10 episodes

Manufacturing creates economic growth and is the engine that drives the Wisconsin economy. On the Wisconsin Made, The Podcast, host Nick Novak takes you inside the vibrancy of Wisconsin manufacturers as he sits down with business leaders in the industry.This podcast is in association with the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year program, a premiere annual awards program celebrating excellence in manufacturing in the state of Wisconsin. Thank you to our program partners Baker Tilly, Michael Best and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC). We remain committed to our mission of recognizing excellence in manufacturing, and as part of that continued commitment, we want to showcase the strength and resilience of Wisconsin's manufacturing community - even during a global pandemic.This podcast features stories of how traditional operations, processes and procedures may have shifted to re-envisioning manufacturing today because now more than ever, it is crucial to come together as one community to remember that manufacturing is not only the backbone, but the engine that drives this great state's economy.Tune in each week to hear from Wisconsin CEOs and executives within the manufacturing industry to learn about their challenges, opportunities and success navigating their business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We will hear about their success stories and learn more about the future state of manufacturing in Wisconsin post-pandemic.

Wisconsin Made. The Podcast‪.‬ Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Manufacturing creates economic growth and is the engine that drives the Wisconsin economy. On the Wisconsin Made, The Podcast, host Nick Novak takes you inside the vibrancy of Wisconsin manufacturers as he sits down with business leaders in the industry.This podcast is in association with the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year program, a premiere annual awards program celebrating excellence in manufacturing in the state of Wisconsin. Thank you to our program partners Baker Tilly, Michael Best and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC). We remain committed to our mission of recognizing excellence in manufacturing, and as part of that continued commitment, we want to showcase the strength and resilience of Wisconsin's manufacturing community - even during a global pandemic.This podcast features stories of how traditional operations, processes and procedures may have shifted to re-envisioning manufacturing today because now more than ever, it is crucial to come together as one community to remember that manufacturing is not only the backbone, but the engine that drives this great state's economy.Tune in each week to hear from Wisconsin CEOs and executives within the manufacturing industry to learn about their challenges, opportunities and success navigating their business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We will hear about their success stories and learn more about the future state of manufacturing in Wisconsin post-pandemic.

    EP 9 - Manufacturers Give Back: Community Engagement | OEM Fabricators | Woodville, Wisconsin

    EP 9 - Manufacturers Give Back: Community Engagement | OEM Fabricators | Woodville, Wisconsin

    “While the safer at home order was in place, we increased hourly pay by three dollars an hour for anybody that worked on site.” – Kelly Ingli | President & CFO | OEM Fabricators
    “It was a team effort and the face shields were distributed to hospitals in Phillips area, Neillsville and Woodville area.” – Tom Aaby | Vice President of Business Development | OEM Fabricators
    In our final episode of “Wisconsin Made. The Podcast.” we are joined by OEM Fabricators out of Woodville, Wisconsin who is a leading contract manufacturer with three locations in the northern half of Wisconsin with facilities in Woodville, Neillsville and Phillips. They specialize in complex, medium to heavy gauge, metal fabricated components that service the rail maintenance, passenger rail, mining, construction and oil and gas industries. In this episode, we learn about how OEM implemented a $3/hour hazard pay increase for those working onsite during the safer at home order. In addition, OEM manufactured and donated 400 face shields to local hospitals and team members sewed and donated over 1,600 masks.
    Our guests joining us are Kelly Ingli, President & CFO and Tom Aaby, Vice President of Business Development for OEM Fabricators. Kelly is an experienced business leader and has been with OEM Fabricators since 2007. She has served in a variety of roles and most recently as Chief Financial Officer. Tom is integral to the business development of OEM and has been with the organization for nearly 30 years. Join us during this episode to learn more about their insights navigating their business through the COVID-19 pandemic and their thoughts on the future state of manufacturing in Wisconsin.
    In this episode we answer:
    Tell me a little bit about OEM Fabricators. (1:45)How did OEM respond to the pandemic in the spring of 2020? (3:10)Why did OEM implement a $3/hour hazard pay increase while the safer at home order was in place? (5:10)What were some of the major challenges you experienced last spring? (6:10)Tell me about how you were able to donate face shields and create about 1,600 masks. (7:30)How does the future look for OEM? What is your outlook for the manufacturing industry generally moving forward? (14:10)Wisconsin Made. The Podcast. – Series Recap, Closing Remarks (17:40)This concludes our series of “Wisconsin. Made. The Podcast.” We truly hope that you have enjoyed this series as we’ve heard from manufacturers across the state of Wisconsin about their challenges and opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have heard some truly amazing stories from Wisconsin employers and what their employees have done over the past year to combat COVID-19 and truly delivered.  The amount of innovation that has happened over the past year is just the beginning, manufacturing is alive and well in Wisconsin and has an extremely bright future.
    “Wisconsin Made. The Podcast.” is brought to you by Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year, a premier annual awards program celebrating excellence in manufacturing in the state of Wisconsin. Thank you to our program sponsors Baker Tilly, Michael Best and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC).

