steve, people, kim, damon, website, ball bearing, mep, manufacturer, company, kurt, schatz, phd, buyer persona, manufacturing, industry, daymond, talk, digital transformation, learned, question
Kim Lloyd, Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson, Steve Pomeroy
Damon Pistulka 00:06
All right, everyone, it’s Friday and it is the manufacturing ecommerce success series. I’m one of your host, Damon Pistulka. And this pretty gentleman right over beside me here is Kurt Andersen and today we’re gonna be taking a deep dive inside of manufacturing digital transformation. And I’m just going to turn it over to Kurt and let it go from there.
Curt Anderson 00:29
Damon, thank you brother. Appreciate you guys look at that handsome guy over there, man. Just they’re just glowing today. You know? We’re having a little golf conversation today. You know, man who knew Damon was like Kim he’s like nearly a scratch golfer but we’ll talk about that another time. That
Damon Pistulka 00:43
was years ago though.
Curt Anderson 00:44
Yeah, so Alright guys. Hey, welcome Happy Friday. We’re here to talk about stop being the best kept secret so guys, we’ve got valves in the House John Buck Leno. Dan. Bigger is here dance tight with Kim. So he knows he knows the MEP world here in New York. So, guys, I have a great What an absolute honor and privilege this is today. So a couple intros. So I’m going to start with my dear friend Kim Lloyd Kim is like see I got this backwards. I Kim’s over in a corner there. So Kim Lloyd from fuse hub, the New York MEP Kim have to happy after Happy Friday. Good afternoon. How are you today?
Kim Lloyd 01:17
I’m doing great. Thanks for inviting me.
Curt Anderson 01:19
Absolutely. So guys, we’re going to take a deep dive into the MEP network. That’s fuse hub is the MEP here in New York. And so this handsome devil down here we’re going to talk about Steve Palmeraie. Steve, the president of sheds buried in Poughkeepsie, New York. Steve, how are you doing today?
Steve Pomeroy 01:35
Well, now that I’m talking to you, Kurt.
Curt Anderson 01:40
You know, Steve, could you talk to my wife and explain that better day when you talk to her? I’m just kidding. So, guys, this is what an honor what a privilege. So like Damian, you know, like our goal is like we never want to be the smartest guy in the zoom right now. Like so. Kim over here or she’s over there. Tim over there. Like she has her bachelor’s degree from University of Buffalo. She has an MBA from RPI. So just brilliant. She is truly an E commerce pioneer. If you go guys connect with Kim here on LinkedIn, if you go to her profile, Damon she’s so such a pioneer in E commerce.
She actually has a title electric commerce. So can we still call it electric commerce? Am I correct? Yeah, yep. So you’re an absolute Rockstar, I’ve had the honor privilege of working with you. I just admire respect you more than you know. And you’ve become a dear friend. So thank you. And we’re gonna take a deep dive in our work here today with shets. Now, Steve, question for you again. Daymond.
Once again, not the smartest guy in the room here today. So how does a guy got a PhD from MIT? What can you talk to us a little bit about when you were a little guy growing up? Was there like any foreshadowing that you’re going to go into manufacturing? Or do you have anything there that you could share?
Steve Pomeroy 02:56
Well, I have a cute story. I’d like to, you know, I tell people I have a I have an assignment, I think when I was in kindergarten, or first grade, which I think they asked what you want it to be. And I said that I want it to be a ball bearing maker. So when people see my office, I say that I had vision back 50 plus years ago, but really it was my dad worked at a ball bearing company, and I think he had a father Sunday or father, you know, daughter day and so everybody was bringing their kids in that day.
And so that’s how the assignment was made. But I I’d like to think that I had the vision back then, but clearly not because why would you go get a PhD in electrical engineering, you end up making ball bearings?
Curt Anderson 03:44
Absolutely. That’s awesome, man. I love that story. So again, guys, we have Steve Pomeroy here, president of Schatz bearing in Poughkeepsie, New York. And please connect with Steve on LinkedIn, you want to check out their website. He’s done amazing work there. So Steve, let’s slide right into that. You know, what’s funny, Dave? You know, dude, I’m 53 Still trying to figure out what I want to do. When I grow up in here. Steve knows exactly what he wants to do.
Damon Pistulka 04:07
Back and that’s what I’m saying. Like, I mean, a, you knew what you wanted to do. And B, you wrote it out in a ball bearing manufacturer, and then you go ahead and do it. Yeah. Like that’s, that’s something.
Curt Anderson 04:21
So Steve, let’s take a dive into that. So walk us through so you know what, you know, a PhD from MIT. Goodness gracious, you’re one of the most humble guys I’ve ever met. And so that is such a massive accomplishment, kind of walk us through like, okay, so high school years, you go off to college, what inspired you to pursue your PhD in electrical engineering?
Steve Pomeroy 04:40
Well, I think I think I’ve always been, you know, a curious person. You know, even as a kid I was curious about lots of things and I knew I liked math and science. And so when that was one of the schools that I got into, it was an easy decision for me to go there. So I think it was just really just curiosity that brought me their curiosity in math, math and science.
Curt Anderson 05:07
Perfect. So again, guys, happy Friday. Thanks for joining us. We got Dan bigger guys, let us know where you’re coming from drop a note again, you want to connect with Kim Lloyd here. You want to connect with Steve on LinkedIn. So Steve, okay,
Damon Pistulka 05:18
sorry, Valerie is saying Kim rocks.
Curt Anderson 05:20
There’s they are right there. So we actually Daymond we all met in person right at Vail at Monterey. We had a good time Daniels fuse up, he said he dropped a note. I feel like I’m back in New York. So hey, Dan, welcome back to New York rather. So Steve, you go through your PhD? So what was their transition? How do you go from a PhD to also becoming president of a ball bearing manufacturer? How did that happen?
Steve Pomeroy 05:43
Well, I mean, this is one of the things that you know, I have teenage kids, and sometimes they’ll say things that they don’t, you know, like a class they don’t like, and they say, Well, I’m never going to do this and tell them, you never know what you’re doing. So firstly, with a world that’s changing as quickly as yes, there’s probably going to be fields that don’t exist, I know that there are going to be fields that don’t exist in the future. So you know, it’s too early, early to close doors.
