Machine Shop Management and Ownership

In this week’s The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Matt Guse. Matt is the Owner and President at MRS Machining. His father started his company in 1986. Matt and his wife have successfully owned and managed the company since 1989.  Matt is also a Division 3 Football Official at NCAA and Owner at ACT Tooling.  Matt's awards and tenure as a business owner qualify him as an expert to talk about machine shop management.

Successful machine shop management is a skill that very few acquire. Our Today’s guest is not only a machine shop owner but his shop was also named as the top machine shop in American Machinist Magazine’s Top Ten Machine shops.

In this week’s The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Matt Guse. Matt is the Owner and President at MRS Machining. His father started his company in 1986. Matt and his wife have successfully owned and managed the company since 1989.  Matt is also a Division 3 Football Official at NCAA and Owner at ACT Tooling.  Matt’s awards and tenure as a business owner qualify him as an expert to talk about machine shop management.

The conversation started with Damon introducing Matt. After this, they conversed about football and Matt’s athletic career. After this, Damon asked Matt about his machining career and how it started.

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To this Matt said that as a child he used to help his father at the farm and his shop as well. For Matt, all of this was interesting. Later on, when he was in his senior year of high school, he got a job at a machine shop to wipe floors.

But soon they asked him to handle a division in the machine shop management. He even got all the training for the job. This is when he thought all of this is cool and he further involved himself in it. After this, Matte joined a course in machine shop management at his high school and learned further.

After this, Matt’s father started his own company and Matt went into tech school to also join the company. Moving on, Matt shared that he only joined his father’s machine shop management company only when he had a heart attack.

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Once matte joined the company, they started taking orders and then finally established a whole shop and hired people as well. After this, Matt shared three things that you have to do when you start a machine shop management business.

At first, you have to love what you do. Secondly, according to Matt, you have to spend all you have, including finances. And thirdly, you have to have your family on board before you start a machine shop management business.

Further, Damon asked Matt if he had changed the industry he worked with as a machine shop management owner or it stayed the same. Responding to this, Matt said that he did change the industries depending on the situation.

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By the end of the conversation, Matt talked about all the changes that occurred in machine shop management and how his company shifted along with it.

The conversation ended with Damon thanking Matt for his time.

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Damon Pistulka, Matt Guse


Damon Pistulka  00:05

All right, everyone. Welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m your host Damon Pistulka. And man, am I excited today? Because I’ve got machining legend. Matt goosey with me here today. Welcome Matt.


Matt Guse  00:23

Welcome beaming um, it’s a pleasure to be here. I’m looking forward to this for about a month though cuz we’re metal guys or have metal background so it’d be exciting.


Damon Pistulka  00:32

Oh yeah, yeah it’s awesome dude because you’re your your background is is really cool I like talking about that you’re a Midwest guy there and they’re in Wisconsin and add man it’s just good stuff because they every time we talk we it has to come back to the Packers it always comes back something with the Packers yeah see the hats right there so we’re ready to go with that and and be You’re just an interesting guy. I mean when you look outside of outside of machining, you’re you’re a referee for both football and basketball.


Matt Guse  01:11

Yeah, football, High School in college and then basketball just High School.


Damon Pistulka  01:16

Yeah, yeah. So because isn’t it? Didn’t I see you’re like division three football certified for Division Three. Yeah, well coaching or I mean referee. Yep. That’s, that takes a lot. A lot of work. Yeah, everybody


Matt Guse  01:32

thinks it’s just a little couple hours in the afternoon on a Saturday. It’s no it’s it’s a minimum of 15 hours a week.


Damon Pistulka  01:40

Yeah, yeah, it’s crazy. How much time that I mean, because just I mean, I just used to mess around or sometimes in baseball games for little league and I mean, just messing around with that’s a lot of work. And then then when you look at and talk to other referees and and things like that. It’s It’s It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of work and as you move up, that’s why I saw Division Three. I know when you get in the NCAA, it’s tougher, a lot tougher than high school and then when you move up in the divisions within the NCAA and then into the professional it gets even even tougher as you go


Matt Guse  02:16

Yeah. Yeah, it’s no one the rules in the rulebook all your law and watching video are long, because you just what happened? What happens and you just know, you never know when that’s going to happen. You got to be ready and be prepared.


Damon Pistulka  02:29

Yeah, yeah. I’ve never been good at that. Because I get too excited with the game. It doesn’t matter I don’t care if it’s girls softball, you know, people playing marbles. I get excited in the game and I can’t be a good good umpire referee because of that.


Matt Guse  02:46

Yeah, that was the hardest part for me to get over don’t watch the game. You know, you got zones and areas you got to watch just that’s the number one thing don’t watch the ball watch, especially in basketball. You did watch your zones and keep it there and just keep cool and calm. Yeah, emotion so


Damon Pistulka  03:05

that would be that would be trying at times I’m sure it can get some get some coaches that really are push your limits, I’m sure. Oh, yeah, you’re getting your phone through. Yeah, yeah. That’s good. That’s good because I remember it just in the little bit that I like I said it was a little bit literally there’s there’s a certain age when when I says as males we we get to that age with kids and it we get we’re a little bit more boisterous, I would say than we are as as we on either side of that. And it’s interesting.

So but yeah, but that’s cool. Because you know that you have to it not only are you working on machining around the year, you’re working on something else that keeps you both physically active, because that’s the The other thing I’ve had friends that were high school referees, and they would tell me about that just the running that you have to do just to stay in shape to do that. And you’re staying in shape. Because not only are you a referee in football and basketball, you’re also an avid cyclist.


