Clever Pivot Yields Success for Cornfield Crappie

Machine shops are subject to the ebb and flow of the economy, so remaining nimble and innovative is key to success in challenging times. Following a downturn in orders for his machine shop, Production Tooling & Automation, owner Mark Ridll leveraged his passion for fishing into a new business venture that has really taken off.

As an avid fisherman in the state of Indiana, he began creating fish and boat accessories. He named the line after the cornfields of Indiana, where he was located at the time, and a fish native to North America called the Crappie. With that, Cornfield Crappie Gear was launched. Products include monitor mounts, trolling racks, drift paddles, the Cable-Save’R, and much more.

Tyler in machine shop

This pivot is one in a series of smart decisions Mark has made to help PTA shop. Another was shifting from manual to CNC machines nearly twenty years ago. You can read about these developments in the Manufacturing News article, Production Tooling Makes a Big Splash with Cornfield Crappie Gear.

Mark demonstrated the ability to think creatively and take calculated risks to keep the PTA shop productive and efficient. He also made good use of a support network, relying on Mastercam Reseller ShopWare Inc. to help out as needed. Now, with orders coming in from all over the world for Cornfield Crappie Gear, the company has success on multiple fronts.

Double Mount Polaris

If you are a Mastercam user, run a machine shop, or are simply looking for strategies to keep a shop running as productively and efficiently as possible, check out the Dynamic Thinking series. This series includes training opportunities, webinars, and more to help you find ways to adapt to changing conditions and expectations in manufacturing markets.