17 minutes | Oct 3, 2016
036: Nate Barrett: The Industrialist
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! The shooting and hunting industries are not unlike any other business sector when it comes to facing employment law challenges. In this week’s episode, Nate gives an overview of how to avoid running afoul of Title VII, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, and national origin. Do you have other topics you’d like to see Nate tackle? Email him at email@example.com.
21 minutes | Sep 26, 2016
035: Nate Barrett: The Industrialist
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! Are you considering forming an LLC, corporation, or partnership? This should be at the top of your new business list. Making a mistake here can be fatal. Nate brings the insight, explaining these entities and alerting the Mongrel Horde to a dangerous pitfall for many business owners. Nate wants to hear from you! Email him today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
72 minutes | Sep 19, 2016
034: Alexander Crown: Gemtech
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! Alexander Crown, Director of Marketing for world-class silencer manufacturer, Gemtech, joins us in this week’s episode. “Don’t start an argument with someone that buys their ink by the barrels.” A great reminder to use tact and choose your battles wisely. Alexander was born and raised outside of Houston, Texas. He joined the Army as an Airborne Infantryman and deployed to Iraq. He was severely wounded by an IED in 2007. After his extensive recovery, he left the Army and went to Boise State in Idaho where he got a degree in Biology. He immediately started at Gemtech following school via a connection at one of the local gun shops. Gemtech is the oldest silencer manufacturer in the U.S. Their roots date back to 1976. Dr. Phil Dater is a pediatrician turned industry innovator who helped start the company and is still very active today. Alexander advises newcomers to an organization to become familiar with the company and culture before making suggestions. “Don’t do it all at once, do it slowly, overtime.” Alexander reads literature in order to improve and learn more about his job. He learned a lot about joining a new organization from An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield. Alexander relies on humor to make life better. After being injured in Iraq, Alexander introduced himself to his nurse by saying, “Hi, I’m SPC Crown. I was recently blown up by an IED and I’m going to be your patient today.” Humor is a huge part of the culture at Gemtech. In the FROG, Alexander shares how he overcame the obstacle of dealing with criticism from peers. “Take the criticism, do some self-reflection, and know next time how you’re going to respond. Try to think of your pitch from the other person’s perspective.” In the Triplethreat, Alexander shares a story a
50 minutes | Sep 12, 2016
033: Adam Roth: Aridus Industries
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! Adam Roth of Aridus Industries reminds us, “It’s not the easy way, it’s the right way.” Adam grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania, making and modifying things his whole life. Although he went to college and got a business degree, he wasn't exactly sure where he wanted to go professionally. Adam began researching gun forums and his interest in firearms was enhanced. Aridus’ flagship product is the Quick-Detach Carrier (Q-DC). The receiver is mechanical and the carriers fit into many AR-15-style mag pouches. “Everything that I’m looking to do is something innovative.” Five years ago, Adam was working in a coal mine on a rotating shift. His mind would wander and he began thinking about different gear load-outs. Eventually, he began inventing ways to carry ammo for his shotgun. From his experience as a coal miner, Adam learned that hook and loop wasn't the most durable solution. “There has got to be a mechanical solution that solves this problem better.” In the FROG, Adam explains how a devastating blow to his law enforcement aspirations landed him a job making great money in the coal mine and ultimately birthed his product and company. Adam tackles the Triplethreat with a lesson on the use of fixtures. In the Dirty Bird, Adam explains how an elbow injury created some difficult circumstances with his coworkers. Adam educates the Mongrel Horde on the use of Tech Shop! Check it out! He also reminds us of the importance of knowing when something is good enough. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If Adam could build a facility from scratch, he would streamline all equipment on property within walking distance to his house. No more commute!