Matt Guse  04:14

That’s that’s probably the been the best thing for me for the last 30 years. It it’s just it’s the physical part. Yeah, it keeps you in shape and stuff, but it’s also the mind and the mental part because after a hard day at work or hard day officiating or something. Yeah, you just got to get your mind cleared out. And is that refreshing? Because where I ride you know, if I see three cars on a 50 mile bike ride, that’s that’s about the average where some people in the big city it’s like five cars and two blocks.


Damon Pistulka  04:42

Yeah, yeah. fortunate. Yeah. So how many miles Do you ride your bike a week, just a given week, this time here.


Matt Guse  04:51

I put about 303 to 400 miles a week on wow three But it’s you know, back in the day when I had the old steel bike komali frame the thing weighed like 25 pounds nowadays bikes are 15 pounds and aerodynamic and the older I get the, you know, tiny that advantage sure you got to put a little money into your bike so you can keep up with


Damon Pistulka  05:16

Yeah, well you got quite a bike there’s no doubt about it. I’ve seen it seen pictures of it. And it is it is something and you’re right, we’ve got I was actually talking to a client of mine over the weekend. He had a charity event that we did, and he’s an avid cyclist and he was explaining the he’s got I don’t know if you do this got four or five different kinds of bikes because he likes to ride trails in the road and ones for the rain and, and out here we have to have one for the rain. But as a special ones just just for really unique situations. Yeah, up here we have one for snow. That’s it have a little ski in the front.


Matt Guse  05:57

No, I just it’s wide tires. Or three quarter inches wide. Oh, right. About three pounds of pressure in them five, whatever depends on the it’s more about tire pressure in the winter. nind is anytime else.


Damon Pistulka  06:10

Yeah, I’m sure I’m sure. So you you been in machining a little while a little bit. A little bit. You I was I was reading more about the background from of Mrs. machine and about how your your dad Roger started in 1986. And shortly thereafter and 1989 you started with him. And you guys have been really just tearing it up.

You’ve been you’ve been tearing it up your dad went on to found an educational program and the local high school which is super cool. We can talk about that a little bit because I think it’s that’s really really incredible. And and then you at the helm have just continued on and really built it up into into the some of the things that you know, and I met you I think last year or early last year, something like that.

But you’ve been recently interviewed by Fox News and on a lot of other places about helping bringing awareness around the employment challenges the recruiting challenges in the in the manufacturing, machining industry, and a lot of other stuff. So I’m really excited to talk about this stuff. So So tell me a little bit about how you decided that you wanted to be in machining and and kind of those early days working with your dad in the in the in the business.


Matt Guse  07:40

All right now it’s my turn to speak. Oh, actually it all when I was growing up in high school. My dad my dad had a weird like a hobby farm. We had cows and, and he had a he was a machinist. And I always thought it was kind of cool what he does. And he’d always tell me. So when we sold the farm, back when I was in eighth grade, ninth grade, the we moved to town, and my dad worked at a machine shop. And I worked at a gas station. And in the summer I worked in the farms helping hay and stuff. So I had then I had that farm background. I know what I did, I started ask they need some to clean the floors.

I said well, it’s kind of cool. I can do that after school. So that’s what I did. And I did that for a year. And then my junior year I was going to be a senior. That second ship, they asked me if I could run a lavonne Makino horizontal machining center, like things are going all kinds of directions. And I’m like, I can just push the broom. And then the guy goes, Oh, it’s really easy. You just do this, this and this, and you get that green button. Oh, okay, well, I’ll give it a shot.

So I did. And I was making these little ball valves I remembered today. And I was putting a keyway in them. And that was the dad a little earlier thing I diverted and filed it and it’s just kind of cool. I kind of like this. And so I ended up doing that for like the whole month of July. And you know, I was like, wow, this is kind of cool. So that year, I took a program at the high school, we had like a little CNC plastic machine. And I learned a little bit about mg core programming. And then there was an old guy on that second shift that started telling me what this m code thing does. And his g code thing does because it was all Greek to me.

Yeah. And so the guy that owned the place kind of seen that. And he said, Hey, I’ll sign you up for tech school for free. You’re gonna pay for my school, okay, I’m, I’m in you know, so we signed up well, and then I happen to my senior year, he ended up getting killed in a car accident and he’s like, oh, man, and the family was from Chicago. And he he liked to spend money and he didn’t have a lot of it.

So the place was basically going to go bankrupt or shot. Oh, so they came in and said okay, it’s close. The doors are done. Get yourself out of here. So we got all this expensive material like hasslein stellite and more now, and I remember thrown in my dad’s truck and put it in his garage because They really wanted it all. And my dad was friends with the customers and they just asked my dad one day if he could finish machining it and there were just some shafts or some grooves and chamfer to this deal of self and lathe you put on your benchtop.

To this day, I have no idea how he held the tolerances on there. He had like 12 indicators going every direction which way? Remember, I’m buying all these indicators. And at that time, I just thought it was like a gas gauge, right? Yeah. I didn’t know what it was. Now I do but so he did it. And then they did a good job. And they asked him, Hey, would you want to continue making these parts and that’s what my dad late went off in my dad’s head is like, maybe I should start a company.

So I’m a senior in high school. I’m graduated. And also I’m going to go to tech school. I signed up I end up paying for it. Yep. And he started it and he wanted to be a woman owned business. Because that was like a government thing we always did. Yeah, that’s that’s where the that’s where the Mrs comes from? Doesn’t it doesn’t stand for mass really smart hearing. And



we’re actually


Matt Guse  11:02

there’s a there’s been there’s been abbreviations behind Yeah. Yeah. Oh, man. It’s, it’s meant to be a woman owned company. We used to have a girl named we I heard a girl part time. Sure. And so it was used to be thought was met Roger and Sharon, but that that really wasn’t the case. So anyways, we are my dad started it. My mom was a president and the way we went, I went to tech school and got my degree and dad I’m out of here.

