When it comes to quality machine repair, no one stands out in the industry quite like Machine Ethics. Machine Ethics was founded 16 years ago by Bill Keller. At the time, Bill was already an industry veteran, having spent 22+ years moving up the ranks in a camshaft manufacturing plant. Shortly after Bill started Machine Ethics, he recruited Dan Smith, a friend and former coworker to join the budding business. Machine Ethics prioritizes “old school” industry standards that should never go out of style: trustworthy service, accountable techs, and the best customer service that keeps people coming back.
Even though Machine Ethics started out as “two guys with vans and tools,” according to Bill, they have since grown into a widely respected business. They joined the UP! Network three years ago to continue to expand their business, and today they are definitely a power user on the app. With a 5-star rating from dozens of reviews, they have become a stand-out example of how UP! can help small-to-medium sized businesses continue to grow.
The Machine Ethics team joined UP! three years ago after seeing an ad that piqued their interest. Though their business was already successful, they were interested in tools that could help them expand their customer base. “It seemed like a good way to make more money. I figured if we even got just one job, it was worth trying,” says Dan. “UP! was a lot smaller 3 years ago, and so were we.”
Around the same time, Makino started placing a lot of requests with the UP! Network. Makino, a leading CNC machine tool manufacturer, was the first OEM to join the network, creating a hybrid labor model to better support their customers. Since joining, Machine Ethics has been able to place estimates and do a great deal of work for Makino. “Makino has proven to be a great partner. They really care about their customers. It is refreshing to see. As a result, I think they are using UP! to strengthen their overall ability to provide great customer service,” Bill says.
In addition to their great success with UP!, the Machine Ethics team shared some of their standards and strategies that have helped them grow their business.
Customer service is what sets Machine Ethics apart from the competition. Not only do they get machines repaired efficiently and correctly, they provide a fantastic customer service experience. “Even though your technical expertise may be top-notch, that alone will not grow your business. You have to focus on customer service and be willing to spend the time to help customers solve their problems,” Dan says.
This approach also extends to their employees. “When you find someone good, you do what you can to keep them,” says Bill. This includes paying them a good wage, providing great healthcare benefits, and creating a positive working environment. “Instead of equipment being our most important asset, our people are ours,” Bill says.
The Machine Ethics team is open to new ideas that can lead to business growth. They were very early members of the UP! Network. In the early days the network was smaller and there were fewer requests providing an opportunity for a match. Today, the now national network is active across the US. Because the team continued to believe in the possibilities UP! represented, Machine Ethics has been able to build their business and along with it their reputation. Machine Ethics has received a large number of five-star reviews from network members.
One of the most difficult parts of the business has always been finding the right people. At Machine Ethics, they train their people the “old school way.” The focus is put on being polite, trustworthy, and presentable. You win the customer over with your personality by showing up for work clean and ready to go. You are accountable for your actions and take responsibility for your work and your appearance. Additionally, there is no discussion about other service professionals or OEMs, especially in a negative light.
As the skills gap crisis continues to grow, Machine Ethics has taken it upon themselves to train the right people for the job. Training can take anywhere from six months to one year, but the result is a capable, competent professional who is knowledgeable with a positive attitude.