56 minutes | Sep 5, 2016
032: Aaron Bethlenfalvy: Alpha Dog Silencers
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! Mongrels, email Aaron at email@example.com and mention The Industrialist Podcast for an amazing deal on an Alpha Dog Silencer! Aaron Bethlenfalvy, proprietor of Alpha Dog Silencers, tells us to “Fail, fail often, and fail cheaply. There is no better way to be innovative than to experience ways not to do something.” Aaron graduated from The Ohio State University and had an amazing career as an industrial designer and eventual executive vice president of a major bicycling conglomerate. He left that career and an amazing salary to pursue something that genuinely made him happy: the shooting sports. Alpha Dog was birthed in adversity, launching about a month prior to and only a mile or so from the deadly events at Sandy Hook Elementary School. When many companies left Connecticut, Aaron persevered. Aaron developed an innovative suppressor that deals with many latent issues: sights, lighting and accessories, and heat dissipation. In the FROG, Aaron tells us about battling his way into Ohio State University. “Nothing will ever knock me down and keep me down. I’ll continue to get up. I will pivot when need be and I will find the solution to any problem.” In the Triplethreat, Aaron hearkens back to his days in the bicycle industry. Aaron implemented lean principles and six sigma to address problems with colors and graphics. Communication and stakeholder involvement were key. Aaron tells us about a Dirty Bird in the bike industry. A toxic employee was ruining the work environment. The president of the company insisted that Aaron “socialize” the termination. Say what?! Aaron focuses on talent. You won’t get hired by Alpha Dog merely because you’re interested in guns. Alpha Dog cut major costs by literally thinking outside the box with a laser engraver. In Greenfield, Aaron suggests adding a retail experience to your shop. “In manufacturing, you begin to drift too far from the actual consumer experience and it’s that experience that you need to be the most intimate with.”
25 minutes | Aug 29, 2016
031: Nate Barrett: The Industrialist
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! In this week’s podcast, Nate blasts the Mongrel Horde with great information on how to conduct a dynamic interview. Whether you are a veteran at hiring new team members, or you are considering bringing your first employee onboard, this episode is for you. Learn what to do and what to avoid when interviewing candidates for a position with your company. For Dynamic One-on-One Consults email firstname.lastname@example.org.
41 minutes | Aug 22, 2016
030: Jonathan Howard: USA Chemical Supply
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! Mongrels, get $15.00 off your first purchase with USA Chemical Supply by using the coupon code: BINARYXWINS. Jonathan Howard, an owner of USA Chemical Supply starts us off with his company’s principle: “It’s easier to make a dollar off a million people than it is to make a million dollars off one person.” Jon started out as a production manager at a tool and die shop and decided to join with his brother-in-law to build USA Chemical Supply. They started in a one-car garage and are now in a 5,000 sq. ft. facility in Ohio. They offer exploding targets for both high and low velocity rounds. They keep costs low by only offering an online store. When asked what was the spark that ignited his company, Jon responds, “Nobody likes to be told what to do by someone else. . . . Deep down inside, whether you want to admit it or not, you want to be your own boss, you want to make the decisions.” Jon had an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. Jon and his brother-in-law worked two jobs to make the company happen. In the FROG, Jon shares the obstacle of entering the exploding target market, which was dominated by his competitor. His response was focusing on major cost savings that get passed on to the customer. They have kept that low-cost focus. In the Triplethreat, Jon shares how the company’s worst enemy is humidity. They had to develop a climate-controlled facility, as well as developing processes that limit exposure to the air. Keeping a safe and comfortable temperature for the team was also important. In the Dirty Bird, Jon reminds us that as a production manager, “No matter what happens, if it’s good or bad, it’s your fault.” Jon shares that USA Chemical Supply is switching to the most premi
20 minutes | Aug 15, 2016
029: Nate Barrett: The Industrialist
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! This week Nate tackles employee safety topics including business implications of an unsafe work environment, preventative and corrective safety measures, and situational safety. For Dynamic One-on-One Consults email email@example.com
22 minutes | Aug 8, 2016
028: Nate Barrett: The Industrialist
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! Nate discusses the 3C model for how to give solid direction to your team members in accomplishing daily tasks. For Dynamic One-on-One Consults email firstname.lastname@example.org
23 minutes | Aug 1, 2016
027: Nate Barrett: The Industrialist
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! Nate discusses standardized work, including what it is, why it’s important, and how to do it. For Dynamic One-on-One Consults email email@example.com.