    • 24 min
    EP 8 - Achieving Business Growth Amidst a Global Pandemic | CMD Corporation | Appleton, Wisconsin

    EP 8 - Achieving Business Growth Amidst a Global Pandemic | CMD Corporation | Appleton, Wisconsin

    “We purchased virtual reality goggles so we could service our international and all our customers, including domestic customers, because we were limited to travel.” – Ricardo Abud | President | CMD Corporation
    In this week’s episode of “Wisconsin Made. The Podcast.” we feature CMD Corporation out of Appleton who focuses on delivering advanced technology in converting and packaging equipment by serving customers all around the world. During this podcast episode we learn about some of the innovative technologies that CMD implemented in order to work with the their customers virtually through the use of virtual reality goggles. This gave them the ability to communicate with their customers safely, to train and onboard them with their new equipment and easily answer questions their customers may have when adding their new equipment. In addition, we discuss how CMD dedicated a 3D printer to manufacture parts for face shields and worked with customers to adjust converting equipment originally designed to manufacturer garbage bags, for the production of protective items like aprons for health care workers.
    Our guest joining us is Ricardo Abud, President of CMD Corporation who is an experienced leader within the manufacturing industry with nearly 30 years of domestic and international business experience in the food, paper and capital equipment industries. Join us in this episode as we get a better understanding on how CMD Corporation utilized immerging technologies to continue their business forward during the COVID-19 pandemic which even expanded business opportunities in 2020 and lead them to increasing their workforce.
    In this episode we answer:
    Tell us a little bit about CMD Corporation and what you do? (1:40)What was your initial reaction to the government shutdowns and new regulations during the spring of 2020? (3:15)What were some of the specific things that CMD did to switch over your production to address the needs to fight the pandemic? (6:00)What is a lesson you learned from the pandemic that will help you move CMD forward? (8:20)CMD implemented new technologies to allow you to communicate with your customers, can you tell us a little bit about that? (10:35)Where do you see the manufacturing industry going beyond 2021? (16:05)Next week, in our final episode of the series, we will be joined by Kelly Ingli, President & CFO; and Tom Aaby, Vice President of Business Development of OEM Fabricators out of Woodville. We will learn about how OEM really stepped up in a big way to give back to their local communities where their three manufacturing facilities are located. Plus, we will wrap up the series by highlighting all the things we learned from these various Wisconsin manufacturing companies.
    If you found value in this episode or want to hear the stories from Wisconsin manufacturers, please hit that subscribe button and share it with your peers. We really want to showcase all the good news stories of how manufacturing was critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “Wisconsin Made. The Podcast.” is brought to you by Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year, a premier annual awards program celebrating excellence in manufacturing in the state of Wisconsin. Thank you to our program sponsors Baker Tilly, Michael Best and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC).

    • 22 min
    EP 7 - Protecting Front-Line Workers, Employees & Community | Beyond Vision | Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    EP 7 - Protecting Front-Line Workers, Employees & Community | Beyond Vision | Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    “Early on, we really just made the decision to trust our people, trust our culture and we did a lot of things to try to maximize safety.” – Jim Kerlin | President & CEO | Beyond Vision
    In this episode of "Wisconsin Made. The Podcast." we highlight Beyond Vision out of Milwaukee who is a non-for-profit company with the mission to enrich the lives of people who are blind through the dignity of work. They offer manufacturing, fulfillment, assembly, packaging and customer care services employees to customers including Harley-Davidson, Caterpillar and Oshkosh Defense. During this episode, we gain insights on how Beyond vision provided additional way-finding tools to allow employees with vision loss to safely navigate and social distance. Plus, we learn about how their strong culture helped them through the pandemic.
    Our guest joining us in this episode is Jim Kerlin, President & CEO of Beyond Vision who has a strong manufacturing, business and engineering background. He is the inventor and co-inventor of twelve patents, with several additional pending. Join us in this episode to understand how Jim has used his leadership skills to keep his employees and community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, he speaks about the opportunities available in Wisconsin for those who are visual impaired.
    In this episode we answer:
    Tell us a little bit about Beyond Vision and what 2020 was like for you? (1:50)What are some of the big things that you had to do early on in the pandemic to really respond and keep your employees safe? (3:35)Can you talk a little bit about your new emergency sick time off program? (8:10)What is the outlook for Beyond Vision in 2021? Where do you see the company going and what challenges do you see happening the rest of this year? (11:00)Where do you see manufacturing in Wisconsin going beyond 2021? Do you think it's on the upswing that it's going to continue to have a bright future? (14:00)What would your message be to your employees for the way they responded over the past year? (18:15)Next week, we will be joined by Ricardo Abud, President of CMD Corporation out of Appleton. We will learn more about the innovative changes they made within their manufacturing processes, how they were able to continue to communicate and work with their customers as travel restrictions were in place and how they were able to achieve business growth in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, we will talk a little bit about what the future holds for CMD Corporation and manufacturing in Wisconsin post-pandemic.
    If you found value in this episode or want to hear the stories from Wisconsin manufacturers, please hit that subscribe button and share it with your peers. We really want to showcase all the good news stories of how manufacturing was critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “Wisconsin Made. The Podcast.” is brought to you by Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year, a premier annual awards program celebrating excellence in manufacturing in the state of Wisconsin. Thank you to our program sponsors Baker Tilly, Michael Best and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC).