There’s nothing in this town. And then I moved to here about two hours north to here back in the boondocks, I love the fish and hunt at the time. And I got a job there met my wife. And what started happening is a couple fairy come home on the weekends, helping them on a Saturday while I was working 50 hours there. And you know, 10, eight, eight to 10 hours here. And yeah, I got old. Yeah. And so I finally fell hit my head and asked my wife to marry me. And she said, Yes.

So I was very blessed that she said, Yes. So we got married at a summer of 89. And my dad, we got married up there and my dad come up to me and said, hey, you’re dying, you’re gonna come work for me. And like, next month Aren’t you know, I go, No, I’m happy up here. No, you’re gonna come work for me. Well, that was in summer, July. So after him, pushing me and I said, All right, I’ll come work for you. And it was really a blessing in disguise.

Because what happened to me is the main reason was my dad had suffered a major heart attack. And he was clinically dead. I mean, they were done. And he was like, you’re done. And they gave beside that’s another whole story. And I get goosebumps and probably break down crying if I told it, but they actually came back to life. And so then I knew Okay, he’s 42 years old, massive heart attack, and the outcome wasn’t very good. And it’s like, oh, I gotta I better come back.

So I decided to come back. And you know, I didn’t know if I was gonna we’re gonna be in business for a year or two. I didn’t mean I’m only 21 years old. Yeah. And I, I’m a machinist, barely machinists at all. I still, I didn’t take it hardly machine anything. I mean, I just knew how to measure something and kind of, so we started doing that. And you know, he helped me and we got busy. And I remember back I remember one day, I just shut my machine off. I still have I still have the museum here at Mrs.

It’s we got our web lay than a Bridgeport mill. That’s my museum. I will never get rid of those pieces of equipment. And I just shut her up one day, my dad says, What are you doing? I said, where we go with Mrs. I’m happy. Just get back to work. And he just like the poker stick. And I said, No, Dad, I’m gonna grow up. You know, I guess I’m young. I come here to grow up not just to stay in here. And, you know, follow your footsteps. He says, All right, I’ll back.

Yeah. So I started knocking on doors. And I got I got the phone hung up on me who you know, we didn’t didn’t have cell phones. So you got to remember that. That’s all yeah. So I’ve literally had to hop in the car. I remember getting this big book trying to get names and cold calling. And people didn’t have time at a Ferrari. But actually, one time I had a tool salesman that came in and said, Hey, you need to call this place. I think you guys could be a good fit. So I hopped in the car went up there and we were a great fit. And we started doing work.

Unfortunately, my dad phone somebody at the same time. So all sudden, we went from nothing to like, No, we got to hire somebody and we got to buy more machines and cars my mind like my mom’s garage off. We ended up moving out of the garage because my mom pretty much forced his daughter there. He moved downtown. And you know, we ended up hiring four or five people and that was going great. Anyways, this company was a defense contractor.

And that was the time of the desert storm was going on. Yeah. And they received a contract to make some bomb parts for the bbmp new bombers, the ones that did just bought kinds and fly out. So we actually caught it two parts and we received the order. And the guy remember the armory guy coming down and auditing us and he walked in our little shop. He’s like, Where are you making the parts and it says right here and he goes Oh, Now you’re not, he says you got 30 days to clean this mess up, because you know, what was five hours, what was six sigma, that’s just a cluttered mess.

So when we, we had 30 days to scramble, we scrambled and, and we, we put the machines in there and we got it up and running, very stressful time in my life. And I ended up and I ended up taking parts of the cities in the middle of the night in the morning during the day, we had hired people. And we made it happen. And I guess that kind of made a name for ourselves. And that just led to more work word of mouth. And I remember going to one of my other customers and I got all dressed up suit and tie. And I walked in there because there was a big corporation.

And he was like, Who the heck are you? And I get presented myself I brought some parts in and some paperwork and showed them what we did and and, you know, the first words other multiples, you know, we love your presentation. But you know, you’re only 22 or 23 years old. Can we trust you? And, and so I’m like, okay, I can and I did you know I had? Yeah, I mean, that’s why I always tell people, if you’re going to go into business for yourself, there’s three things.

First of all, you know, I guess you gotta love what you’re doing. First of all, three things you got to do is you got to be ready if you’re ready to jump in as three to five years. 20 473 65 Yep. You got to risk everything financially. Yeah, put it all out there cuz capital equipment ain’t cheap. And your family, you got to get together your family and say, hey, I want you won’t be seeing much of me. You got to make sure they’re on because you know, if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy and and roll up your sleeves and get busy. And that’s really what we did then.

So during that time, during that time, my dad had, like, I think I counted three surgeries. He had his heart. And so I was there for that. It was nice for him. He knew I was there. Yeah. And so, um, that’s kind of how we got started. And then I just knew one thing that I needed to hire smarter people. I mean, I just, I wasn’t the smartest kid in the block. I wasn’t no 4.0 student I barely got through school. And the reason I did is I just couldn’t sit in the classroom. Look at the wall. I mean, I just bored me to death. And all my teachers. Yes, not all but a couple.

One of my teachers came up to me one day and said, You know what, man, you know, this, this little technical area that’s for you, because you’re never going to make it college, you’re probably not going to be successful life. And I looked at him and I said, Okay, thank you. And I deserved it. I probably deserved everything he said. But you know what? That second back in my head? And then that’s why i that just drives me today. It still does drive me today. I just yeah, I’m not taking no for an answer.

