EFCO Finishing Coping with Coronavirus

Since mid-March, the routine has been anything but “business as usual” at EFCO Finishing.  Numerous impacts have been felt, as they have for all companies, due to the global economy basically shutting down.  Thankfully, most of our customers in manufacturing have been deemed essential by the government and the Department of Homeland Security, and EFCO, providing a necessary service in order for the parts to be put into production, has also received this designation.  Parts are continuing to arrive for processing during the pandemic, although at a little slower pace.

We have tried our best to keep things as “normal” as possible, staying open our regular hours of operation,  7:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.  But there is now a new normal, with many procedures put in place due to the virus, and life is nothing like we were accustomed to.  Social distancing, face masks, limited in person visits, and virtual calls all appear as new ways of conducting business,  and may be here for longer than any of us originally anticipated.  While this has been an adjustment period for all of us, we are trying to stay positive, and hoping some of the new ways are improvements over what was done in the past.

Our core production team remains in place, running out the jobs at a brisk pace. This shorter lead time is definitely a positive for customers.  We have also really tried to emphasize our ability to step in and help customers in this time of need, especially those who may have processed some of their own parts, but no longer can due to headcount shortages.

Working from home is another adjustment we have made, along with so many other businesses.  We continue this effort today, and are working diligently to keep all lines of communication open with our customers.  It is an odd feeling to not have the phones ringing, as they are forwarded currently.  

One major positive for EFCO during this crisis has been our ability to quote on parts for the medical industry, and the relief efforts.  We have worked with our customers on pricing parts for masks and PPE, along with ventilator parts, and are honored to play even a small part in helping our country and all those on the front lines.

During these unprecedented times, we all want to say thank you to our loyal customers who continue to send work to us.  We appreciate and value the many relationships we have formed over the years, now more than ever.  We remain positive we will get through this – TOGETHER!

EFCO employees wearing facemasks to stop the spread
EFCO employees wearing facemasks to stop the spread

October is Manufacturing Month!

Friday October 4th is Manufacturing Day in Wisconsin.  We celebrate manufacturing this month as it is the backbone of our economy. For every one factory job, seven other jobs are created! Kurt Bauer of the WMC, or Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, shared his thoughts Thursday in a breakfast hosted by the Waukesha County Business Alliance.  Some of the key takeaways are below.

Jobs appear to be contracting in Wisconsin, with 4,000 jobs lost since January, and the lowest manufacturing job growth in 10 years.  There are 22 sub-sectors making up manufacturing, and some may already be in recession. There is also growing pessimism nationwide. There are three main components driving the contraction.

  1. A weakening global economy, especially in the EU and Germany, along with China.  
  2. The political climate.  In Washington, it is uncertain, and investors hate uncertainty.  Tariffs are having an effect, but many feel they are worth it if they can level the playing field with China.  And the lack of passage of the US/Mexico/Canada trade agreement, or USMCA, which is critical for manufacturing and agriculture in Wisconsin! On the state level, Governor Evers campaign proposal to eliminate the manufacturing and agricultural tax credits, as well as our Right-to-work status, could seriously weaken the migration of companies relocating to Wisconsin!
  3. A workforce problem, as there just aren’t enough people to fill all the open positions! We have 3.1% unemployment, and 4% is considered full employment! A 0.1% increase is projected in the working population from 2010 to 2040, which is contraction! One cause here is the reduction in the birth rates, as people just aren’t having as many children.

Overall, while there may be reason for concern, don’t panic. There are still a lot of positives out there!  Let’s urge our legislators to do the right thing not only for manufacturing in Wisconsin, but throughout the country.  Please don’t make it harder than it has to be!

Meet EFCO Finishing – Jim Pinkert and Duane Goetz

Chances are you have seen the EFCO truck making pickups and deliveries.  Sharing driving duties for us are two men, Jim Pinkert and Duane Goetz. And we could not be happier to have both representing us to customers and suppliers!

Jim joined EFCO in January 2007 after 40 plus years at AT&T. He started out as a physical design expert and had worked extensively on tvs power diodes and then decided to jump boats. Over the last twelve years, he has developed rock solid relationships with our customers. He is our “eyes and ears” behind the scenes, relaying critical information to us. Jim has also developed a knowledge of our processes, and isn’t afraid to speak up if something is wrong. This is why he is known and respected by everyone he comes in contact with.

Duane joined us after we moved to Menomonee Falls in 2017, and also has had a very successful career in manufacturing. Companies where he has worked include Tower Automotive, where he served as a supervisor. He also worked at Bradley Corporation on the production floor in addition to driving.  He has a great work ethic, and it is very rare to see him in one spot for any extended period of time. Duane also has a witty sense of humor, which he uses to keep the mood loose, and those around him laughing, either at EFCO or on the road!

We are thankful to have both Jim and Duane serving as goodwill ambassadors for EFCO, and appreciate their efforts put forward on a daily basis! The next time you see them on the road, give them a friendly wave. I’m sure they’d appreciate that!

