Andy Duyck (pronounced Dike) knew at a young age that he wanted to own a machine shop. At 23, he and his wife sat down and mapped out what type of business they’d like and where they could take it. “We’ve always been very plan driven and goal oriented,” he said. They planned where they’d be in 10 years and what kind of machine shop they would operate.
One of the tenets of the business would be integrity, and the other, honesty. He has operated the business that way, focusing on good customer relationships and honoring the employees. “We treat everyone well,” he said. They emphasize paid and unpaid time off and even give baby gift baskets when an employee or spouse has a baby.
After 40 years of running the business, Andy shared that he still maintains the same enthusiasm and attention to goals. At 63, he is now working with the staff on strategic planning and the next steps for his eventual transition from the business.
Anne Duyck, his daughter-in-law, is married to one of Andy’s sons and is the HR manager, payroll manager, project manager, and quality coordinator, depending on the day and who she’s talking to. Andy said, “Anne is as driven as I am. We share a desk in the office, and her passion comes through in her work.” He cited that Anne recently took them through AS9100 certification, which took six to nine months. They both said it was monumental but will allow them to engage with the aerospace industry.
Thus far, they’ve worked for various industries, such as semiconductor companies in 15 countries and companies that make lasers and food processing equipment.
Anne said obtaining AS9100 helped them streamline processes for both aerospace and other industries, like high tech, as they enter the aerospace industry.
Concurrent with earning their certification, they also purchased another manufacturing facility. Andy said that the existing and new facilities are paid for, “We don’t lease.” The new facility is not adjacent, but it is close by. The purchase was two-fold: the business is expanding and needs space. Also, it will enable larger manufacturing projects that require lifting via cranes.
The current facility is 20,000 square feet, and the new building is 40,000. They have 10 CNC mills, three CNC lathes, and two water jets. More equipment will be purchased for the new building. They also just had the floors painted at the new facility. People had told him painting doesn’t add value, but he disagrees. He likes it “clean and bright in the factory.” He noted that a clean shop is essential and originally he thought all machine shops were similar, but found out later that wasn’t true.
“That’s why manufacturing has a bad rap — people think it is dark, grimy, and rough conditions. By painting the floors, employees start putting away tools and caring for things. When the job completes, they clean up,” Andy said.
While Andy is delegating work and building up additional leaders, he still leads and grows the company. One strategy they’ve developed addresses the workforce shortage that manufacturers are having. “It’s still challenging to get brand new people in here. Experienced machinists already have a job somewhere.” So, they’ve cross-trained their staff, making switching staff members between projects and roles easier.
Andy is a believer in the culture of the organization. “If you have a good cultural fit, train them to do other jobs.” They had 26 employees in 2020 and now have 33 people. Andy said, “It’s a 25 percent jump, a big deal for us.” But he observed that adding 50 employees at a time would be difficult. He likes finding someone who fits in and then training them to do the work. “Knowing what they have or desire, we can let their skill set grow. We’ll have more qualified candidates in the future.”
Jack Reynolds, the quality manager, has been with the company for six and a half years and has been in the quality role for over two years. He proudly sits on the leadership team and works on strategic planning and quality supervision. He declared that developing a quality manual and improving sections was a big deal for them. Reynolds came from the machining side of the business, so he understood “running machines” but also had management skills from other past careers.
Reynolds said that the company is family oriented —“many family members, cousins, sons, daughters-in-law,”— employees that have been there for decades. He added that the culture at Duyck is “very adaptive” and responsive to the customer’s needs, “They have a can-do spirit.”
Mark Lambert is VP of sales, and he’s been with the company for seven years. He develops new customers and manages the customer service account planners to serve existing customers. He, too, reflected upon the family-oriented nature of the company. He also likes the “rural, small-town community feel.” He feels that most employees live nearby and enjoy the proximity to work.
Lambert is excited about the company’s foray into the aerospace industry. “The biggest opportunity for us is expanding our reach into the aerospace industry. We were busy with our existing customers during the pandemic and could not go after new aerospace work. As we head into more of a normal business environment, we can support aerospace.”
Andy said that they could provide any machined component for the aerospace industry. They also offer assembly, which he feels is “value-added.” Also, because of employee cross training, he said, “We have deliberately trained every employee for more than one job; we can pivot them back when we need to do the assembly.”
One of the reasons that the employees enjoy the company, Anne reflected, is because of the family-oriented nature. She indicated they work hard but have the flexibility and an outstanding work/life balance at Duyck. She also said it is about being involved with the community.
Andy cited that they are also involved with community outreach, like helping a private school across the street. “If they need tables, chairs…or a forklift, I am here to help.” They also relish the location of the business in Forest Grove, Oregon, because it is both a small-town feel and is close to Portland. “Good location to head north, south, east, and west; it can benefit suppliers and customers, but you can head any direction without much traffic. A small community shop in a pastoral setting makes for a good work environment.”
Finally, with a good work environment and a company that is astute and organized, they have realized gains in production. They recently developed a coolant reclamation project where every machine uses a coolant reclaimer to avoid waste from sludge. “We went from a few barrels to zero,” Andy said. They have also reduced scrap rates and returns, which have improved by 95 percent in the past two years because of their new quality assurance department.
Talking with the staff at Duyck Machining is like talking to a friend at the local diner. They are kind and happy and enjoy the work they do. While work is necessary for most, this group has found a way to make it enjoyable through planning, communication, and always looking toward the future.
4200 NW Visitation Rd. Forest Grove, OR 97116