New Management Team Making Positive Change at Bergeron Machine

Compass Precision hired Dave Giampa as President of Bergeron Machine in May 2023. To honor his six-month anniversary, we checked in with Dave to see how things are going at the Compass operating company.

To get our interview started, how about you tell us how your first six months at Bergeron Machine went?

Things are moving along, we’ve made a lot of changes. Since I’ve been here, I’ve started a second shift. It’s something that we really needed to do to enable us to really get a handle on some of those long-term jobs that were tying up all the machines. We’re now running those jobs 20 hours a day. That’s been something that’s been beneficial. It’s allowed us to keep up with demands. It also frees up a lot of equipment to run a lot of the other jobs that need to run that are becoming later and later. 

We also have put together a scheduling system that consists of a scheduling board with the machines and the work that’s on it. But what it showed us when we first got the board up to speed, we had about 20 jobs that were actually late. Now, we are on time with our jobs with the exception of jobs that we can’t get material for, which unfortunately, in this day and age, has become a reality. 

How receptive have the Bergeron employees been to these changes? 

They’ve actually been very receptive to some of the changes that we’ve made. We’ve gone and developed leaders, people that have the skilled set necessary to teach and train, and we’ve built ourselves a team of people that has layers. We’ve hired some new people through temp agencies, and we’re bringing some on full-time as they’ve been with us awhile. 

We’re not just doing a couple quick weeks of training and throwing them to the wolves. They have a mentor that they seek out that will work with them. We have two people on the day-shift that work with five trainees, and we have two people on the night-shift working with four trainees. Just trying to teach them and being there when they need support. Our training program has really been beneficial. It’s allowed us to add more resources quickly.

The training program is something that you started in the past six months?

Yes, that’s something I’ve done, and along with that, we’ve kind of restructured the resources that we have by creating lead hands and set-up people that are able to help us perform the training and so on. It’s been like a total restructure of how things are done.

Tell me about your relationship with Compass Precision COO Bill Canning. How has he helped you?

Bill is a good resource. He has a lot of experience running companies, so whatever changes we need to make, we usually discuss it ahead of time before we go forward and implement it. One of the things we’ve been looking for, and we recently started is bringing in an ERP system for the company. We’ve gone out and kind of restructured the way Compass was doing it, and now Compass holds the license for Job Boss Squared, and we have four companies on it. We just started using it in November, and our employees are now logging into the system and beginning to use it. 

It’s kind of nice that Compass has structured themselves around this system rather than just me going out and buying something that was different than what everybody else was using. I thought it was a good way to integrate it into other places like Strom. Bill and I kind of worked that up and put it into practice.

How does your ERP system benefit your employees and your customers?

Prior to this, Bergeron was a pen and paper company. It didn’t really have any systems in place. So, we were lacking work instructions for the shop. They were basic, a lot of unwritten rules prior. Now we are able to capture time. The employees have clearer instructions available to them, and it benefits our customers because we’re able to capture our costs and really look at what we’re making on these items and be able to adjust our prices accordingly whether it be up or down. But it gives us accurate job costing.

Is there any other impact customers are feeling with all these changes you’ve implemented?

I think the ERP system also helps us schedule, so we’re able to not only look at what we have ahead of us, but we’re able to shuffle the cards a little bit easier when it comes time to move something in and out of the schedule. We’re able to use that as guidance to produce parts quickly and efficiently for our customers.

I’d say these are quite a few accomplishments for a president in his first six months. What’s the one accomplishment that sticks out the most for you?

I think the thing that really sticks out to me that I feel really good about is empowering some of my employees and watching them step up and really take a much greater role in being part of a team. Two guys stand out – Bory and Danny. They stand out where they just have taken this opportunity and run with it, as well as Pinera in the second shift. 

What are your next big goals for your next six months? What goals do you have for 2024?

I feel like we need to continue the implementation of Job Boss, but I’m also looking at bringing in new customers. We want to be able to put ourselves in a position, and that was one of the reasons we added a second shift, to be able to take on new customers without impacting the existing customer base. We want to be able to grow the company, run it on multiple shifts and be able to take on new customers and diversify our customer base. 

Allowing us to diversify ourselves, we won’t feel the impact as greatly when one industry has a downturn. Right now, the semiconductor industry is slow, and it’s hurting us.

Final thoughts?

It’s been really great taking a look back at what’s been happening over the last six months. Seeing it probably mature over the next six months is going to be interesting, especially getting new customers in here. Continued growth is really what we’re looking for here.