But anyway, that’s a sidelight, I would say, you know, I was even when I was in the, you know, the, the technical side of electrical engineering, I always had an interest in small business and startup type of possibility. And you when I was in an undergrad, and then started starting into grad school, my family got involved in this business.
And after a couple of years, you know, when I’d go home from holidays, my parents would talk to me, and, you know, they floated the idea, would you be interested in going, you know, taking over this business, and my initial reaction, of course, was, you know, that’s not in my field, I don’t want to do it and, but over time, you know, they convinced me, well, you won’t get the opportunity to learn from them.
And my dad and my mom, and you know, that I would kind of if I went off on this, you know, entrepreneurial path that I wouldn’t have that sort of support or so I looked at it as a way of, even if I didn’t stay with it, it was an opportunity to learn small business and so forth. So the deal I made with them was, you know, there are a lot of people that would, were sort of dropping out of the Ph. D. program, because they just couldn’t do it. And I didn’t want to just drop out and pursue this. So I made a deal. I just said, Well, I’m going to finish the PhD.
And I knew my dad was later in his career. And I just said, if after a year or two, it was not for me, I had, you know, it’s a nice fallback plan. So I could just go back on my original originally planned career paths. So. So that was the deal I made, I got the PhD, and immediately went and worked at a bearing Company, which was sort of a head scratcher for my thesis advisor at MIT. But I don’t think that’s typically what happens. But that’s what happened for me.
Curt Anderson 08:03
What, in what was the original plan? So shets going into Bob Berry manufacturing was plan B, what was playing a?
Steve Pomeroy 08:11
Well, planning, I did do some interviewing, I was I don’t know if it’s really relevant to this discussion, but I was gonna be an analog circuit design. And so I was gonna go work for, you know, a company that was in that field and sort of get my feet wet. And then at some point down the road, you know, look for opportunities for small business or a startup or something like that. I think that’s what I envisioned anyway. Yeah. Well,
Curt Anderson 08:36
and you know, and I don’t know if the movie you know, in the 80s Dan, bigger jobs a fantastic line, and it went right over my head. Dan, I have too many jacked up floods. So Steve, did the movie, Fletch have anything to do with you get into Bob? You know, because we all follow Chevy Chase, of course. Was there. Dan net was classic. Thank you, brother. That
Damon Pistulka 08:55
was good. Steve,
Curt Anderson 08:57
you got into. So you find your career you evolve, you know, land your gap, you know, complete your PhD. God bless you what a massive, massive accomplishment stuck with your guns and completed that. And then you slide into I believe, 1989 1990 ish. You, you know, start your career as president of Schatz. What was that transition? Like? Like, how did you know, as a young man coming into manufacturing, tell us a little bit like that journey in the early 90s. What was going on from that standpoint?
Steve Pomeroy 09:25
Kurt, you’re gonna make me go down memory lane here. Oh, well, first of all, you know, you go from a research lab environment to real world to get your dirty type. Yeah. So it was quite a change. There’s, there’s no question about it. And I think the other thing is that in the early 80s, the reason and I won’t go into all the details, because we don’t have time but the reason my family got involved with this company was that a company went bankrupt. It was restarted it was trying to kind of emerge from that bank. Bankruptcy.
And, you know, when you when a large company goes bankrupt so many years that preceded the bankruptcy or typically, you know, you’re not making the proper investment equipment and all that stuff. So there were a ton of challenges in front of us at that, without doubt. So to say that it was a radical change is an understatement from what I was doing to, but I, you know, I’m, I like to think of myself as pretty flexible and resilient, then we’re done. So, we made it work.
Curt Anderson 10:34
So a PhD in electrical engineering, and then you earn quickly a PhD in resiliency on entrepreneurship. Right? Is that? Is that what we’re hearing? Yeah, no,
Steve Pomeroy 10:43
I talked to my wife, I say, you know, that I, if I collect some of the experiences, I could write a pretty interesting book about, you know, the things that we the challenges, we overcame, the people that we came and went, and we met, you know, some on the cukier. Side and others. And so, yeah, it was, it’s been an interesting ride, for sure.
Curt Anderson 11:04
I bet. And with that, right there, if you could share, like, so in the past 30 years, kind of, you know, how have you evolved as an entrepreneur, manufacturer in like your leadership, like any tips for, say, like your younger self, or see if there’s a, you know, someone fresh, you know, new entrepreneur, any generation or any age, but let alone see a 20 something out there, and they’re where you are, you know, 30 years ago? What’s advice? Or like, what have you seen evolve over the past 30 years through your career?
Steve Pomeroy 11:31
Well, I think that I think, and this is, this is not going to be anything that’s an eye opener, in fact, hopefully, it doesn’t come across as cliche, because I don’t, you know, I really believe it, it’s, if, if I can, you know, rewind and start over and do anything differently, I would say, I would put a much stronger emphasis on just the people side of the business, you know, because like I said, when you have a bankruptcy situation, you’re just, you know, in some cases, just focusing from week to week, you know, we got to make payroll, we got to,
you know, you’re not saying, Well, what, you don’t have his long term vision, I guess, at that point, you can’t, you know, if you’re, if you’re kind of coming out of that situation, and, and also, I think, you know, mentioning people, it’s, it’s harder to attract the right kind of talent, when you’re struggling, you know, if you’re financially trying to come out of a situation like that, you want to pay the best wages, you want to get the best people, you want to lay out the best, you know, future. And it’s, it’s, it’s much more of a challenge to do it in that environment.
But having said that, I still would try to focus harder on the, you know, getting the right people in the right spots, because having the benefit of looking in hindsight, once I did get some of the right people in the right, we just kind of took off and everything kind of at that point. You know, Kurt, you know, generously talk about my degree and so forth. But I’ll be the first to say that I do not have all the answers. I don’t you need people with different backgrounds and different viewpoints, because that that all comes together for a path that, you know, I think has been a really great one for us. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 13:20
that’s awesome. Because it does, it does. You’re right. You know, it’s, it’s as a leader, I think, and you show as a Schatz as you have to have other people with different skills around you, because that’s how you make a great company.