38 minutes | Jul 25, 2016
026: Sean Burke: Lancer Systems
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! Sean Burke, Marketing Coordinator for Lancer Systems, tells us, “No company ever improved by discounting their competition.” Sean is a Marine. While actively serving, he specialized in demolition, breaching, and anti-armor, and also went to intelligence school. He was in the same infantry unit as Nate Murr. He finished his degree at Temple and became a history teacher for a time. While teaching, he also dabbled in the industry, writing, developing, and even assisting Murr in naming the Gripstop! He eventually came to work in the industry full time. When you think of Lancer, you may think of magazines, rifles, or handguards, but the company is also involved in advanced composites, aerospace, and many other industries. “The different business areas are kind of a symbiotic relationship, helping each other to produce a great product at the end.” Sean first encountered Lancer while looking for a steadier position, as teaching was somewhat unstable at the time. He was looking for a company that was a little less corporate. He started in marketing and now runs more of the strategic end, determining how to run all business areas together. In the FROG, Sean shares how he enjoyed teaching, and the students and administrators loved him as well. Social Studies and History was not getting as much funding as Math and Science. There were many cutbacks and Sean was looking for something more stable. At the same time, he was very interested in the shooting and defense industries and ultimately decided to pursue that path. “Now, I’m in the industry and really enjoying what I do, actually turning what was almost a hobby . . . into a full time gig.” In the Triplethreat, Sean tells us about AS9100 (think ISO certification on steroids). “We really focus on procedure and training, not only what needs to be done, but how it needs to be done.” The comp
67 minutes | Jul 18, 2016
025: Paul Carlson: Safety Solutions Academy
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! Paul Carlson of Safety Solutions Academy presents us with the Shield Plan B! “People get what they need out of the medicine they take,” and Paul delivers. Paul is a fellow podcaster (Safety Solutions Academy Podcast). To borrow a phrase, he tells us, “Just do it.” Paul’s passion for firearms began with a hunting trip as a teenager. He became a competitive shooter and realized the differences in defensive shooting when he was asked to be a range safety officer. He was trained as a professional educator, so it was a natural progression for him to begin instructing defensive firearms courses and launch an educational podcast. Paul’s mission is to provide high-quality defensive firearms training. He partners with others in the industry to focus on four additional key areas of training beyond firearms: medical, legal, unarmed combatives, and criminal psychology. He argues that the other areas are actually more important than firearms training because those skills can be used every day. The Shield Plan B was birthed from a twofold necessity: 1) The factory magazine sleeve slides out of position and may prevent the magazine from ejecting, and 2) removing the sleeve may result in overinserting the magazine, thereby damaging the extractor. In the FROG, Paul shares how he hit numerous roadblocks in bringing the Shield Plan B to market. A great friend encouraged Paul with some hard-hitting truth, “I didn’t realize you were such a quitter.” By week’s end, Paul had a working model in hand. In the Triplethreat, Paul shares a serious range safety issue that occurred. Rather than sending the student home, he educated the student. That policy fixes the safety
19 minutes | Jul 11, 2016
024: Nate Barrett: The Industrialist
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! Nate shares a special message with the Mongrel Horde about how to get focused and find purpose in life and business. For Dynamic One-On-One Consults email firstname.lastname@example.org.
100 minutes | Jul 4, 2016
023: Will Egbert: Vulture Equipment Works
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! “Build it right, build it American.” Will Egbert of Vulture Equipment Works starts us off with a Battle Cry near and dear to the hearts of the Mongrel Horde. Will grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, surrounded by woods. He came from a strong family with a love for the outdoors. Will went to school for Industrial Design in Pittsburgh. He loved the city because of the small-town feel. Upon graduation, Will began designing weapons. He worked as a government contractor in Central America for a while and eventually returned to the States. When September 11th occurred, it focused Will’s mission. He and his friends started a training camp called Trident Special Operations, which was designed solely to prepare first responders for terrorism threats. Trident became extremely successful. Will recalls training episodes, “We had dudes popping gangster style rounds over the back of the LazyBoy - at that point, we knew we were on to something.” They started a solid program that was picked up by many states and the federal government. Then, everything changed. Will was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. “You deal in life and death situations every day, you teach people to train for it, to get ready for it . . . and then all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of it.” Will lost his business. He went through six years of anguishing physical and mental rehabilitation. As Will was determining his next steps, he had a waking dream of being attacked by Vultures. He screamed, “Not dead, not dead!” And thus Vulture Equipment Works was born. Will was not dead and he was going to get back up and start living again. Will promised his wife he would get better. “When I tell you a promise, you can take it to the bank, I don’t waiver: I’m going to beat this thing or die trying.”
