Betting Your Savings to Start a Machining Company, Dulio Arellano (Part II)—EP 219

June 14, 2024 - 11:50am -- Selcuk Gulboy

Using savings to buy a 20-year-old Swiss machine that’s been sitting idle for year is a gamble. Buying one to start a machining company without any customers yet or a place to put the machine means really going ALL IN.

Today’s podcast is Part II of my interview with Dulio Arellano, founder of Premier Swiss in Addison, Illinois.

We’re continuing Dulio’s story, discussing how he transitioned from working in job shops to becoming one of Tornos USA’s top technicians, and then how he rolled the dice, purchasing a used Tornos DECO 10 to start his own machining company.

If you haven’t listened to Part I (Episode 218) I suggest you check that one out first.

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Interview Highlights


Working On the Shop Floor

Noah Graff: Why do you feel it’s important for you to still work alongside your people on the shop floor?

Dulio Arellano: There are a lot of benefits to being involved in the shop, even if you could step back and just concentrate on other things like sales and office-related tasks for running the business. This is not only for the owner but also for companies that have managers, lead persons, or people with jobs in the office.

The attitude of the people is much different if you come out there and work with them. In my point of view, it’s kind of like, okay, I’m the owner, and I care about the shop more than anybody here. That’s why I’m going out there and talking to the people. 

If you go out there in the shop and talk to the people, try to make their jobs easier. When people see that things are running, they change their attitude. I have a couple of guys that work here who have told me that they’re very proud to work here because, as an owner, you might see me at my desk for a full day working on sales and trying to close deals. But the next day, I might be underneath the machine, full of oil, changing the motor and helping this guy trying to do something or figuring things out so they run well.


Advice for Starting a Machining Business

Noah Graff: Do you have any advice for people out there thinking about starting a machining business?

Dulio Arellano: I think that for the people who are thinking of starting a business, they just have to keep in mind that if they really want it, it’s going to happen, but it’s going to require a lot of patience and a lot of hard work. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen fast. And if you don’t enjoy the work, if you don’t do it because you like the kind of work, if you don’t like the pressure or being in that position solving problems, maybe it’s not for you. 


Being Flexible to Change Directions in Life

Noah Graff: How did you expect your life to turn out until now versus how it actually did?

Dulio Arellano: Well, I had learned from starting the business and from taking the job at Tornos that I wasn’t expecting to take, that you always have to have goals. But you also have to be open to what opportunity presents and be willing to switch directions at any minute. That could be a slight change or a complete change to another direction if the right opportunity presents itself.

I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know how the market is going to be, what field we’re going to go into, if I’m going to continue expanding, if I’m going to reduce the amount of equipment I have, or if I’m going to upgrade the equipment. I just know that I have my goal on where I want to be, but at the end of the day, I think that things happen and push you in a certain direction where you must go. 

That’s how it’s been in the last six years that I’ve been in business. I plan certain things, and things go in a different direction. You have to change, make things work, or take the opportunity and change your plans.


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