Steve Pomeroy 13:32
Absolutely. 100%. So that would be the one thing I would my young self, I would, and it’s but it’s hard sometimes, you know, you have, you have somebody that has a background in what you need, but they have, you know, flaws and other areas. And you’re struggling to, you know, get a piece of equipment repaired or whatever, you don’t focus on that. But I wish I had done a better job with that.
Curt Anderson 13:58
Well, and what I admire Steve, and again, my respect and admiration for you is off the charts. And you know, I’ve had the honor and privilege I’ve met some of your teammates, you’ve put together just an all star team with Kirk and John and Nick, you know, I’ve met and so you know, it’s just a testament to your leadership of, you know, when you think about them, and we talked about this all the time, you know, the average business, you know, what, four on five businesses close in their first five years?
Yep, net number perpetuates every five year bucket. So when you think Steve, like, you know, you’ve been in business survived, thrive, you know, good years, tough times, you know, oh, my goodness, you know, awesome, we get this little thing COVID thrown at us. But Goodness gracious, you’ve survived six cycles of those five year windows, if we look at it in that capacity. So kudos to you. And I think that number goes down to like, it’s like a fraction of a percent of entrepreneurs that can stay in business at that 30 a year. It’s a very small, small number. So
Damon Pistulka 14:51
and then then you look at it to though and going from first generation to second generation business. I think it’s like only 16% of businesses. ever do that? Yeah, yeah. It’s tight. Mother to you. That’s an incredible as well. Yeah. So it’s not just surviving that long but to be able to transfer that got to. Exactly. And
Steve Pomeroy 15:12
I learned a lot of good things from my folks. So they gave me a great Oh yeah, start, there’s no question.
Damon Pistulka 15:18
So I gotta ask one question though you come out you got this PhD from MIT? Did people look at you like you’re supposed to know, let’s just because you got a degree from MIT even though you’re an engineer in electrical engineering, and we’re talking about making bearings.
Steve Pomeroy 15:34
You know, well, first of all, it’s not like, you know, I walked in with, you know, my, my degrees in my office. Yeah. I didn’t lead with that I basically was just trying to, I mean, in fact, one of the things I tried to do was, you know, there was an overlap for when my dad worked there for five years or so. And he says, Use this time to do whatever you feel you need to, to try to learn different aspects of the business. So I would, I would just, you know, wherever we had a problem, I would just say, Hey, what are you doing?
You know, can I learn what you’re doing or, and so I, I learned cool equipment, I learned to set up equipment I, I, you know, learned our purchasing department and, you know, our customer service. So it was just, it was a good. And of course, I learned a lot from my dad, just, in fact, the first year when I transitioned out of college, you know, they, and I, this is not a knock on them, but they couldn’t pay me what I was able to get Valerie wise.
So I lived with them for the first year when I found out so we talked bearings, day and night, and it was just like overwhelming, I had to kind of take a step away or go see friends for a weekend it was but in the long run, it was really, really good for me. But getting back to your question, I wasn’t dodging the question. I don’t. You know, it’s not like people call me Dr. Steve, or if it’s not that kind of environment. So now there’s one aspect of my life, though, that you’ll laugh at is that if people do now you have a PhD from MIT, and you make a what all of us do from time to time, like a dumb mistake or say something. You don’t get that.
Curt Anderson 17:20
You don’t get a mulligan, right. Yeah. Don’t get me Oh, Steve doesn’t get a mulligan. He’s got a PhD from MIT. Dude,
Steve Pomeroy 17:27
I can’t fix the toaster. Just Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 17:31
Curt Anderson 17:32
Right. Oh, that’s terrible. So Alright, so let’s slide over this man. This is fantastic. So and Damon would I love you know, we had a great conversation with the founder of Reebok last week. And last or someone when he founded Reebok, he and his wife, you know, lived in the factory. You know? So Steve, you know, again, you know, when you’re an entrepreneur scrappy, you do what you have to do to survive. Yeah. So Tim, let’s, let’s light over. Let’s get you in the game here for a minute. So let’s talk about a couple of things again, guys.
You know, if you’re just Adams here today, Adam, thank you for joining us. And anybody you know, please drop a note. Let us know you’re here. Connect with Kim Lloyd Kim is with Fuse hub, the New York MEP. We have Steve Pomeroy, the president of Schatz bearing. So Kim e commerce pioneer you’ve really been, you know, off the charts, website, ecommerce since the mid 90s. Talk a little bit about, you know, your experience. And then what I’d like to do is I’m going to slide right into just give everybody an intro on what and who is fuse hub?
Kim Lloyd 18:31
Sure. So yeah, I think Ecommerce has had an interesting journey over the past few decades. I think that if you would have seen the first e commerce website that I designed you things have come a long way. That’s for sure. But yeah, so I think that the way that ecommerce has evolved over the years is that it has to be a much more instant gratification experience. We thought we were doing a good job before. But now it has to really almost address all your senses. You know, you have to identify people have much shorter attention spans nowadays.
So you really can’t make them think too hard. But yet, you have to have the information there for them to make an educated buying decision because their willingness to pick up a phone and call salesperson versus looking at your website is just not there anymore. So people are just looking at buying in so many different ways, wherever they are sitting whenever they think top of mind of what they want. And so it’s really important to address all of that. And that’s not something we had to deal with in the early days.
The MEP system is a It is kind of a public private partnership between NIST, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology. And also, private entities across the US. I mean, every single state in the US has an MVP center, some have one, some have 10, or 11, like New York does. And, you know, there’s one in Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii there. So they’re all over the place. The goal of the MEP system is really tough to help. You know, you can get business advice from SBDCs. And investors.
I mean, there’s, there’s business advice all over the place. But when you’re running a manufacturing company, you need to have some specialized knowledge, you need to know Hey, what’s going on out there about industry? 4.0? How do I leave my manufacturing? You know, what kind of equipment is out there? For me? What’s some best practice that we’ve learned across? Sharing from state to state even from other countries?
What are some of those best practices out there? And what resources are out there to help my manufacturing company, I’m getting killed from trade deficit. So I really need to know what’s out there in programs like tap or WTI, for training. So it’s, it’s the MEPs job to really stay on top of that information, it’s the MEPs job to really understand the manufacturing business. So it’s great when we can work with a company like Schatz and, and really help bring some of that expertise to bear.