49 minutes | Jun 27, 2016
022: Mark Carey: Spartan Blades
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! “Knives with intent.” Mark Carey of Spartan Blades explains that the purpose of his business is to build knives for the professional and outdoorsman. Mark started his military career in the Army Infantry and soon transitioned to Special Forces. He was both a sniper and a medic. He eventually returned to Fort Bragg in North Carolina to train snipers. “When you go to war, you don’t always have what you want. Industry turns on when a war starts and whatever shortcomings you have, you have to develop them rapidly.” This realization led Mark into developing equipment for special operators and eventually birthed Spartan Blades. “If you’re going to have a partner, it’s got to be somebody you trust.” Mark’s business partner, Curtis Iovito, served with Mark in Special Forces. Mark loves working on tools that help the Special Forces community. “A partnership is great because you can’t be an expert in everything.” Mark and Curtis chose knives in part because they were able to self-fund and pull together equipment from their own collection and that of friends. Spartan Blades follows the Spartan way. “We were jumping into business with a loin cloth versus a full kit.” The company makes knives in small batch production. They started making 30 to 60 knives a month, but now make 500 to 600 per month. The quality continually improves. Models have come and gone, and Mark has learned, “Make things that people want.” In the FROG, Mark shares how early the company had decided to use only U.S.-origin raw materials. During the economic downturn, Spartan’s steel supplier went into bankruptcy and some of the steel company employees were no longer getting paid. Nonetheless, Spartan and the supplier worked together to keep Spartan running. “My supplier is my partner.” “Relationships in business are almost as important as the product.”
63 minutes | Jun 20, 2016
021: Craig Powell: TOPS Knives
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Craig Powell of TOPS Knives starts us off with a friendly reminder from a familiar book. For him, it’s all about people. Craig grew up in a small town. He spent a lot of time outdoors. He spent a couple of years in Mexico and enjoys traveling. Professionally, Craig worked in a call center for a while, but the job was not fulfilling. Nevertheless, Craig gave his best effort and was promoted. When the call center left Idaho, it forced his hand. He had a friend who connected him with TOPS. TOPS Knives was started by a group of Veterans with the purpose of addressing tactical needs. In the last several years, TOPS began adding many products to address outdoor needs. Craig’s personal challenge included a two-month intensive course in learning Spanish. He learned to stop asking why as an excuse and started asking why in order to learn. In the Triplethreat, Craig shares the story of TOPS Knives’ President, Leo Espinoza. Leo started at TOPS from the ground floor. The company used to make everything by hand. This was difficult, dangerous, and created potential quality issues. Leo built a table around a grinder that enabled even lesser experienced operators to produce a quality grind. The knives were then produced faster and with improved quality. In the Dirty Bird, Craig shares his disdain for people saying “that’s not my job.” He also shares a story from his call center days, when an employee began providing ludicrous solutions to customer complaints. Needless to say, the employee was fired. Don’t go out with a bang. TOPS Knives is always innovating. The Steel Eagle 107CXX has a knife hidden within the handle of the primary knife. Leo was inspired by seeing tweezers hidden within an ink pen. TOPS has used this innovation in other models as well.
41 minutes | Jun 13, 2016
020: Alex & Zac Smith: Smith & Sons Knife Company
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! The Industrialist ventures into uncharted territory by welcoming two guests at once, brothers Alex and Zac Smith from Smith & Sons Knife Company. The Smith brothers hit us with verses from 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 that strikes a chord with The Industrialist: make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, mind your own business and work with your hands, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and you will not be dependent on anybody (paraphrase). The brothers grew up in the small town of Sulphur, Louisiana. Their dad had a love for crafting with his hands and learned how to make knives. The brothers had a love for music in high school and both went to McNeese State University, Alex studying graphic design and Zac studying business. The business started with a retail focus, but quickly shifted to knife making as the products gained popularity. The Smith brothers tell the Mongrel Horde this story in the FROG. “The opportunity was that we got to share our work with other people and be known for our own work rather than peddling other people’s stuff.” In the Triplethreat, Alex shares how automating and purchasing necessary machinery reduced variation thereby increasing quality and throughput and reducing employee safety incidents. Zac shares about how the family overcame an internal struggle transitioning from one-off, truly custom products to consistent, production-based goods that maintained a custom feel. Alex says, “We want to have knives that are production costs, but custom quality.” All that being said . . . Smith & Sons has an innovative policy where they will produce custom knives in batches. The company cuts costs by automating where possible. Zac adds, “There is no shame in getting technology that helps you do things more consistently and better and faster.” In Greenfield