    • 21 min
    EP 6 - Manufacturers Respond to COVID-19, Shifts in Demand for Medical Industry | Ahlstrom-Munksjo | Kaukauna, Wisconsin

    EP 6 - Manufacturers Respond to COVID-19, Shifts in Demand for Medical Industry | Ahlstrom-Munksjo | Kaukauna, Wisconsin

    “Beyond just the manufacturing platform, I think what we’ve learned as we service our customers was an awful lot about creativity and various ways to do things.” – Robyn Buss | Executive Vice President of Food Packaging & Technical Solutions | Ahlstrom-Munksjö
    In our latest episode of “Wisconsin Made. The Podcast.” we feature Ahlstrom-Munksjö based in Kaukauna, Wisconsin who is the leading global and North American manufacturer of specialty paper products. From medical tapes that keep IVs in place and base papers for face masks and gowns to fast food carryout bags and nonperishable and frozen food packaging, we learn how Ahlstrom-Munksjö kept up with demand to ensure others could respond as needed to the pandemic.
    Our guest joining us this week is Robyn Buss, Executive Vice President of Food Packaging & Technical Solutions of Ahlstrom-Munksjö who is a seasoned sales and marketing professional with over 25 years of experience. Robyn has a track record of leading teams, attracting top talent and developing individuals to their highest potential. Tune in to our latest episode to learn more about how Ahlstrom-Munksjö responded to the shifting demands in the medical industry and how Robyn sees the future of manufacturing in Wisconsin moving forward.
    In this episode we answer:
    Tell us a little bit about Ahlstrom-Munksjö and how you resounded to COVID-19. (2:22)How were you able to respond so quickly to the shifts in demand within the medical industry in response to the pandemic? (4:44)What did it mean to your employees to know that they were really a critical part of the COVID-19 response? (8:45)How is Ahlstrom-Munksjö planning for the rest of 2021 and beyond with all the changes happening? (11:00)Reflecting on the past year plus, do you think that this showed that the manufacturing industry is more resilient than ever and has a bright future? What’s your interpretation of the long-term plan for the manufacturing industry? (13:45)What are some solutions that you and the team at Ahlstrom-Munksjö doing to address the workforce shortage and fill the needed positions for your business? (18:20)Next week, we are excited to be joined by Jim Kerlin, President & CEO at Beyond Vision out of Milwaukee. We will share another perspective from an innovative company in Wisconsin and how they were able to continue to protect front-line workers, their employees and community.
    If you found value in this episode or want to hear the stories from Wisconsin manufacturers, please hit that subscribe button and share it with your peers. We really want to showcase all the good news stories of how manufacturing was critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “Wisconsin Made. The Podcast.” is brought to you by Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year, a premier annual awards program celebrating excellence in manufacturing in the state of Wisconsin. Thank you to our program sponsors Baker Tilly, Michael Best and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC).

    • 21 min
    EP 5 - 2020: The Year of Re-Envisioning Operations in Manufacturing | Power Test Dynamometers | Sussex, Wisconsin

    EP 5 - 2020: The Year of Re-Envisioning Operations in Manufacturing | Power Test Dynamometers | Sussex, Wisconsin