Curt Anderson 21:48
That’s fantastic. And so what I want to slide into in Adam dropped a funny note, so have a PhD and not be afraid to ask a question. That’s humility. Now, Damon, I don’t you know, I hate to say if, Steve, if I had a PhD, I probably like, I probably have it on my T shirt, you know, like, Hey, I have a PhD, right? They even want you. So I’m just trying to season. And what’s awesome, Steve, when you and I connected? Damon, we were putting on some, you know, we call it our DWI training and psych, you know, digital marketing training for manufacturers.
Steve, you and I connected man. And I tell you what was so inspiring. You were there, you were like the first person that class your first person at our workshops, you had sleeves rolled up and ready to rock and roll. And like you were just an eager, eager learner to dive into, you know, figuring out this whole digital transformation, what inspired you to take that step to take that leap of like, hey, my, I’ve been at this for 30 years, I still have a hunger to learn new, you know, new strategies, new tactics, what inspired you to make this digital transformation at shets?
Steve Pomeroy 22:49
Well, I think that, you know, and this is, this has been evolving for many, many years, but your, your company’s presence on the web is about as important that as any aspect of the business, I mean, you can make the greatest product in the world. But if you’re not getting that out there to somebody to know and to see, then you’re going nowhere, it’s you know, it’s and so it’s, it’s kind of like someone saying 50 years ago, well, sales is the most important part of the company. It still applies, but it’s now it’s in a world where the internet is makes the website be your, face to the world.
And so I don’t, you know, I am very curious person, and I do, you know, get involved in a number of things by you know, even being a small business, I can’t get involved in everything but in this I see it as something that’s important enough that we got to make sure that we’re putting the our best face out to the world. And so I think the other thing is being a small company, I am no by no means an expert. I’ve learned a lot from you guys over the last several months. But I’m still no means an expert in this. But I am a pretty experienced customer of this we’ve got we’ve engaged with a number of different organizations.
And I think that there are a lot of layers to making something like this work. It’s not just making a pretty website. It’s what are the what’s the content on the website and you’ve, you know, taught me that, you know, are you speaking to your soulmates? You’re the people that are that you’re targeting that you’re trying to, you know, sell your product to. So it’s, it’s the content there and then do the you know, the next layer is there are there keywords so that if people haven’t just landed on your website, how do you get them there and so there’s a lot of different aspects to it.
And I think what makes it hard for a small I guess web developing company, you is that you need a lot of different aspects of expertise there. And what we’ve found is, when we go to a company, they, if they’re a really large company, they probably have all the expertise, but they don’t necessarily give you a lot of attention. And if they’re a smaller company, odds are they don’t have all of that expertise.
So we’ve been kind of struggling to find the right fit. And so what I’ve been really impressed about this experience is that you can check all those boxes, you know, you have the different people that has a different expertise. And yet you give us the attention for us, you know, not only to do it, but to you know, have us understand that. So, I can’t say that it’s all works because we’re too far early. It’s too early in the process, but I’m really optimistic just based on what I’ve seen, and that we are, we are checking all those boxes. So I give kudos to the all the things that you’re trying to do.
Curt Anderson 25:59
No, thank you. I appreciate it. And guys, we’ve he Bonnie’s here, Kim, you know, Bonnie, she’s in Manhattan, great manufacturer gals in the house today. Gail, thank you for joining us today. Course John and Dan. Adam, are you guys that are here. Thank you dropping know, if you’re just popping in with us, you know, again, we’re here with Kim Lloyd. And we’re here with Steve Palmer. I Steve is a president of Schatz baring and Poughkeepsie, New York, and we’ve got Kim from fuse up. And I just I want to do a recap here real quick, Steve.
So what I love about this process, you know, here’s a manufacturer 30 years in, and so had that hunger, the eagerness and the curiosity to be as competitive as possible and acknowledging like, hey, I need to step up my game. And guys, as Tim just said, you know, if you’re not familiar with the MVP network, that’s the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. And this is a different animal, you know.
So again, you know, if you’re a retail restaurant, you know, there’s a whole different market initiative. And Kim, what I love, what you do is you live with those, you know, your E commerce pioneer, like you love working with those b2b industrial companies. And that’s where you live.
And that’s why it’s a great fit for you. And what I love I learned from I learned from you, every time you and I engage, I view your website, architect genius, I think. So when you tap when you see there’s a manufacturer out there, and you’re like, Man, I’m really kind of digging this, I like this conversation, reach out to your MVP, you know, reach out to that subject matter experts to help you with that process. Just share a little bit of like, how do you approach you know, a client like Steve or other manufacturers? How do you help them kind of make that digital transformation? What’s like a good starting point that you advise folks to go with?
Kim Lloyd 27:36
Yeah, that’s a good question. I think the most important thing, and I think you kind of did some of that heavy lifting earlier, which is a talk about the buyer persona, and really understand the buyer journey. So who is it that is your top? Most customers? How do they? How do they process information? How do they get from being aware of who you are to exploring what you have to offer, to evaluating you against others that produce ball bearings, for example, to making that buy decision, and then become an advocate for you. So you really need to start with really understanding those personas.
And I think if you’ve already done that, great, we can start right off with making sure the information architecture of your website speaks is structured in such a way that it speaks to those buying personas. A lot of people think of a website as okay, what’s the homepage look like? And that’s really, almost the last thing you do.
That’s, that’s like building a house with only the front door. You’re not going to do that. So you’ve really got to think how many bedrooms do you want, you know, do you have someone who’s disabled and they need a ramp to get into the house, you know, so you really need to make sure that you’re matching those buyer personas with the information and how you’ve laid it out on your website. So that it’s a really natural process.
So in Steve’s case, they had an every company is different, some have great foundation, some have really good paint wallpaper, which is the look and feel of the site. Some people really have good SEO, maybe they’ve got a domain that’s been out there for 50 years and they’re paid their website is loaded like lightning, because they haven’t really done anything fancy with it yet. You know, so every company has a different starting point. So it was great chats had a ton of awesome information.