Yeah. And so that’s kind of what kind of drove me to the were I kind of got today, but it didn’t what I did. I mean, I gotta use get the word I because it’s it’s not me. Name. And it’s, it’s it’s the people that work for me. And it’s the people that helped me. Yeah, someday I’m gonna write a book, and I’m gonna start putting names in there. Yeah, I mean, I just have an awesome team and I, I can’t praise these people enough for it, they do for me. You know, I just kind of stay all the way, you know, at the place, too. It’s because they’re better than me. They’re smarter than me


Damon Pistulka  18:15

is that I think that’s, that’s one of the changes that people don’t really understand as as you’re building the business, because you’re so close. Like you, you were machining in the beginning, and you’re making those parts. And and you were figuring out who was going to do what, at a certain time and making that transition to where others take over pieces of that and continue to take over more of that. So that you can continue with the vision of building the business. It’s very hard to make that change.


Matt Guse  18:46

Yeah, it is said. So what really drove me into that. And well, 2013 I lost my dad. Yeah. I’m kind of jumping ahead here a little bit. But me my dad are like, best friends. Like, yeah, no, we fall, did we fight? Oh, yeah. Because we’re both machinist. And we both were thought a little different. Yeah. Because by the time I learned the computer side of it, and he didn’t really learn the computer side of it, he just he knew how to make things manually. Yeah. But then there’s a computer side of it, where you can take a little bigger depth cutter little, you don’t have to worry about chips flying in the face and stuff like that.

And he just thought we thought about how to hold on to it harder, how to work, hold it, how to make the part. But you know, at the end of the day, we always call each other at night and said we’re sorry, tomorrow’s a new day. And so I might I lost my dad, it was just like, you know, he could prepare for it too. I mean, it was all these little false false alarms, cry walks, you know, you go to the hospital and yada yada yada.

Finally, one night I remember being at a career fair in March, and my mom called me and said, Hey, your dad’s it doesn’t have any meat. Yeah, ours bigger goober to get down here in a hurry. So I sped down there and I went to the hospital here he is sitting there eating ice cream. Remember, like What in the world? And I’m like, geez, and I’ll get another false alarm. And actually 24 hours later he passed away, and then it just hit me hit. Yeah. I mean, I wasn’t prepared for it. And so that’s when I decided to. Okay. The people, I couldn’t even walk into this place, Damon, I’ve just yeah.

Emotional cry. Yeah, basically sad that you’re at home for three months. And, of course, everybody’s thinking he needs help psychiatry, and counseling. I know, I don’t need that. But I had a lot of people come to me called me Talk me through things. And finally, one day made it down here. And the place was singing, like, wow, these people stepped up.

And, and I was just amazed this day, I’m still amazing. That’s when I said, I’m gonna pay these people back somehow, some way in some form, I have to because we’re waiting for them, I wouldn’t have it. So that’s when I started doing the VA jumped ahead about three or four more years, I started giving 40% of the profit back to the people here. That’s because they stay here and this. There’s just as much mine and and that’s, that’s where I generated from. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, that’s,


Damon Pistulka  21:13

that’s special to see are the people there. Like you said, step up and do that. And you wouldn’t see that merit very many places. And it goes to show First of all, that you your father really ran a good business and cared for people in the first place. And then because they wouldn’t have they wouldn’t have they just want to stood around and watch everything go to hell, if they wouldn’t have really cared.

And and then what you’ve done since then to help share the gratitude for that ELP is is awesome. And I think that’s, you know, it’s it’s probably why you’re winning the awards that you do. It’s probably why your your business continues to produce great parts for many different people. And they come back wanting more because you do a good job. Yeah. So, yeah, it’s interesting how the bad times can drive some good things.


Matt Guse  22:13

Oh, yeah. Yeah, I mean, the iPad, it’s, it has a bit of a tropical paradise. I mean, there’s just as many bad stories, good stories, you know, you know, businesses, I can remember one week I lost 90% of my customers in one week. Don’t make money. But yeah,


Damon Pistulka  22:34

yeah. So has that. Has the type of customers changed an awful lot over the years? I mean, have you switched many industry? Or is it is it really pretty much stayed that the fence kind of thing throughout?


Matt Guse  22:46

No, I had such changed, you know, defense, the woman that the government’s that, that just wasn’t didn’t seem to be money in it. And then I started hearing these people buying parts from China and and put names on it. And I think that still goes on today, especially replacement parts. People are doing some I don’t know, they’re doing things right. I just, I don’t want I don’t want to do that. Yeah, I’m on other. So we’re just just going back to the commercial stuff and you know, stuff that you know, you know, today you know, we just got into I got an oil and gas we will heavily around a turn of 2201.

And I got my pop I got I got a little little too heavy in it. Because, you know, I, I always say you can’t measure it. You can’t manage it. And yeah, oh, I could measure it. But I was just looking at the bank account instead of actually trying to manage it. Yeah. No, 15 that kind of hit us a little bit. But yeah, and our food processing, you know, food flower. That’s kind of big right now, aerospace, we got to that by mistake. That’s I had no idea how I’d get an aerospace.

But we did and I guess we got pretty good at it. Because everybody wants you know, we’re good at complex stuff. Because Yeah, I got a team of young kids here. They’re not really scared of anything. Oh, yeah. Get it done. They don’t care and the more challenging them the better they the more they like it. But then then we got the people that just want to make parts and Yeah, they do a good job at it and and they want this proven out they can set it up and do it themselves. And


Damon Pistulka  24:19

yeah, so you know, this is one thing and we’ll get a little little technical, as much as I can get. But as I started I started out you know, literally about the same time my machining experience in a tool room and an injection molding company and I think it was 1980 had to be six something like that. And it was before CNC really was popular and I was lucky enough to put the first cat at that time cam or you know, programming there was old master cam you know at any we did the started doing that stuff, but The you talk about complex and the complex in the in the when you started in the late 80s. The complex now talk about the change in that.