84 minutes | Jun 6, 2016
019: Jason Goates: StealthGearUSA
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! “It’s not about the odds, it’s about the stakes.” Jason Goates, Marketing Manager for StealthGearUSA, hits the Mongrel Horde with this opener! Jason grew up in Utah in a family of five. In school, Jason loved auto shop. A high school teacher set a powerful course for Jason’s life when he gifted a Suzuki Samurai. Jason became part of a team that conquered the Baja 1000 and became a part of StealthGear as a result. StealthGear came into being in 2012 when the founder, Paul Laemmlen, experienced a public holster malfunction. Paul developed StealthGear through trial, error, and much hard work. Growth came through grassroots marketing and great customer service. Jason was a customer before he became a team member. The team members at StealthGear are a “really unique, eclectic group of artisans.” The business philosophy is “There is really no reason why you should own a $500 - $1000 handgun in put it in something that was hastily designed.” “We cannot make these products fast enough and we refuse to sacrifice quality.” Jason became very vocal about StealthGear online and started his career with the company traveling to shows. He jumped onboard full time as a production manager and wore many hats. He has groomed others in the company, including Austin who took his place as production manager. Nate and Jason talk mentoring. In the FROG, Jason shares a financial setback. His pay was cut in half. He made tough financial decisions, including selling his house. He sees God’s hand in the process. He took a job he was not passionate about, but stayed focused on finding a true career. This focus led eventually led him to StealthGear. In the Triplethreat, Jason shares how the decision to outsource the cutting of the proprietary holster chassis greatly improved quality and throughput, while reducing employee safety incidents.
58 minutes | May 30, 2016
018: Dean Capuano: Swarovski Optik
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the Mongrel Horde on the website! Dean Capuano, Director of Communications for Swarovski Optik opens up the episode with a Battle Cry near and dear to the hearts of the Mongrel Horde: “Constantly improving what is good.” This philosophy permeates the business. Dean applies this to every employee who works for him: “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but be better than you were yesterday.” Dean grew up in Rhode Island and has been an outdoorsman throughout his life; however, he was “sidetracked” for a time and drafted into the NHL! He was unfortunately badly injured, but this began his long-standing career with Swarovski. “I love the company, I love the product, I love what I do, I love our industry.” Swarovski was started in 1898 by Daniel Swarovski. He developed the first crystal cutting and grinding machine and began by making crystal figurines. The company began manufacturing binoculars for the European military in 1949. The company is still family-owned today. “Whether it’s from some of the bigger, marketing-related projects we do to even the smallest, tiny screw that’s put in some of the product, everything is painstakingly taken care of.” Dean started in a position in customer service. The company established a position for Dean overseeing all shooting sports. He did a lot of travel. He was then appointed to lead the marketing and communications team. In the FROG, Dean underscores the importance of delegating and trusting others. When he became ill from taking on too much on his own, he realized the importance of growing his team members to take on more responsibility. Now he has a fantastic staff that handles every facet of the business. “Don’t be afraid to make [mistakes], I don’t want to see ‘em twice, but don’t be afraid to make ‘em once.” Dean’s Eureka moment came when new management took over. T
55 minutes | May 23, 2016
017: Tim Matter (2 of 2): Tactical Walls
facebook.com/theindustrialistusa instagram.com/theindustrialistusa theindustrialistusa.com facebook.com/tacticalwalls twitter.com/tacticalwalls instagram.com/tacticalwalls tacticalwalls.com In Part 2, Tim Matter of Tactical Walls starts us off by tackling the Dirty Bird. Tactical Walls didn’t use time clocks for the first three years. Tim has a relaxed style and operated on the honor system; however, growth necessitated that some controls be put in place. Tracking output and time allowed TW to share best practices among team members. They still maintain a fun and relaxed atmosphere through team gatherings. Tactical Walls has a family atmosphere. Many people, including new hires, are “old friends” who have worked together even at other companies. Tim’s kids even do their home-schooling at the shop. It’s very comfortable and doesn’t feel like work. Tim is working to develop patience. “In my mind I see things happen a lot faster than it takes to come to fruition.” The company faced a challenge when the lead foreman was simultaneously in charge of production and developing the new facility. Change is difficult for people even when positive. Negativity can quickly spread. “Negativity is a cancer” that can quickly spread throughout an organization. Tim tells the Mongrel Horde about an innovative policy in the realm of employee benefits. “I don’t like the concept of minimum wage. . . . [I’m not going to pay you minimum wage because I expect more than $7.25 an hour worth of effort from you.]” The company provides insurance an