EFCO Drivers Jim Pinkert and Duane Goetz
Left, Jim Pinkert; Right, Duane Goetz

Meet EFCO Finishing – John King

Meet EFCO Finishing's Production Manager JohnKing, a key part of our management team

If you’ve called or visited EFCO lately, it’s likely you’ve met our Production Manager John King. He started with us in August of 2017, the same month we made our move to our new facility in Menomonee Falls, and brings valuable experience to our team, having been in the industry for close to 30 years!

John’s main responsibility is to oversee and supervise the men running the jobs. From scheduling work upon arrival, inspection during processing, and arranging shipment back upon completion, John plays a vital role. Whether the job specifies vibratory finishing, ball burnishing, blasting, polishing or degreasing, to name just a few of our services, John is involved in every aspect.

Much of his prior experience was in the heat treating industry. He worked at a couple different shops, eventually working his way up to Plant Manager. Over the years, John has worked with many different metals and alloys, and doesn’t get rattled with the odd requests or unique requirements. If it’s a new job, samples will often be run for the customer to review and approve, to insure everyone is on the same page. This also allows us to prepare an accurate quote, avoiding surprises when the job is complete.

If you have not met John yet, please make a point to stop out or give him a call, to discuss your upcoming project, or to get a status update on the work you have with us for finishing. We are happy to have him on our team, and hope you feel the same!





Meet EFCO Finishing – Mike D’Amato

Meet Mike D'Amato-EFCO Finishing's Custom Metal Polisher

Custom Polishing? Have you heard of it? In addition to the many finishing services that EFCO offers, one that doesn’t get talked about, or that is still a bit of a secret, is our custom polishing capability. We have a polisher on our team with over 33 years of experience in the industry – he’s worked at several polishing companies in addition to working in-house at several larger, local businesses. His name is Mike D’Amato.

Many of you who have had us do polishing work know that Mike is capable of transformational results. He can do everything from a #4 brush or directional finish all the way up to a mirror finish, what we refer to as a #8 finish, and everything in between. He takes great pride in his work, and there isn’t much he hasn’t encountered in his long tenure in the industry. His goal is always to get the customer what they are looking for in a timely fashion, and he takes great pride seeing his finished product heading out the door in that beautiful, glistening state.

With our move to Menomonee Falls, he also has a larger, better designed workspace that houses all of his equipment and supplies in one specific area. We have three Timesaver machines, three polishing lathes/wheels, and a stroke sander at his disposal to get the finish desired and the final product our customers have come to expect and love.

Mike is a great employee who is always willing to help out. In addition to his skill with polishing, he is also one of lead glass bead blasters in our cabinets, and can operate our scale and weight count parts for customer’s shipments. In general, he just likes to stay busy, and we know our customers appreciate this as it translates to quick turnaround times

If you have a project or job requiring polishing expertise, please give us a call or email us a print at sales@efcofinishing.com. We will also be glad to provide a sample of the finish at no charge. You will be happy you did, as Mike, and EFCO, will give you great service in a timely fashion!




Meet EFCO Finishing | Anthony Parsley

Meet Anthony Parsley: A Key Part of the EFCO Finishing Team

If you are a new customer, or one that has been around for several years, odds are you have come in contact with Anthony Parsley. Having started with the company in the late 90’s, he has worked in all areas of the company, is able to run all machines and processes, and currently oversees our Shipping and Receiving area as well as our Vapor Degreasing line.

Anthony is a truly dedicated employee. He’s most likely the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave in the evening, ensuring every truck has been loaded or unloaded before his work is complete for the day. In addition to the duties on the dock, he also is very valuable on the floor, where he assists with processing parts. He often serves as lead on the vapor degreasing line, ensuring that all the parts that leave EFCO are completed to our quality standards. At times he also runs our vibratory finishing, ball burnishing, tumble blast, table blast, and glass bead processes. He’s always willing to help others, or as he puts it, “he just likes staying busy.” We’re so grateful to have this dedication on our staff and be able to extend it to our customers, too!

Next time you are in EFCO, make it a point to say hi to Anthony, if you can find him. We are so glad he is with us, and hope he stays for a long, long time! We promise we’ll keep him busy!


EFCO’s Terry Schultz Appointed to Family Business Leadership Partners Board

EFCO Finishing’s Terry and April Schultz attended the Family Business Leadership Partners, or FBLP, annual year end dinner last Friday evening at Shully’s Cuisine and Events in Thiensville.  Formerly the Family Business Legacy Institute, or FBLI, the event was held to celebrate the past year’s highlights, and also to kick off 2019!

The highlight of the evening was the presentation by David Cooks, the author of Getting Undressed: From Paralysis to Purpose.  At the age of 15, David woke up and an aneurysm in his spine had paralyzed him.  But he would still go on to Duke University where he would serve as a graduate assistant to Coach K of the Blue Devils and their national championship teams.  He would eventually return home to Milwaukee, and became head basketball coach at Marquette University High School.