Matt Guse  25:13

Yeah, I tell people here you get, Oh, we got a partner, let’s challenge you know, I don’t know if we can do that. And I save every five years I go go grab apart, I got parsley in my display case or I got a drawing I’ll pull up and I go out there and I’ll put it on a table and conference room. And I’ll say, remember this part? Yeah, that’s easy. Oh my god, let’s go back five years. Remember how we said we couldn’t do that?

Ah, you know, yeah, weight technology, how you can measure things and how in our five axis you just, you program, not report punch a number in your 22 degree angle, and boom, it’s a 22 year angle. It’s not putting you build in a fixture play at an indexer and off sidebar, none of that. That’s all gone. Yeah. trigonometry. I mean, I hope I don’t have to do it because I think I’ve forgotten it all.

Yeah, just just go find a model or go through it up in cam. But know that you know, the tolerances are so tight, you know, back in the day, if you could hold up all and lay there too. That was pretty tight. And now two tenths is like you know, that’s like the norm and most of the parts we do but now that also brings more challenges now you got to have a temperature controlled You know, when we first started out we didn’t have air conditioning shop. We didn’t have ventilation, we didn’t have chillers on our coolant. Now you know, when you start holding those tolerances all that comes into play.


Damon Pistulka  26:34

Yeah, cuz temperature moves at that much.


Matt Guse  26:38

You know, the best way I put it because some people don’t understand metals move and stuff and you know, we have a railroad that runs through town and I from the summer to the winter that thing over a mile shrinks three inches from the winter or grows three inches in the summer and shrinks three inches in the in the winter. So that’s how much steel moves and yeah, just 10 degrees is an aluminum is like could be a 10th or two.


Damon Pistulka  27:02

Yeah, yeah, I didn’t realize that either. Until one of the machining companies that I managed later on in my career we did I think the envelope was like 10 feet by four feet by three feet and we would do some of our stuff was like four inch aluminum and 1618 inches wide and you know eight feet long and I didn’t realize that you had to actually skin both sides of the material to kind of let it relieve stress before you started actually machining anything out of it and you know, just strange stuff like that, that you only material it moves, it just moves you It’s crazy to do that,


Matt Guse  27:46

and then you can always just like your grandma’s cake you know, they got the recipe but if my grandma makes it or your grandmother makes it It isn’t quite the same is oh it’s all the ingredients are the same but well you can machine a job 10 times and that 11th time you get it from a different mill in it It’s horrible. Yeah, all kinds of problems. So


Damon Pistulka  28:07

yeah, so what do you say you talked about the tolerances have gotten a lot a lot tighter because of that and of course the the the the the ways that you set up machines but what are some of the things that you see now that’s really changing that you go man that is going to be cool in the in the machining industry as as that really comes to comes to fruition and starts really working


Matt Guse  28:31

Oh additive manufacturing has kind of went a long ways that’s you know we’re YOU CAN MACHINE something and also you can program to come in and add something canal to steel just in a certain area we don’t have the machine the whole part 3d printing that’s coming along ways that we’re not really into 3d printing


Damon Pistulka  28:51



Matt Guse  28:53

that’s you know, I don’t think in 3d printers will definitely going to is going to or 3d printing metal is going to come off fast and it’s going to be a thing of the future but I still don’t know if it’s gonna be fast enough to print out a couple 1000 parts yeah Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

As far as cutting tool wise IRS you know to IRS go back to is um, when I’m here local meals came out are you mean you you take the full width of the flute length and you just start taking 5000 so I call it peel meal and you really peel on like a banana he just really fast where before you know used to take a big depth of cut just real slow and beat the crap out of the machine. That’s amazing. Yeah, that takes let alone does it take time off the part but the tool life I mean, I used to go out there and meals like coffee cans full last a month. Wow. That’s amazing. And yeah, all in hydraulic holders and shrink grid holders.

We didn’t have all that back on their 90s you know, yep. So that that’s that’s and then accordions, it all wherever thought of a coating Put an accordion on a tool we really, and that this accordion is alone. I can’t. I’m a DMF guy. I love design for manufacturing. And just I see a part The first thing I want to do with how can we make it better? Yeah, how can we how can we cut costs?

That’s that’s just me. That’s it drives me. That’s why I like to go for bike rides. I like that part. Yeah, that’s what goes through my head. And, you know, I had this one customer, he was high speed steel and like, what the heck, you’re still Heidi sweet still on it. I said, put a Korean on there. And they were taking these two blocks pretty hard and EDM and well, you know, EDM is like $100 an inch to get EDM. Yeah,


Damon Pistulka  30:36

yeah. I


Matt Guse  30:37

said, just take that sucker machine and have a billet. And well, he treated and we’ll throw accordion on there. And that part went from there, like 30 inches of cut to that thing last like six months now. And oh, wow. And they didn’t like it very much, because they couldn’t sell replacement parts. So yeah. That’s the kind of stuff i like i like to do anyways. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  31:01

Yeah. And and you talk about the things like that. When you said additive manufacturing, and then machining something and putting some material different type of material right where you want it. I just can’t even imagine that boggles my mind the possibilities by doing that.


