There’s nothing like the energy that comes from visiting a factory. The shop buzzing with the sounds and smells of metal and oil; people and machinery conducting the unmistakable symphony of manufacturing detailed parts in metal and plastic. Transforming raw materials into precisely detailed, useful components is almost magical. Busch Brothers Machining in New Prague, Minnesota, is where over 40 employees do just that. And they do it very well.
Busch Brothers Machining, founded in 1987, includes two businesses—Busch Brothers Machining and Midwest Foods Processing Supplies. We recently visited with company president, Tyler Scholl, who along with Mark Lancaster, acquired the company from the original founders in October 2021. Like many companies, Busch Brothers is challenged with finding the right combination of controlled growth in terms of customers, materials, and staffing.
Focused on Long-Term Growth
“We’re positioned for strong growth but are staying focused on a long-term formula for success, versus the short-term gains that are available given the current environment of rising costs,” Tyler said.
“Busch Brothers grew by having a solid reputation for high quality, on-time production. We could grow our customer base faster or expand into other markets, but we can’t tarnish a 35-year reputation by doing it too quickly. In terms of materials and staffing, we need to bring our capacity up to meet the demands of current customers, then grow from there.”
Busch Brothers operates over 30 CNC machines processing a variety of materials for diverse industries across the United States. They also deploy a wide range of quality assurance tools to ensure components are built correctly. During a tour of the 37,000-foot facility, Tyler, who has an extensive background in manufacturing and sales, exhibited enthusiasm and knowledge about the business that were both testaments to the company’s success and an indication of a very bright future.
As a business owner, he also admitted to spending about half his time going over the numbers. “We primarily process stainless steel, steel and aluminum, but also work with a lot of brass, nylon, and a variety of plastics. Raw materials used to account for 25% of our expenses. Now it’s closer to 50%.”
He continued, “We use a lot of stainless steel. A major component of stainless steel is nickel, and a major supplier of nickel is Russia. The conflict in Ukraine is driving prices up even further.” Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the price of nickel, which is used in both the production of stainless steel and batteries for electric cars, has surged.
Find and Keep Employees
“As the market demands higher wages, finding new talent is becoming more of a challenge,” Tyler said. “We have a strong team, and we’re trying to be creative in finding new employees.”
Tyler talked about making connections with high schools and community colleges. “We’d like to partner with schools to bring in younger employees who are looking for mentorship and training. Automation has changed the role of machinists, and this will only continue to evolve. Learning how to program the machines is an excellent opportunity for someone looking for a long-term career.”
The day after our visit, Busch Brothers was hosting food truck, Mama’s Tacos, for the employees. “The impact this team has on our company, New Prague and the surrounding communities is important. I like to find something we can do each month, like the food truck, to recognize the importance of our team and celebrate our successes.”
Consult Your Banker When Buying a Business
When asked what advice he’d give to someone thinking about buying a business, Tyler quickly replied, “Take the leap!”
He stressed the importance of partnering with the right bank and financial partner. “I had worked with Bank Midwest in the past and reached out again when we began exploring options at Busch Brothers,” Tyler said.
“Molly and Brandon are always willing listen to us and look for ways to make things happen to help grow our business. When exploring this new opportunity, they were easy to work with, and I appreciated the feedback loop.” Molly Fransen and Brandon Finck are both experienced lenders who work with businesses and ag-related companies of all sizes in Bank Midwest’s Jackson location.
Tyler continued, “Also, Bank Midwest’s technology and cash management services have exceeded other experiences we’ve had.” His business doesn’t require a trip to the branch every day and they’re able to handle deposits, payments, and wires online.
As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve, Busch Brothers is proof that local companies are keeping pace with global changes, and that manufacturing is very much a vital part of the U.S. economy.
If you’re interested in learning more about Busch Brothers, visit them as www.buschbrosmn.com.
Explore partnering with Bank Midwest’s experienced financial professionals to help grow your current business or, perhaps, your next project.