    “Again, something we never would have considered in the past, but clearly something that is going to be part of a consideration going forward, so technology is a great thing and when you’re faced with still having to provide a result, we get kind of creative on how to get there.” – Rick Ruzga | President | Power Test Dynamometers
    In this week’s episode of “Wisconsin Made. The Podcast.” we highlight Power Test Dynamometers out of Sussex, Wisconsin. They began 2020 with momentum that was created the previous year and maintained it throughout. The company completed two acquisitions, expanded its manufacturing footprint and increased its workforce while exhibiting 5% revenue growth and a 30% growth in profit. In addition, Power Test again contributed 2% of revenue to charity and supported COVID relief in other ways. Employees organized supply drives to support local organizations, continued blood drives onsite and donated meals to local hospital workers.
    Our guest joining us in this episode is Rick Ruzga, President of Power Test Dynamometers. Rick has a proven track record of operational excellence with the ability to synthesize engineering, quality, manufacturing, finance and customer operations in a growing business. Tune in to this episode as we learn more about the successes and challenges that the team at Power Test faced in 2020 and learn more about Rick’s thoughts on the manufacturing industry in Wisconsin moving forward.
    In this episode we answer:
    Tell us a little bit about Power Test. (1:45)Can you tell us a little bit about the revenue growth and the growth of the company over the last year? (3:05)What kind of technologies and processes did Power Test put in place to communicate internally and also to communicate externally to customers? (6:00)What were some of the initiatives Power Test took in 2020 to support the community during the pandemic? (13:00)What are you seeing for the rest of 2021? Do you see manufacturing really coming back strong following the pandemic? (15: 30)What is something you learned in 2020 that will really help drive the company forward for the next year and beyond? (18:30)In next week’s episode, we are going to be joined by Robyn Buss, Executive Vice President of Food Packaging & Technical Solutions at Ahlstrom-Munksjo. We will learn more about how they responded to COVID-19 and specifically about shifting their production processes to meet the demand for the medical industry throughout 2020 and beyond. Plus, we will gain a little insight about the type of products they have been manufacturing to help in the fight against COVID-19.
    If you found value in this episode or want to hear the stories from Wisconsin manufacturers, please hit that subscribe button and share it with your peers. We really want to showcase all the good news stories of how manufacturing was critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “Wisconsin Made. The Podcast.” is brought to you by Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year, a premier annual awards program celebrating excellence in manufacturing in the state of Wisconsin. Thank you to our program sponsors Baker Tilly, Michael Best and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC).

    • 21 min
    EP 4 - 2021 and Beyond: The Future of Manufacturing | Pindel Global Precision, PRODx & Linetec | New Berlin & Wausau, Wisconsin

    EP 4 - 2021 and Beyond: The Future of Manufacturing | Pindel Global Precision, PRODx & Linetec | New Berlin & Wausau, Wisconsin

    "OEMs, original equipment manufacturers, starting to reconsider Asia sourcing, global supply chains, you know, where their products are coming from and that presents a huge opportunity for manufacturing in our country." - Bill Berrien | CEO | Pindel Global Precision | Founder | PRODx
    In this week's episode of "Wisconsin Made. The Podcast." we highlight Pindel Global Precision and PRODx out of New Berlin and Linetec out of Wausau. These companies each experienced unique challenges in 2020 while also finding new business opportunities. Pindel Global Precision is a manufacturer of precision machined production parts and solutions. After witnessing the disrupted global supply chains and sudden increases in demand, Pindel Global Precision founded a separate owned company, Production Expediting Technologies LLC - PRODx for short. Linetec is a single-source solution for architectural finishing who continued to support their customers whose products help create and remodel critical buildings and structures throughout the pandemic.
    Our guests joining us for this episode are Bill Berrien, CEO of Pindel Global Precision and Founder of PRODx and Jon Close, President of Linetec. Bill is an innovative leader who runs multiple manufacturing businesses in Wisconsin while Jon is a dynamic cross-functional business executive with experience in sales, marketing and operations. Tune in to this episode as we discuss on how they navigated 2020 and how the pandemic affected global supply chains and how that's a huge opportunity for manufacturers in Wisconsin.
    In this episode we answer:
    Tell us a little bit about Pindel Global Precision and how the pandemic impacted you. (2:19)How did the disrupted global supply chains lead you to beginning a new company Production Expediting Technologies or PRODx? (5:10)What do you see moving forward with the rest of 2021 and the future of the manufacturing industry? (9:15)Tell us a little but about Linetec, what do you manufacture in Wausau? (13:45) What challenges do you anticipate still coming up as we try to navigate this new normal that we're in in the presence of COVID still? (16:35)What do you see as one of the biggest things you learned over this past year that's going to help you succeed moving forward? (20:30)In next week’s episode, we are going to be talking with Rick Ruzga, President of Power Test Dynamometers. We will learn about their ability to pivot to virtual trade shows to meet with customers, develop remote commissioning capabilities and still managed to give two percent of revenue to charity. The company also purchased meals from struggling local restaurants to donate them to hospital workers in the area.
    If you found value in this episode or want to hear the stories from Wisconsin manufacturers, please hit that subscribe button and share it with your peers. We really want to showcase all the good news stories of how manufacturing was critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “Wisconsin Made. The Podcast.” is brought to you by Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year, a premier annual awards program celebrating excellence in manufacturing in the state of Wisconsin. Thank you to our program sponsors Baker Tilly, Michael Best and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC).

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

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How cool!

Wisconsin really is a leader in manufacturing! So many great stories shared so far! Love the podcast.

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