Matt Guse  31:19

Oh, yeah. I mean, but yeah, it’s just like cladding in oil and gas industry. And you’re used to rock machine it, you have to send it out, get it clouded, and then come back in and machine. Well, that’s three extra processes. But now you can you can do that right now. Same setup. Oh, and Oh, yeah. Do it overnight. I mean, that’s,


Damon Pistulka  31:37

wow. That would be something that would be something. Yeah, it is something already. So just Yeah. Just get it and then mainstream mainstream usage. And, and it is amazing. I mean, all the way in you talk about 3d printing, you know, I think it was a couple years ago, now they built that car out of 3d printer built the car, or the body or whatever, they did the whole thing, and we’re able to roll it and, you know, it’s just those kinds of things are gonna change the way at least as you said, it might not be for the production, but what you conceptually can think of, and, and make is going to be a lot different.


Matt Guse  32:16

Yeah, I mean, just to take a model and hand it to your customer. And the concepts, that’s, that’s what we like about 3d printing, you know, before we fixturing, even, you know, we measure things in our CMM you can 3d print something just to hold on to it. But a lot of 3d printed before how you see how you can machine it, you know, so yeah, it’s just crazy stuff.


Damon Pistulka  32:36

Yeah. Wow. So when you think back, if you go back into, you know, just learning what, you know, what, the first time you hooked a computer into the, into the machine, now, it’s there, they are part of the network, they they talk back and forth to the network and everything like that as well. Right.


Matt Guse  32:55

Yeah. You know, we have computers and all ourselves. So, you know, pretty much paperless. Yeah, as much as we can be. And, you know, I back in the early 90s, if he would have told me that I thought you’re crazy. Yeah. But it just, it’s saving the process and that tribal knowledge show. If somebody leaves or don’t make that part for three years, you have everything right there, you have a document, you have process sheets, pictures, inspection sheets, the plan, how to make it, it’s all there, the programs are saved. That’s, that’s that’s you valuable stuff. Yeah. Everybody’s pretty much doing that nowadays.


Damon Pistulka  33:33

Yeah. But it’s, it’s good, though, to be able to, to see the industry moving forward. And, and, and where, where it’s coming from, so you can hopefully not repeat mistakes as much. And but now, this year, it’s been interesting with with everyone that, you know, we all hear in the news about how COVID is affected, you know, all these industries.

And one of the things that I see almost across the board and manufacturing, yeah, it’s affected the industry, but not like people think manufacturing, in general, has been going right through and can’t find any people to work in the factories now to help them produce the parts. And this is something we talked about it many times this year. And honestly, it’s I believe it’s why you got interviewed on Fox News, who was net this year about about the the problem with recruiting and or hiring good people.


Matt Guse  34:37

Yeah, that. First of all, I’m still amazed some kid from a small town in rural Wisconsin could be make the national news that I would have never never dreamt of that. I mean, that is day I’m still like, wow, you know, but you know, and I have, like, I have a story to tell everybody tells me I’m a good car, you know, and I want to be able to And do what I do because of people like you, Damon and Sam kupah. I mean, you guys get brought me out of my shell. And I guess I’ll go back to 2007 when I won the American machinist award. I won this award and they came in and toured me. And they said, oh, by the way, you got to come down to a conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Okay, I’m sure I’ll be happy. Oh, but you got to speak for an hour. And I looked at him. I was like, I couldn’t speak are they talking on the phone, let alone speak in front of a bunch of people. And so I got notes and I practice and boy, I got in the plane, I got in the plane flew down there. I was so nervous. I had no clue what I was gonna do. And all I remember this guy telling me when you got 10 minutes ago, I’m gonna stand up.

So you better hurry up and finish up. Okay, so I got up there. And I had my notes and I started talking and watch what felt like 10 minutes. Also, this guy’s in the back room stands up. I’m like, standing up so early for back my mind and like, so I kept talking and all sudden he’s going like this. The next thing you know, it was an hour. Yeah, I had no idea what I talked about what barely, I talked. That broke me out of my shell. Because if I could do that in front of a bunch of strangers, I figured I could maybe do it in front of a bunch of people like I did today.

Yeah. And when I did the Fox News interview, I had no idea what they’re gonna ask me. They. I remember right before about 30 seconds before we went live on air. Liz comes on. And I go, Hey, Liz, what do you gonna ask me? She was? Well, I guess we’ll find out in about 30 seconds, won’t we? Okay, so if I can do that I can. tv. They’re gonna ask me. Rest is rest is easy. And that really helped me in officiating. And that just keeps you cool and calm? And yeah, I guess that’ll help me too. But yeah, so anyways.


Damon Pistulka  36:55

So you look at you look at the the challenges of hiring people, you’re your youth? Is it just that you don’t think that people are considering a mission machining or manufacturing as a career choice? Or do you think it’s just there’s less people that are interested in it?


Matt Guse  37:16

Um, well, it’s kind of all the above? You know, I if I had that million dollar, I could answer that, truthfully, and have that one. I probably be sitting in Hawaii beach right now. But yeah, it’s a lot. It’s a lot of things. Really, it’s, you know, back in the 70s. In Wisconsin, we had 2.1 Kids per household. Today, we have 1.30, not scenario one, one plus person per household, while I’m your families you got in our 42, here locally, in our school, district 42 schools. We have 1000 less seniors graduating today than we did 10 years ago.

So 1000. Last year, it’s 1000 less students. And you know, last week, I asked around to everybody I talked to just a question of the week and I like to do that. So my question of the week is everybody’s saying, don’t get there on the $300 extra doesn’t help.