And it was really just making sure that if a purchasing agent who just got told that they needed to buy is an R Series ball bearing, they could get to that very, very quickly without having to go through a lot of the informational side that maybe an engineer might want to know when they’re doing the evaluation process. So it was, it was really, it’s really important to really think about the foundation first. And that’s, and that’s why in some cases, you start with the foundation, and then you move to making the paint and the wallpaper and the kitchen design. Great. You know, you go from the start of the foundation, and then you start building out the look and feel. Yeah, well,
Damon Pistulka 30:38
and then then you bring up a great point, Jim, is a company like Schatz bearing, and in their digital transformation, they need to, they’ve got different types of customers, they need to really appeal to or have the right information for the engineer that’s going to specify bearing the technical information, the things that they need there, and then make it easy for the purchasing person to then get that thing bought. And in when they need it.
Kim Lloyd 31:09
Damon Pistulka 31:10
Yeah. Yeah. And widely varied to what you got to produce for that.
Curt Anderson 31:16
And really taking a deep dive understanding to that buyer persona. And what’s in this hysterical they will love this. So we brought in our dear friend West lean, we all live in Greer, and boy, if you’re out there hustling, we send our love to you killer. She came in work with the sheds team and took them through that buyer persona. And it was funny as we then one of a gentleman on Steve’s team. He came in a little bit late later in the process. And so we’re, we’re going through describing that buyer persona. And the young man is phenomenal. Guy’s name’s Nick. He said, he goes Kurt goes, you guys are describing me.
He’s like it remember that Steven was like, you know, you know, it was just it was awesome. I was it was so spot on. And how Wessling you know did that but again here’s what I want to do guys, I want to if you’re a manufacturer out there and this is a little bit of a new process look what Steve did is like went through that buyer journey you know, we hear that a lot that buyer journey, that customer journey. But you know Damon what I love working with Kim is like, you know, I’ve been doing e commerce a long time and I’ve realized like, low level I am compared to Kim, you know, Kim would I love what you really taught me is that it’s not just a buyer journey, it’s a Customer Success Path.
And I feel like there’s a big difference there. When we talk about a customer you know, the buyer journey, either versus or compared to Ken what you really taught me that customer success path. So Steve, let’s slide into this. We went into that buyer persona, and then you know, talk a little bit about educate everybody out here. Like again, I’m a manufacturer I’m a custom manufacturer, I’m an OEM I make my widgets whatever you know, we introduce a fun you know, we tried to make this whole learning process fun. We introduce a term called Rick’s Can you educate everybody what is a Rick and share everybody? What are your rigs specifically at Schatz?
Steve Pomeroy 33:03
Well, this is one of the things I learned through this process that this is ridiculously important. The key words
Curt Anderson 33:10
are ik right guys, so I learned this a long way from another client of mine introduced that to me, I’m like, Dude, I’m stealing it. I’m not even gonna be I’m shameless about it. Ridiculously important keywords. So learn your Rick’s, Steve, what are the risks going on at Shaftsbury?
Steve Pomeroy 33:27
Well, as you’d expect, they line up with our product lines that we’ve we focus on and that’s aerospace bearings. So aerospace bearings, the barrel is more for the civil aviation, commercial aviation, so aircraft, aircraft bearings. And then on the space side, it’s space bearings are bearings that are used in satellite bearings. So that’s our, that’s our primary market is aerospace. But then we also get involved in thin section bearings, which have a lot of different applications, as far as industries go, but it’s what you’d expect, if you don’t know bearings, they’re bearings with thin walls, I guess, are cross sections.
So the, from the ID to the OD of the bearing is thin. And so you can have a pretty large diameter bearing, but it’s pretty thin cross section. And so applications where weight or space are, you know, are at a premium. So you got to really, because some of these applications, if you’re sending something up to space, ounces matter. Yeah, because for every ounce, there’s a certain phenomenal amount of money that it costs to send that up into space, so they’re very weight conscious. So, as I mentioned, thin section bearings, medical bearings, for medical applications.
You know, I joke that we In the world of ball bearings seems pretty ordinary. But when you think about some of the applications that we’re in, I mean, we’re the Mars Rover, and we’re in the James Webb Space Telescope, which is out there. And, and I talked to people at work, I said, Can you imagine what you were holding in your hand? Several months ago, is now millions of miles away or on another planet? It’s kind of mind boggling to think.
Damon Pistulka 35:25
Yeah, yeah. That’s so cool. Yeah, that’s so cool to think about where it’s at now.
Steve Pomeroy 35:32
Yeah. Are you like It’s like these, Evie tall, which is electric, vertical takeoff and landing, you know, basically buying cars and, yeah, surgical robots. And so we got a lot of really interesting applications. If you dive into maybe the bearing itself, if someone looks at it isn’t that exciting, but to see what we’re doing to support some of these things is pretty cool.
Curt Anderson 35:55
Yeah, that’s all and Barney just made another Fletcher reference. So a lot of Fletcher references today, Steve, so a lot of fun here today. So guys, again, you know, again, think about your company, you know, whatever you manufacture, what are your core strengths? What do you absolutely best that and if this whole like search strategy, SEO if it’s new to you, your core strengths are your keyword so like Steve just said, you know, we’re looking at like space bearings, aerospace bearings, then section bearings so those that you know, you want to laser focus on what your bets that Damon we always preach when you try to be everything to everybody. What do you become?
Damon Pistulka 36:30
Nothing to no one no one
Curt Anderson 36:33
right? We want to niche down till it hurts so good. Yeah. And what you’re best at focus on that lane. And so see what I love. What you did is you niche down, you started focusing on who’s that ideal buyer, we, you know, we goof around. We call them our soulmates. You identify that soulmate. Now, once you understood that soulmate, and had a better understanding, okay, like, what problem do they have? What challenge are they facing today? What keyword are they using? Because so often, you know, we were like, hey, you know, we know what we’re typing. We know what we call it. But do they know the same thing?
So we’ve spent a lot of time kind of getting an understanding, what does that engineer what cert what challenges are they facing right now that they’re going to type? Now, Kim, I’m citing back over to you what you did an amazing job from an architectural standpoint on the website, taking that buyer persona, that soulmate understanding their needs, their challenges, their motivations.
