role, and ultimately became EFCO’s president.  Main duties included quoting new work and customer relations.

There have been many, many highs and great experiences for Bob. The list includes building lasting relationships with many quality people at a wide variety of different companies, many of which still depend on EFCO today for metal finishing services.  But what stands out most is that he went to work everyday with family and developed the company into a successful business that has stood the test of time.  Some negatives that he won’t miss include the multiple economic downturns the company had to ride out, successfully, numerous times.

Words he lived by at EFCO include “System…Planning…Organization”, and “Push, Push, Push”, implemented by founder/father Donald Schultz. These remain internal taglines for the company to this day!  Work ethic and being true to your customer are also thoughts he believes in.

Bob hopes his legacy lives on at the company, as his youngest son Jon is active in the business, currently as Production Manager. He hopes to be remembered as a hard worker that cared for and respected his family, employees and customers.

What’s next for Bob?  One thing certain is that he won’t be sitting on the couch watching TV all day. He hopes for more travel and adventure with wife Kathy, more quality time with their grandchildren, perhaps taking a class or two on some of his hobbies, and possibly some volunteer work at a local hospital.

I would personally like to thank Bob for all of his hard work and dedication over the years, and for the opportunity he and the second generation gave me and my business partner Mike Budgins.  On behalf of everyone at EFCO, I wish Bob the best of luck in his retirement and encourage all of his many friends and customers to do the same, as he is with us through August 28th.  I hope it is everything and more that you dreamed it would be.  Enjoy it….you have truly earned it!

Terry Schultz, President, EFCO Finishing CorporationEFCO Metal Finishing's Bob Schulz Announces Retirement

EFCO Metal Finishing's first facilities in Butler, WI
First building in Butler, 5140 N. 125th St.


EFCO Metal Finishing - early van used for sales
Early van, used for sales/demonstrations


Bob Schultz EFCO finishing early business card
Early business card for Bob



EFCO Finishing Service Spotlight: Vibratory Finishing

With many different vibratory finishing machines and medias available, this service is one of the core offerings provided by EFCO Finishing.  Machines ranging in size from one cubic foot up to 60 cubic feet, we can handle a wide variety of different sized parts.  A vast spectrum of different medias is also available depending on the finish desired, in addition to the different medias currently in the machines on the floor.

20 cubic foot vibratory machine.


An explanation of the process is as follows.  The vibratory bowl sits on springs, and operates with a motor, which causes the bowl to vibrate.  Inside the bowl is media, along with the parts you are looking to deburr.  Media is not always necessary, as vibratory finishing can also be done by doing a part on part, or self tumble operation.  In addition to the media and the parts, for some processes there can be a liquid, or vibratory finishing solution, pumped into the machine for a wet process.  The process can also be done dry.

Upon completion, parts are unloaded out of the machine as they go over a dam that is raised to allow the media to fall thru, or are picked out of the machine by hand.  Afterwards, they are dipped in an inhibitor, dried, and repacked.

Vibratory finishing is most often used as a method of deburring parts, as the vibratory motion of the media rubbing against the sharp edges of the part provides the deburring action.  But in addition to deburring, the following results can also be achieved: cleaning, degreasing, descaling, and burnishing.

With so many different machines and medias available, quick turnarounds are the norm at EFCO, with two day turns being standard.  Same day service may also be available……ask your representative.

60 cubic foot vibratory machine


40 cubic foot vibratory machine


20 cubic foot vibratory machine.


EFCO Finishing’s Women in Manufacturing Event Recap

Last week I posted about the Women in Manufacturing event that I was excited to attend. I wanted to report back with some reflections from the event.

First, one of the main things that continues to shock me is that despite making up approximately  47% of the US Workforce, women account for only 27% of manufacturing workers. There’s so much room for growth!  We really feel that women are manufacturing’s largest pool of undeveloped talent – just imagine the great contributions we’d be able to make if women were to realize their full potential in this industry!

Women in Manufacturing Summer Breakfast  Event with EFCO's April Schultz

Pictured, left to right:

  • Allison Grealis, President, Women in Manufacturing.
  • April Schultz, Business Development Manager, EFCO Finishing Corporation
  • Pam Hutchinson, CEO/Owner, NORQUIST Tool & Die

Women in Manufacturing began in 2011 and aims to support, promote and inspire women at all levels of manufacturing. Currently, there are over 500 members in chapters all across the United States, and as women of all ages learn of career opportunities, we continue to grow.

If you are a woman in manufacturing, consider joining WiM www.womeninmanufacturing.org or contact me directly at april@efcofinishing.com

Mark your calendars, as our next WI chapter event is Thursday, October 7th at 5:30 PM at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee. Stay tuned for details!

Women in Manufacturing Summer Breakfast Event

Women in Manufacturing Summer Breakfast EFCO Finishing

As the Business Development Manager at EFCO Finishing, I’m happy to be a member of the Women in Manufacturing (WiM) organization, and excited to attend their upcoming event in Waukesha on Tuesday, June 30th at the Marriott West in Waukesha  It is titled ATTRACT. RETAIN. ADVANCE., and features WiM National President, Allison Grealis, who will be speaking on the future role women will play in manufacturing.  In addition to her leadership position at WiM, Allison is also vice president of membership and association services of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), a full-service trade association representing the metalforming industry.

My involvement in WiM has helped me grow my network, as well as fuel my personal curiosity and passion for the manufacturing industry.  I can’t wait to hear from Allison and report back on my key takeaways from the event!  Hope to see you there!

April Schultz, Business Development Manager

April Schultz EFCO Business Development