But I asked people, how many people do you know that are sitting home getting $300? Probably I, I asked him over 200 people demon. And only one two people could tell me that they knew somebody was sitting at home. So I just we don’t have the people. And I think a lot of this work, but Harry Mosley did, came back to America, and we just got kind of, we’re kind of caught with their pants.

Don’t be honest with you. And, you know, to getting kids in school that didn’t help the last 10 years because everybody said a four year college or you’re a loser just like me, and they told me if I went to, I’m going to be a loser. And so that mentality had to change and that we’ve made, I think all of us manufacturers, they make great progress. In the last five years. I’ve seen a lot of cool things in schools locally and nationally. And you’ve got things like we’re doing a carton manufacturing. And that’s I tried to start my own school back in 2000.

You know, I failed at it and went to the fast food restaurants and because I thought, you know, they they didn’t have a career path. And I just thought they were good people and I failed the six years, six months into it. They’re all gone. What are they do wrong? That’s when I met Craig Rakowski from a cardinal and he told me, hey, I want to start a job shop up in high school. And I looked at him I’m like, Oh, I want to get it. I just got goosebumps talking to him.

I want this guy and I want to be that guy seen. And, you know, like, like the Packers. You know, we got Aaron Rodgers. He want to be in his team. I had to throw that in there. Yeah. If he plays this year, if he plays Yeah, that’s the question. But yeah, so so Craig had a job at over here to leave us drama and he called us up and told us and he came and visited my dad. Hey, what do you need? My dad always said one hands forgiven and once for receiving? Yeah, my gosh, my dad had half the shop given to them and all their tools and like, whoa, whoa, dad, we got the cart in front of the horse here.

Just have to hold on. But you know, like I said that those kids go through that program and don’t go to college or go to something else. Besides manufacturing, that’s great. You know, that’s not they don’t go to college in manufacturing, I think what I want to do and waste a bunch of money. But you know, we’re getting students out of there. And now that we’ve done that, we got other school districts in it, and it’s successful, and it works it you know, like I said, it creates revenue for the school for the program, and for the students.

Kids are getting paid to go to high school I, if I was at med school, I’d be I’d be going to school every day. Yeah, exactly. And you know, and people are either open it up and bring people into your shop, show him what you’re doing when you start showing them a part that goes into a medical tool. And what it does that shows interest, you start drawing apart, what goes down in three miles down in the ground for drilling oil and gas, or you yank a little chip or something that goes into a airplane or something, a little bracket, that that people don’t understand what’s behind those closed doors.

And once they see that, and then you start telling the salary. That was funny, I had this insurance guy in here that wanting to give me my own my insurance, quote for next year, and start talking about workman’s comp and salaries. And he says, Oh, you guys make about 30. There? No, you make about 40. And I don’t know, do you make about 50? No. Do you make about 60? And he goes by if I buy into this conversation, I may be working for you.


Damon Pistulka  41:26

Well, it’s it’s it’s a it’s a fact, it’s a fact of manufacturing is the skill people get paid very well.


Matt Guse  41:32

Yeah, that’s what that’s the most underlying thing that people don’t understand. Understand. Yeah. And that’s the thing. I tried to get out into schools. And I just, you got to educate people. And you know, I can say back in, Oh, 708. All the schools closed out there. Get rid of the we don’t need to get you know, we don’t have money for goods, they have the capital equipment. Oh, yeah.

And they started selling it or just pushing it back on a corner. And they thought service and computers that’s, that’s, you know, you’re going to be fixing and working on computer rest of your life. And that’s not the case. Well, actually here, I always tell people we’re our machines are so the most underpaid people in America. Like oh, no, they’re not like oh, yeah, they are. Because look, just like the things we talked about.

The stress of material. You know, you’re a chemist, you’re a scientist, you’re a process engineer. You’re your cutting tool, engineer. You, you, you got to know how to make the part. It’s like five things. And you know what these guys are making? 20 to maybe $30 an hour? Yeah, I mean, then a plumber. Don’t get me wrong plumber. We need plumbers, electricians, but I hear they’re making 40 $45 an hour. And they you know, they got a van full of tools. And it just doesn’t make no sense. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  42:43

Yeah, it’s it’s, there’s, there’s a lot of things that that that will definitely be changing. I think in the manufacturing world over the next years. Obviously, there has to be I mean, the last two years showed us that, listen, you can’t had everything made at the cheapest point of labor in the world, because that’ll hurt. And, and then I don’t think really in the US they’ve ever gotten rid of the critical things out of the US, which is good. And it’s the the amount of people retiring now, compared to the amount of people coming into manufacturing, I think, as you said, is is and then the amount of people that are even available coming out of high schools is is going down.

Like, like you were saying there too, is 1000 less people graduating out of 42 schools in a year. That’s a lot. That’s a lot. And and when you look at the the demand side of things, I mean, we’re, we’re now have the, the millennials are bigger as a population than the baby boomers. And they’re like, in there, whatever it is, I was just reading something about this again, the other day, he was talking about how they’re getting into the house buying age.

That’s why the housing shortages, they said oh my god, we might go on for quite a while just simply because they’re, they’re moving into the house buying age now. And even though the the baby boomers are moving out there, they’re a bigger population. So like me being a whatever it called in between those two, whatever it’s called, you know, that was small compared to the two populations and and that is the people coming in to manufacturing now.

The the millennials are a bit older than that. And the gen, whatever they’re calling today, you know, I don’t keep up with z. z, z. There you go. There you go. And that there. They were thinking that you know, they’re gonna be the next YouTube sensation or whatever. You know, it’s and realistically, I mean, I’ve, I’ve honestly assume from my, my, my son’s 22 years old right? And I just had power go out for a second Sorry, my son is still a state on now that was I was freaking out like everything went dead for a second but but my son’s 22 years old, right?

