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“We focus on each month like it was the end of the year. We like what we do…and it shows.”

Company Overview: Mack Hils Metal Fabrication grew out of a tiny specialty parts business, 23 years ago, to become a strong manufacturer of fabricated and machined metal parts to OEM customers (the most demanding and exacting customers).

MO: What inspired you to launch your business?

Mike:  The niche of serving OEM customers takes Mack Hils Metal Fabrication from the run-of-the-mill “metal bending job-shop, and made it a high speed business with repeat loyal customers.  This provided stability for our employees and for our ability to finance and grow the company.

MO: Do you have any recent success stories that you’d like to share?

Mike: Our successes are like those of an Offensive Lineman on a football team.  After a touchdown is scored, the offensive lineman walks to the sideline with no fanfare, no spiking of the ball and no hugs from the cheerleaders.  It is our job and our customer’s expectation, to do a non-glamorous job in a flawless way….again today, and we love it that way.  No one spikes the ball here.  But the customers keep filling the stadium, because we score touchdowns every day – for them.

MO: What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?

Mike: We can’t rest on yesterday’s successes.  Costs go up, competitors pop up and cut prices, customers want new solutions.  We stay focused on this business because the people who run it are passionate about the business and see no alternative other than success.  We focus on each month like it was the end of the year.  We like what we do…and it shows.  And it is not always easy…and we like it that way.

MO: Have you had any mentors or role models that have influenced you? Describe the impact.

Mike: We have shamelessly stolen good ideas from all the managers and leaders we have been around.  We have stories of good lessons and bad lessons, but we still tell them because it reminds us that we didn’t invent good management.  We just borrowed it and tweaked it and we keep trying to learn how to do “it” better.

MO: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?

Mike: Buying a business, with a partner we didn’t know would, to many, seem very risky.  It was not.  This is what we know, and do, and think about all day. Management, people, metal fabrication, sales, finance, processes, it is all we talk about.  So, any perceived risk is right there for us to work on.  It’s only risky if we lie down and stop working.  It has turned out great.

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