And then those keywords that we’ve mentioned was Steve, you know, the space bearings, thin section bearings in Owens, and what’s cool, Steve, like, you’re educating me like, Hey, these are going to drones. These are going in satellite. So they’re, you know, helicopters. It’s not just you know, you know, planes. There’s a lot of diversity there. But can you talk a little bit about how did you attack the architecture of working with Steve and the team going into those risks?
Kim Lloyd 37:48
Yeah, so I think what I did was take a look at their current site architecture kind of tried to put my hat on if I were as a purchasing agent, which was one of the buyer personas versus the engineer. And what am I going to care about, and I think what was cool about chats is there’s so much to be proud of, right? The fact that they are in New York State, they employ a lot of really smart people, they really care. You know, it’s all about customer service, right. And if you look at their tagline, it is flexible, versatile, responsive, and that’s not just a tagline, they, it’s something that they’ve, they reminded me of multiple times throughout this whole process.
But it wasn’t besides a tagline, it really wasn’t coming across if I’m an engineer in any other way. So really focusing on the fact that they’re made, you know, especially with local supply chains being very important right now you can buy and be able to depend on your supplier. That’s a key competitive, competitive advantage. So making sure that that came across throughout the website, the quality that they take to heart, all of the engineering information that kind of was a little bit buried, we brought to the forefront again, to help with the evaluation process in in that part of the buyer journey.
And we kind of just separated out, you know, they were commingling industry information with the product catalog. And, and so it was very dense and vertical at the same time, and we just kind of tease those apart in order to make it easier to really if you’re coming in through the door of really from an industry standpoint, what how am I going to want to learn about ball bearings, if I’m coming from an industry standpoint, versus if I’m really just curious, what’s the what is the what are the parts in the catalog what’s available to me and drilling down that way? So we kind of tease those things apart, and then added some more evaluation content around it.
We didn’t really do a lot with the look and feel yet, I’m hoping that something will be able to tackle one of my favorite stories. I love the facts. One of Steve’s early questions to me was our fonts important. And I was like, wow, he gets it, right. Because our important thing people, some people don’t realize that and their website, kind of their content looks like a ransom note, right? So you want to make sure that you’re paying attention to those brand touch points that include typography, as you get further down the road.
But we really had to build the foundation and the information architectures is like the fount I use house analogies a lot. So it’s just very easy to understand. But we’ve built that foundation, we know how many rooms we have we know, you know, how many floors, you know, so we built some of those foundations. And the next is going to be really getting to that to that next level. Websites are always an evolution. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 41:05
And you drop this, your content looks like a ransom note. I love that. Because something you get on websites is selling the pods are so goofy, and what a lot of people don’t realize it needs to be clear. It might not be that, like the most artistic but when you can just read it easily. That’s a huge thing. Yeah, huge thing. Yeah, understanding that.
Curt Anderson 41:29
Absolutely. And I’m gonna give a couple quick shout out. So Steve, we you know, and here’s network and let’s tie in a few things right here. Okay. You talked about how important is LinkedIn? Okay, I was connected with Daymond. We did a couple of webinars back in the fall. Your friend showed up as one of the SBDC webinars that we did Linda and she owns a marketing firm at essentials. Here’s she’s a marketer and want to learn some new tactics, strategies. She connects she comes through our training, you know, last fall she was like, Man, you need to meet my client, Steve, you know, at Palm right, Schatz, Steve comes in.
So then now what I do is I’m like, Hey, let’s bring Wesleyan Grier in because Wesleyan is a b2b sales guru, knocks it out of the park understands who that ideal customer is. I’m like, Man, this architecture is way out of my league. I need to bring in a superstar Kim comes in. Now. Also, I want to give a shout out to our dear friend Steve Molinos. Damon, vino Steve very well. Great advocate. I know Dan, bigger, you’re good friends with Steve. Guys, if you’re out there, Steve, if you’re out there, we’re sending our love to you, brother. But Steve is a content King, on helping folks.
So what you know what Steve Pomeroy did is like, how do you bring in this other subject matter experts to you know, make this a good, viable process to make your life easier because you’re trying to produce great widgets out there. This whole digital market thing is a little bit new.
Now, Kim, you pointed out to Steve, you know, Steve, your three points, your three bullet points that you love to share with clients, you have it on your website, you have it on your LinkedIn headline all over the place. Can you talk about how did you create those three and can be reset? You know, it’s I feel I view it as like your work cry? Right. Steve talk a little bit about like, how did you create your it’s versatile, and responsive? Flexible?
Steve Pomeroy 43:11
Right? Is it versatile, responsive? I think it’s it’s part of, you know, like you mentioned, the, you know, if you’re if you’re trying to do be everything to everyone, You’re nothing we being we’re a small company, competing with large organizations. So these large organizations, they have, you know, deep pockets when it comes to finances, they have lots of personnel. So we’re not going to outspend them, we’re not going to out resource them. But I think that and this is again, nothing that’s new. It’s really how you execute the strategy. But bigger companies have a hard time doing things quickly.
Yeah. So when there’s a design that has a deadline, and you got to get a prototype out to someone, they that’s not what they’re good at, whereas we’re great at and so I think it was natural that that’s something that we want it to be it’s basically a flexible, versatile, responsive. Now, I would say our competitors are mostly versatile, you know, they have wide product lines, but flexible and responsive. It’s hard for them to be that. And so I think that’s where we that’s why we do what we do. And so it’s easy to say it the day to day, that’s it’s hard to do it.
So yeah. But that’s what we strive for all the time. In fact, that’s, you know, you mentioned right at the outset. kerwell It’s nice to see something written down that you had, I think that’s the one nice thing about a strategy is that I think it’s good to write it down and communicate it to everybody and say this is what we’re striving for. So if anybody in the organization feels like we’re, we’re deviating from that. Then they speak up and we can try to fix Think so. All right.