He’s got friends that that are so he’s What is it four years out of college or out of out of high school? Yeah, he’s got friends that are still still working jobs that they shouldn’t be working for years out of college, and they could go down to the manufacturing places down here and find a job that pays them better, that actually has benefits that you don’t have to work, crappy, crappy hours. And it has a career path that they can actually make a life out of it.

Yeah, exactly. And, and you know, rather than working for somebody that’s worried about paying, giving you enough hours that they’re gonna actually have to pay benefits and stuff like that, you know, and, and that’s the thing that I always gets me fired up is like, man, there are so many more opportunities for people. And and I’ll say it about the four year schools don’t go to a four year school. If you don’t think that’s really four year don’t go to a four year school for something you’re never gonna get a job for a job man.

And, and but manufacturing, I’m glad to hear that people are talking with you about manufacturing, bring an awareness towards getting young people in manufacturing, I think the cardinal sin, the cardinal school example that they you guys have had a lot to do. Were with there locally is awesome. I hope that there’s others that are taking note of it. And and maybe more, as you said, more schools participating in it, because that that’s what we need to do. The kids have to come in and take this over. We’re not going to be around forever.


Matt Guse  46:52

No, I’m blessed. My average age here is 32. And yeah, 47 people, so very blessed.


Damon Pistulka  47:00

But let’s see, what’s the average industry age? here for further? Oh, 50. I heard 59. There. Yeah. So you’re you’re you’re lucky because of the program that the work that you’ve been doing? Look at the difference that that’s


Matt Guse  47:17

Yeah, that’s 15 years in the making. So that’s it instead of happen overnight. And yeah, we have if people want to learn more about that we have workshops, how to do it. And, and I strongly attendance, just attend one of them. It’s really cool. I like the live ones you can meet face to face, but the last two are virtual. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  47:38

So yeah. So when when? How would they learn more about that if they wanted to about your


Matt Guse  47:43

heart? Just just contact me. I’ll type up Carter manufacturing. Very good. And, and we’ll, we’ll get you set up? I think. I’m not sure when we’re having the next one. I think it’s October now. Oh, awesome. Awesome.


Damon Pistulka  47:56

Yeah, because it is it is something that companies should consider coming because in an area you could band together with half a dozen companies, a dozen companies from a given region and you could really power power the schools to, to to do to do two things a you’re going to create a stream of employees, but you’re going to give people which is more importantly, a lifetime opportunity to do something they never would have thought about.


Matt Guse  48:22

Yeah. And it’s not that hard. It’s really just takes a little time. And that’s the benefits you get from it. I mean, I mean, I’m just like a it’s like a passion of mine. I just get so excited I get to see these kids and I get so excited because nobody gives them attention. That’s what kids want the Gen Z wants attention and they want the report. So if anybody’s out there wants to work that’s what they want. And yeah, and they’re eager to learn and yeah


Damon Pistulka  48:51

well and and some some of the same people that that would really thrive in this environment that you created in those schools are like you said some of the people that may not ever get attention other than that then then that and that’s a that’s a great thing is I just think very cool what you’re doing


Matt Guse  49:11

Yeah, everybody’s got a gift and talent Damon, you just have to find it.


Damon Pistulka  49:15

Yep. And once they do you just let them go. They blossom. Yeah, good stuff. Well, man, it’s been awesome talking to you man. I enjoy our interactions around and I just man you’re you’re an inspiration in in how you’re helping younger people find great careers in manufacturing. I really enjoy that. I love what you’re doing in your in your company.

I mean, I can’t even imagine the over the years what that’s been like, you know that the highs and the lows and just the things you’ve learned doing that but it’s I’m thankful to be able to talk to you for a little bit here and thankful for you to be able to just share so hopefully if somebody if they If they want to go to Wisconsin and work in a machining shop and they’ve got to experience that they’re going to talk to Mrs. machining because I think you probably got some things that you need to get done there.


Matt Guse  50:13

Yeah, yep I do. But yeah, we could go on for another hour if he really wanted to, but I understand appreciate everybody’s time.


Damon Pistulka  50:22

Yeah, yeah, I know and we will again in the future we’ll get on on talking about something else that that we you know, we get under that we need to leave at lead out I guess. But I I hope that the people that are listening today got to understand you know more about you more about the company the Mrs. machining and the history and and how you’re helping people and I was just happy that that we could schedule the time. So Matt goosey, Mrs. machining. Thanks so much for being here today. So if someone wants to get ahold of you reach out to you on on LinkedIn. Is that a good spot?


Matt Guse  51:03

Yep. Lincoln, it just it’s Matt goosey. Or just google Matt Goosen, you’ll, you’ll find me I’ve seen where you go. So


Damon Pistulka  51:11

there you go. Awesome. Okay, so before we get off, how when did you ever think that you were going to be able to say that just google me and y’all come up? Oh, actually, Bobby, like in the last year, personally? Yeah. That’s awesome. Because you said that that was ever. Yeah, yeah. I was just thinking about that. That’s that’s a cool. That’s awesome, Matt. Great. Thanks so much for being here today.

Thanks for being with us. Everyone. That’s been listening. Thanks so much for listening. Love it, put your comments in. And if you want to reach out to Matt, go ahead and reach out on LinkedIn and get him there. Thanks a lot, Matt. We’ll be back again next week after a short holiday break. We’re taking off this Thursday and next Tuesday. We’re going to be back again next Thursday. And with more interesting people that we’re trying to talk to and today I’ll even say it for Matt go Packers. Oh pack. There we go.

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