The takeaway from the presentation was that David, despite his paralysis and physical shortcomings, does not feel sorry for himself or expect preferential treatment from anybody, including his family.  He has risen above paralysis, and is now embarking on what could become a world-wide speaking tour. He said it best……”If I can do it, anybody can do it!”

Earlier in the evening, Terry was introduced as a new board member for the FBLP.  He is one of three new additions, all coming from member families of the organization, with the idea behind this to get family input on issues that come up, and also to find topics or areas of interest directly impacting family business.  Looking forward to a great and exciting year ahead!

Terry appointed to board of Family Business Leadership group

EFCO Finishing’s Next Generation?

This past summer, EFCO Finishing got a glimpse of what may lie ahead for the future as members of the fourth generation worked at the company assisting with different jobs and tasks.

Matthew Schultz and Ryan Budgins, sons of owners Terry Schultz and Mike Budgins, worked in the shop assisting with a variety of different functions ranging from production to maintenance.  Kayla Budgins, daughter of Mike, assisted in the office, with data entry and other tasks.

While it is premature to project if any one of them will eventually work at or become owners of EFCO, they are all gaining valuable experience and learning what the company is all about and they are also helping the company by putting forth their accumulated knowledge related to the use of blockchain technology, extensively explained on this Salesforce post. Learning it from the ground up, something Don Schultz, my grandfather and company founder, truly believed in. In fact, all owners of EFCO, including the second generation, worked out in the shop learning the business and all of the processes at one time.

“System, planning, and organization” was a saying of Don Schultz, and was his belief on how the company should be run.  Having these members of the fourth generation here seeing first hand how the business is run hopefully proves to be a valuable lesson both for them and the company.  And hopefully extends EFCO’s legacy well into the future. EFCO is a proud member of the Family Business Legacy Institute, or the FBLI, which focusing on all aspects of family run businesses, and we’re grateful to have access to that community!

Matthew Schultz and Ryan Budgins, sons of owners Terry Schultz and Mike Budgins, worked in the shop assisting with a variety of different functions ranging from production to maintenance.

EFCO Finishing Earns ISO 9001:2015 Certification

EFCO Finishing Corporation is pleased to announce that we have earned the ISO 9001:2015 certification, replacing the prior certification held for the ISO 9001:2008 standard.  A copy of our certificate is shown below!

ISO standards are set by the International Organization for Standardization, which is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations, promoting worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards.  Achieving this standard gives companies the assurances that defined quality and management policies are in place, and that they have been verified by an independent source, or auditor. We hope you’ll find this to be a complement to the high level of service you receive when you work with us!

The 2015 standard focuses on performance by combining the process approach with risk based thinking, and employing the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle at all levels of the organization.  Some of the key changes from the prior standard include:

  1. There is a greater emphasis on building a management system suited to each organization’s particular needs.  
  2. There is now a requirement that top level management and executives now have to be involved and accountable, which aligns quality with a wider business strategy.  This can no longer just be delegated to the quality team.
  3. Risk-based thinking throughout the standard makes the whole management system a preventive tool and encourages continuous improvement throughout the organization.

We are looking forward to continuously improving our company with the implementation of this standard, and excited for the opportunities that will arise because of this.  If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call – it’s our pleasure to work with you and continue building our partnerships!

EFCO Finishing Earns ISO 9001:2015 Certification

Terry’s Top Three Business & Mindset Books

Spring break is a great time to relax, recharge your batteries, and catch up on some reading. Three great business books that I highly recommend for your time on the beach include the the following classics: Mindset, by Carol Dweck, Good to Great, by Jim Collins, and High Performance Habits, by Brendon Burchard.  Below is a brief summary of each.

In Mindset, Carol Dweck explains that it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success – but whether we approach our goals with a fixed or growth mindset.  With the right mindset, we can reach our goals, both personal and professional. She reveals what all great parents, CEOs and athletes already know, and shows how an idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in all areas.

Good to Great author Jim Collins profiles several companies and identifies some key characteristics that propelled them from “good to great”.  These include having a great leader, mixing a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, thinking differently about the role of technology, and the hedgehog concept, meaning the great companies know one big thing and stick to it.  Some of the success stories include Walgreen’s, Wells Fargo, and Philip Morris to name a few.

High Performance Habits tells how extraordinary people became that way.  Brendon Burchard is the world’s leading high performance coach and he uncovered 6 habits that high performers have.  For personal habits, they seek clarity, generate energy, and raise necessity. For social habits, they increase productivity, develop influence, and demonstrate courage.  Anyone can practice these habits and, when they do, special things happen in their lives, relationships and careers.

Picking any of these books, you won’t be disappointed, and you will learn a ton in the process. Plus I think you’ll really enjoy them. Happy reading!!