Curt Anderson 45:01
And that’s the simplicity of like that three word, word cry. Because anytime you’re having a meeting, whether it’s an operations, finance, marketing, sales, whatever it might be, you can just simply ask, Does it fit our three criteria? Does it help us become flexible? Are we responsive? You know, I think it’s fantastic. And So Kim, I thought you did an amazing job of like pulling that in. And now you know, as that company war cry, you know, Steve, your team, you know, you’re trying to eat, drink, breathe, sleep, you know, this, you know, this, this mantra, if you will.
And it just, it resonates with customers and clients. So I know we’re coming in at a time at which one, we can keep going says the couple of quick last questions here. So you mentioned industries that you serve aerospace, we talked about, you know, like the thin section bearings, medical bearings, what are like, I know, on your website, you have like no spec and like, what would go into like some of the industries and you mentioned like, hey, this product goes on Mars, and some of the other things, what are some of the other products or industries that you’re serving at sheds?
Steve Pomeroy 46:03
Well, I felt that mentioned being in New York and doing most of our sourcing from US companies were in the defense industry, and we’re made in the USA, which is, I think, these days, less than less common, although, on the plus side, it is becoming more common, we’re
Curt Anderson 46:22
coming back man is back. Kids are going into manufacturing, Steve, that’s what we say in this show. Here. Other kids are in manufacturing, in
Steve Pomeroy 46:30
manufacturing. So so I didn’t mention the defense side of things. You know, we’re in applications like the F 35, the Joint Strike Fighter, and, you know, a number of other I mean, it’s not all airborne, there’s ground vehicles, missiles that were, you know, the guidance systems on this whole. So, we do a lot of work in the defense industry as well. But those are the, I would say the main things, the aerospace, medical semiconductor defense, and then also we do a lot of custom work, you know, that’s, you know, the part of being flexible.
You know, the bigger companies have to move the needle, they have to move a lot of product, which tends to be high volume stuff, whereas for us, we’ll customize just about anything, you know, will, if someone comes in and says, Well, this, this standard product is doesn’t quite work. But if you could change the clearance material, or we’ll do it and, and I think the thing that I will also tout is that, on the technical side, we have great application engineering capabilities. So if someone knows that they need to make something work, but they don’t know, Behrens well enough to make it work, we can, we can make it work
for them. That’s awesome. That’s awesome.
Steve Pomeroy 47:39
Damon Pistulka 47:41
it, it’s how you can be responsive, right? Because if you don’t have the knowledge to a first of all, know, something’s gonna work and then be good to get it made. It’s you can’t be responsive. And a lot of the big companies, they’re really good at making this thing, lots of it, and doing that, but you can be flexible and responsive and making that what they need. So
Steve Pomeroy 48:02
you bring up a good point, a daemon that responsive This is not just when you’re making the product, it’s throughout the whole process. So if initial contact if a customer comes in with a question, you know, sometimes our competition can take, you know, a long time to answer that question, or maybe not answered at all. So we talked about how we, you know, are we responsive to those questions? Are we responsive and responsive to follow ups from customers? Throughout the whole, you know, the whole experience? It is important. Well,
Curt Anderson 48:37
that’s absolutely fantastic. So, guys, is we’re coming in at a time. Let’s do this, Steve. So how about let’s give a little shout out to fuse hub and the amazing team. So we mentioned we obviously we’ve got Kim here, we’ve mentioned Steve Milito, Lena group is the just fearless leader, Director of fuse hub. She’s absolutely amazing. So Steve, from your perspective manufacturers, your manufacturer out there in another state and you’re like, boy, this sounds like a really good program and can you didn’t mention WTI Workforce Development Institute so what the MEPs have access to is they can go out and help manufacturers find grant funds with initiatives and they help with like lean initiatives I saw and I know Steven, we didn’t get to this you have all sorts of certifications correct that shets
Steve Pomeroy 49:21
Yep. Yeah. As 9100 our heat treat system is nadcap approved. So yes, we you know, we got our cybersecurity all buttoned up the NIST 801 71 So yeah, but to be in the industries that we’re in you have to have those kinds of
Curt Anderson 49:42
right so and that’s in again at shad, spearing. They have all sorts of different you know, in CV I know you haven’t read on your website and no, you haven’t listed read on your LinkedIn profile. Again, please connect with Steve, as you can tell, just humble man of integrity. Just Steve. It’s just such an honor and blessing working with you. There is a manufacturer out there in another state? Would you? Any word in how about a shameless plug for Kim? How, you know, what’s your experience been working with the MEP this past year?
Steve Pomeroy 50:11
It’s been I mean, it’s been phenomenal. Like I said, we’ve had a, I wouldn’t call them false starts, but just hasn’t been the full picture and trying an organization to help us with, you know, our website, social media, you know, that kind of thing. And so, just as you mentioned before, Kurt, the, you have a whole kind of staple of, of experts that are there to pull in to help and, and in this day and age, that’s what’s needed.
But, you know, Kim’s been great. She’s, you know, we’ll talk about responsive, she’s really, she really knows exactly what, you know, what she’s talking about when it comes to the background, the detail and so forth. So, I, I have no hesitation recommending this whole process to any small. I mean, if you have your own in house, you know, experts and all of these areas, and obviously you don’t need this, but there’s a whole ton of small companies that are out there, it just doesn’t make sense to have somebody like, you know, hold five, six people on their staff. And so most companies out there, I think this is, it’s a perfect fit. I really, really believe that.
Curt Anderson 51:28
Well, it’s been just a wonderful experience. And so, Kim, I’m going to slide over to you what’s fantastic. Just share with the folks so, you know, again, if they’re new to the MEP, what we Daymond what I’m jumping around here, Damon, what we love is, you know, like SBDCs MEPs, they are great resources for entrepreneurs manufacturers out there. You’re not alone. You’re not in a silo, like Val was with us today. You know, Kim, you and I met right on site with had a wonderful tour at minor fracks at vales facility.
But if you’re talking about that, you know, if you’re a manufacturer, or your market, or the manufacturer, you’re not alone, you’re not in a silo can just share it for folks like Man, this I mean, p things kind of knew, or I knew the MVP, I knew I got my ISO certification for them. But you have access to a bunch of subject matter experts that you can pull in, just as we close out, just share with folks like how does that work at few sub appointment? Other subject matter experts?
