Invest in new tools to remain competitive

The Last Word

Paul Schulz
Vice president, Max Weiss Co.
8625 W. Bradley Road, Milwaukee
Industry: Metal forming and fabrication
Employees: 30


Paul Schulz is vice president at Milwaukee-based Max Weiss Co. He says even though capital investments can be costly and time consuming, they also are necessary to keep up with the competition.

“On the surface, our business seems simple. We bend metal. You’ll find our products in stadiums, marine vessels, trucks, rail lines and lots of buildings.

“The reality is more complex. Our customers build these things. All the pieces have to fit together perfectly. They need component parts – angles, tubes, pipes, channels, beams – bent to exacting dimensions of curves and radii. We have to meet their precise needs; if not, a competitor will.

“Enter our newest capital investment: the DAVI Angle Roll MCP 32. This 45-ton behemoth represents technology’s cutting edge in our industry, with full CNC capabilities, Internet interfaces, and other features that only someone in the metal forming and fabrication business could truly love. We had to build a concrete-lined pit in our shop floor to accommodate it.

“Why invest more than half a million dollars and nearly a year of research and process into this acquisition? Simple: competitive necessity. If you aren’t keeping up, you’re falling behind. As customers’ needs evolve, so should your ability to meet them.

“This incredibly powerful, multi-faceted machine strengthens our ability to deliver products fast, at high quality and at a price our customers want. It adds another level to our production capabilities, which will ultimately grow our business.

“Every market is competitive. Companies need to continually adapt to be in a place where they can best serve their customers. Strategic thinking ensures survival and, ideally, thriving … even if, occasionally, you have to dig a pit to get there.”

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