It’s not every day a living legend in your industry walks through the front door.

We experienced it recently when Vincent Bozzone, the Godfather of job shops, spent two days at Max Weiss Company.

Vince is The Man. He’s dedicated his 40+ year career to helping job shops. He understood long ago that management and production processes for mass manufacturers don’t work for smaller, order-specific companies. He created the blueprint for improvements that do.

Vince is a leading authority on the structure and management of job shops and similar operations. He’s best known for writing two books, both premised on a concept of “Speed to Market.” His Job Shop 360 package bills itself as “the only management training program for make-to-order businesses on the planet.”

Vince is a genuine guy. No jargon, buzzwords or indecipherable terminology. At age 78, he has nothing to prove. He showed up ready to help, asked lots of questions, and seemed to absorb everything happening around him.

Having worked with more than 1,000 businesses, Vince’s experience at Max Weiss Company might have been familiar. He continually advocates standard tenets: Operate with a high level of professionalism. Build relationships on trust, not price. Document performance in multiple areas on a schedule, and review regularly.

Yet, Vince gave us some great ideas and a lengthy to-do list. The items covered elements of production, to personnel interaction, to marketing, to even semantic changes for how relationships are addressed. Small adjustments can yield big results.

Paul Schulz, our company President, noted that Vince’s approach differed from prior consultants Max Weiss Company worked with.

“We started from a different place with Vince,” he said. “The team (on their own) had read his book, seen his Job Shop 360 videos, received his newsletters and had been following him on LinkedIn. The minute the meeting started everyone was engaged, the discussion had more ‘pop’ and ‘engagement,’ the team was eager to share and discuss all things job shop. There was no holding back, just an open and honest discussion of daily life in a project-based job shop.”

“Most pleasing to my ears, suggestions were brought forth to improve, which the team agreed to implement,” Paul continued. “Vince discussed with us a different way of thinking about job shops: process thinking, being organized around process, dynamic scheduling, pre-production and production planning, support cost vs. indirect labor, and computer scheduling not always being the answer.”

“The theme of many of Vince’s conversations centered around ‘Speed to Market,” which is also the name of his books. Therein lies the key to operating a profitable job shop.”

The world of construction metal forming, steel bar bending, steel plate rolling and custom metal fabrication changes daily. It was a true pleasure to work with someone of Vince’s caliber, who gets that no two orders are ever the same. Our customers will benefit, most of all - which is exactly the mindset that Vince preaches.

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