Kim Lloyd 52:24
Yeah, so first of all, you would go on our website. And for anyone who just wants an assessment, there’s no one that comes to us and say, I just have this one problem, they come to our website, and they, you know, they talk about all the challenges that they have. And when you, you peel back the onion, you can really see a little bit about what the multi pronged approach might be including prioritization of what to tackle first.
So going to the web or website and filling out the request a consultation, there’s a link right at the top of the website and all the buttons on the slider, go to being able to request a consultation, you’ll have an expert, talk to you for 30, at least 30 minutes or as long as you want about what you’re trying to accomplish.
And then it’s basically a team approach. You know, if there’s a marketing component, I’ll be pulled in, or Steve will be pulled in from he can tackle it from multiple points. We have manufacturing experts, design experts on staff. So really, we just pulled together the right team. And then we’ve got University relationships across the state as well. So there’s just so many SMEs or subject matter experts to tap into, and we have partner relationships with all of them.
Curt Anderson 53:52
Yeah, that’s fantastic. And just to kind of throw in, I mean, you have NIST so you have access to federal info. And Damon, we’ve been viewed a couple of folks from this. And so, you know, Steve, you mentioned like cyber security or other you know, other areas. So again, as a small manufacturer, say you have 20 3040 employees or even 100 employees, it you can’t be everything, you can’t cover every department.
So workforce development, again, operational excellence. And of course, what’s a little bit new here is this whole digital transformation. And this is a great case study of how fuse have root, you know, at the New York MEP, rolled up their sleeves to come in to help out Steve. So, Steve, let’s take it home brother, any parting words of wisdom, anything that you want to share? As far as how do you see the future? What’s going on at Schatz what’s on the horizon?
Steve Pomeroy 54:41
Oh, I think you know, it’s been the pandemic has been rough on the aerospace industry. But like I said earlier, I have all the competence of the world and the people that are there. You know, financially we’re, we’re strong. It’s just a matter of getting from where we are here to the future. But I think, you know, the future was Write for us, prior to the pandemic, it’s going to be heading back in that direction, I hope, you know when it comes to the pandemic. So yeah, I’m, I feel really fortunate to not only have the people at shots, but you know, the folks, you know, it’s it is it.
No one person can make something an organization work. And so all of these inputs are really important. So I’ll just also just throw it back to you, Kurt. And, you know, Ken mentioned pulling in the subject matter experts. I’ve been really impressed with though the whole process there, the P, all the different people that have contributed to the process so far for our digital transformation have been excellent. So thank you for that.
Curt Anderson 55:52
Yeah, we’re blessed with a great team and you know, it takes a village to raise a business doesn’t it? Certainly does. Takes A Village. So last question for you guys. Ready? Steve, you sit down for this one. You ready? Can be ready. Okay. Last question of the day. Steve, we you know, we’ve talked about we’ve become close friends. We’ve talked family, you know, dad and your teenagers who inspires you today? Who inspires you personally, business wise? Who’s your inspiration today?
Steve Pomeroy 56:21
Who is my inspiration today? I don’t I don’t want to be corny. But it’s you know, my daughter’s graduating from high school. Soon. She’s got such a great group of friends are so smart.
They think the stuff that they know, I don’t know if it’s the the the impact of the internet, but the stuff that they know now, I didn’t, couldn’t scratch that surface when I was. So I guess what inspires me is what’s coming behind us, the kids, you know, they’ve been through a really tough time with the pandemic and, and they’re just coming out swinging I so I’m, I’m, you know, sometimes you’d say, well, these kids there. Yeah, they didn’t, they didn’t do what we had to do. I’m really impressed with him. So I asked him what’s coming behind us. And I agree with
Curt Anderson 57:10
you. 110. And it drives me crazy when I hear you know, ah, you know what, back in the 80. Let’s go see what we were doing back in the 80s. Right. Well, Ken, who’s I know you’ve couple of wonderful children. Your inspiration who inspires you today?
Kim Lloyd 57:25
Oh, that’s a good question. Um, well, I was just thinking the other day that my sister impressed the heck out of me because she’s been making your kids go to extra math school for many years now. And I’m like, I should have done that with my kids. Extra math young. So that’s my mom for now.
Curt Anderson 57:44
So I so what’s your sister’s name? Katie. Katie and Steve. What’s your daughter’s name? Julia. Julia. Oh, hey, thank you guys. Great. Shout out to iron for the next generation. Kim, your sister. Thank you for sharing that. So guys, we’re gonna wind down. First off, thank you everybody here who joins us every Friday, man Damon, thanks so much. Never take this for granted. We’re so honored and privileged that you hang out with us on Fridays.
We have such a great time bringing on amazing people like Steven Kim here. So, Tim, thank you for everything. You’ve become a dear close friend. Damon, I get text messages from like Kim like, she’s a volleyball phenomenon. She’s like, spiking? I know. Yeah. She’s like, relentless on a volleyball court. She’s a court. She’s on a golf course.
Oh, Tim, you are? You’re an inspiration to me. Steve, thank you for your friendship and the honor and privilege of working with you this past year. I learned something new from you every time we get together. And I just thank you for inviting us into your business and being a part of your journey. So it’s an honor privilege. Thank you both so much. Damon, what uh, my God, we never was like a record out. Good. So, guys, thank you have an amazing, incredible weekend. Keep spreading your awesomeness to everybody go keep fighting for manufacturing in the US here. Daymond Take it away, brother.
Damon Pistulka 59:04
Wow, thanks so much, Kurt. They turn it over here. I want to just thank everyone for stopping by and listening to us today as we were taking a deep dive inside of this manufacturing digital transformation for Schatz bearing, talking about fuse hub with Kim Lloyd’s talking about shots bearing with Steve Pomeroy. It’s just such a great experience for us to hear and listen and understand and learn from you guys. And Thanks so much everyone for being here every week. We did it Kurt. Kurt says it I just can’t say it just fills my heart to see people and just to think that two crazy dudes like us if people actually listened and we have fun with it just
Kim Lloyd 59:45
to I have to say I’m very surprised.
Damon Pistulka 59:49
There you go. We have a good time with this. It’s awesome. Thanks so much for being here. Have an awesome weekend. We’ll be talking soon. See you guys