EFCO Finishing Attends FABTECH 2015

FABTECH 2015 North America’s largest Metal Forming, Fabricating, Welding, and Finishing Event

Held November 9 – 12, 2015, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

As a metal finishing company, EFCO had the opportunity to attend the largest industry event: FABTECH. FABTECH is a huge show, and a great way to connect with vendors, suppliers and customers alike, all under one roof across the metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing industries. The latest and greatest technologies and equipment are on display, for viewing firsthand. Training and classroom experiences are also available on a wide variety of topics, ranging from personnel to technology to general business topics.

This year’s hot topic was 3D printing, and they had many machines, as well as final products, on display.  A 3D-printed kayak is pictured below.

The highlight for me, as an owner of EFCO Finishing, was to see the latest in technology, as it relates to vibratory finishing, ball burnishing, steel grit and shot blasting, blastroom blasting, degreasing, and many more services.  Suppliers such as Almco, Wheelabrator, and Pangborn all had large displays on sight.

  1. Terry Schultz, shown outside the event, held at the McCormick Center, Chicago’s huge exposition center.
    Terry Schultz, shown outside the event, held at the McCormick Center, Chicago’s huge exposition center.
    EFCO Metal Finishing Attends FABTECH 215
    Lobby of Expo Center
    FABTECH featured many 3D printed items - a hot topic across the event
    Picture of the kayak designed and produced by 3D printer
    Large piece of machinery on display at FABTECH
    Large piece of machinery on display at FABTECH

    FABTECH 2016 - Las Vegas
    Marquee promoting event. Next year’s show will be in Las Vegas.

What Is Going on with Steel Prices? EFCO Metal Finishing Weighs In

EFCO Metal Finishing sent President Terry Schultz to an event put on by the AWMI, the Association of Women in the Metals Industry, last week at the Radisson Hotel in Menomonee Falls. David Miller and Eric Robbins of Worthington Industries in Columbus, OH were the guest presenters, and below were some of the highlights from the presentation.

Steel prices are falling, and a big reason for this is that China continues to overproduce compared to demand.  Other reasons include a slowing economy, an excess supply of iron ore from rapid growth, and the value of the U.S. Dollar, making it easy to import, but tough to export.

Steel mills have filed three separate anti-dumping trade cases against a number of foreign competitors claiming that imports are harming the domestic steel market. Three separate products are involved: hot rolled, cold rolled, and hot dipped galvanizing.  EFCO Finishing’s customer base is greatly affected by this, as they are heavily dependent on these three products in manufacturing their parts.  This trickles down to the finishing side of our business, as less parts produced translates to fewer parts being sent in for vibratory finishing, ball burnishing, steel grit and shot blasting, degreasing and more finishing services.  Outside of these trade cases, there is very little a mill can do besides reducing capacity.

On a brighter note, the outlook for the auto market remains strong, and continues to hold up the domestic steel market. Residential Construction, Forestry, Lawn and Garden and Heavy Transportation are also optimistic for both 2016 and 2017, predicting slow, steady growth.

Globally, the general outlook in the market is that steel demand is expected to stabilize in 2016, but a strong rebound is not expected.  Nobody is really expecting a strong rebound, although all bets are off if mills start reducing capacity, causing localized market constraints.

Overall, a very interesting evening about a topic very pertinent to the manufacturing industry.

Steel Industry affecting EFCO Metal Finishing

EFCO Finishing Attends Wisconsin Manufacturing & Tech Show

Terry Schultz, President of EFCO Finishing, attended one of the speaker sessions at the  Wisconsin Manufacturing and Technology Show last Wednesday, October 7, 2015, held at the Expo Center at State Fair.  The presentation topic was on leadership, and the two presenters were Jim Kacmarcik, President of Kapco, Inc., and Mark Tauscher, current broadcaster, and formerly of the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers.  Some of the key takeaways from each speaker included the following:

Jim Kacmarcik, “Vision of a Leader”

Jim Kacmarcik, President of Kapco
Jim Kacmarcik, President of Kapco

Jim is very successful, and involved in many different businesses.  His message was that you have to stand for something as the owner or leader of a business, and you need to define mission.  All employees have hopes and dreams, and as leader, you need to convey a clear message to them, getting everyone on the same page.  Jim finally started to feel success a little later in his career when he realized that other opinions matter as much as his, and when he started to give more back to the community, making the focus not just on him.  As a company, Kapco tries to focus not just on bottom line, but on the experience.

Mark Tauscher, “Always Be Your Best”

Mark Tauscher at Manufacturing Month Event
Mark Tauscher, former Green Bay Packer, WI Badger

Mark spoke about taking ownership of your responsibilities, and about his journey to get where he is today.  He mentioned that everybody desires instant gratification, but you have to go through the “process” and endure the peaks and valleys along the way.  To have a good team, all contributors need to know their role, and work to improve both themselves and the organization. At a root of it all, they must believe in what you are doing. Opportunity will be there, and when it does, you just need to grab it! To conclude, he spoke about the main reason behind the Green Bay Packers continued success being leadership and how it permeates through the team, with everyone believing in the mission!

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’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!

EFCO Celebrates 70 Years “Committed to the Finish”

70 years is no joke. According to the Small Business Administration, the average lifespan of a business is about about eight and a half years. It’s safe to say that EFCO Finishing has surpassed the 8.5 year mark and is going strong.

How does a company make it to that many years? By continually striving for excellence and by being “committed to the finish”. EFCO is a true leader in the industry, bringing southeastern Wisconsin and surrounding areas unparalleled metal finishing services, working to find a solution for nearly any metal finishing job. We offer great service, take on short deadlines at competitive prices, and listen to our customers. We pride ourselves on doing the job right, on the first attempt.

At EFCO, 70 years has been achieved not only from great service, but by continually growing and improving. We are ISO 9001:2008 certified, emphasizing our commitment to quality and consistency, providing services that meet our customers, and ultimately their customers, expectations. And we are consistently on the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) Honor Roll, showing our dedication to the environment by properly treating all wastewater before discharging.

Part of continual improvement also means updating our website. We wanted to provide a site that was not only full of helpful information about our services, but that was beautiful to look at, easy to use, and made connecting with us a smooth process – whether it’s via social media, phone, or our Contact Form. We want to hear from you!

More than just our processes, we’re people who are excited to work in and contribute to our community. We want to be your metal finishing provider, and we’ll do whatever it takes to help you reach your goals and be your metal finishing resource!