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Providing Safe and Secure Storage Solutions With Milt Tandy

Mark Hiddleson

Milt Tandy is the President of WireCrafters LLC, a family-owned manufacturer of both welded and woven wire partitions based in Louisville, Kentucky. Established in 1967 as a wire job shop, WireCrafters LLC has grown to become the nation's leading producer of wire partition products. The company also owns and operates a wire partition warehouse in Sparks, Nevada, serving West Coast distributors.

Milt began his career at WireCrafters LLC after graduating from the University of Louisville in 1980. He has been with the company for 42 years, starting in sales and marketing, and worked his way towards becoming the President in 2020. Milt is the dynamic host of Monday’s With Milt, a weekly series where he travels to different areas of the shop, his home, and occasionally out of state. He brings fun and a ton of product knowledge to his YouTube channel and other social media platforms.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Milt Tandy's experience studying at the University of Louisville and how he entered the manufacturing industry

  • How Milt handled sales in the '90s

  • Milt talks about his inspiration to start Monday's With Milt

  • How WireCrafters LLC's products offer safety and security

  • Mark Hiddleson and Milt discuss shipping and storage solutions for the wine industry

  • What makes WireCrafters LLC a great place to work, and how the company maintains a family-like culture

  • Milt talks about his love for horse racing, skydiving, and his favorite business conferences

In this episode…

Safety in the material and equipment handling industries is crucial. Manufacturers, distributors, and clients want assurance that items are stored in secure storage units to prevent damage. With this in mind, it’s essential that care and safety are considered in the production of storage solutions for these products.

Milt Tandy and his team at WireCrafters LLC focus on manufacturing safe and secure storage solutions for their clients. Some of these products include racks, wire partitions, and machine guards. They have adapted technology and automation to produce some of the best storage solutions on the market that enhance strength and hold items steady to prevent them from falling or being damaged.

In this episode of The Tao of Pizza Podcast, Mark Hiddleson is joined by Milt Tandy, the President of WireCrafters LLC, to talk about providing safe and secure storage solutions. Milt explains how he started working in the manufacturing industry, how WireCrafters LLC's products offer safety and security, and how the company maintains a family-like culture.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by Specialized Storage Solutions Inc.


I have been in the logistics and storage industry for several decades. I know I don’t look that old, but it's true.

We provide industry-leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide.

So basically, if you have a warehouse that needs Rack, Shelving, Carts, Conveyors, or Mezzanines, we help engineering, installations, inspections, and repairs to help clients optimize their logistics operations.

Sometimes people don’t even realize that we can actually help with permit acquisition services.

We take a holistic look at your entire business supply chain ecosystem to develop the resources for continually improving your operation.

To learn more, visit or give us a call at (707) 732-3892. One of the best ways to learn more about our products and services is to follow us on Instagram. And there’s a link on our website to do that.

I will even give you my personal email address for podcast listeners, so email me at if you’re ready to take your warehouse storage and retrieval systems to the next level.

Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Tao of Pizza where we feature top logistics leaders, entrepreneurs, and supply chain innovators and share their inspiring stories with a holistic twist.

Mark Hiddleson 0:16

Mark Hiddleson here, host of The Tao of Pizza Podcast where I talk with top industry innovators in the warehousing, logistics, and supply chain business with a holistic twist. Before I introduce Milt Tandy, today's guest, this episode is brought to you by Specialized Storage Solutions. Listen, I've been in the logistics industry and storage industry for several decades. I know I don't look that old, but it's true. We provide industry-leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide. So basically, if you have a warehouse that needs rack, shelving, carts, conveyors, or mezzanines, we help with the design, engineering, installation, inspections, and repairs to help clients optimize their logistics operations. While Milt sometimes people don't even realize that we can actually help with wire partitions and permit acquisition services. We'll take a holistic look at your entire business supply chain ecosystem to build the resources for continually improving your operations. To learn more, visit or give us a call at 707-732-3892. I even give my personal email out for podcast listeners. It's So if you're ready to take your warehouse and storage retrieval systems to the next level, shoot me an email. And I also I want to give a big shout out to Chris Murphy. We had a great conversation a few weeks ago. We've got great feedback from that interview, so be sure to check it out. But today we're joined by Milt Tandy, who began his career at WireCrafters soon after graduating from the University of Louisville in 1980. WireCrafters is a leading manufacturer of both welded and woven wire partitions based in Louisville, Kentucky. They also have a sparks Nevada warehouse serving West Coast distributors. And he has been with WireCrafters nearly 42 years. He was in sales and marketing for four decades before becoming president in 2020. He's a dynamic host of Monday's With Milt, a weekly series where he travels to different areas of the shop, his home, and occasionally out of state. He brings fun and a ton of product knowledge to his YouTube channel and other social media platforms. And if that's not wild enough, the first time he was ever in an airplane, he jumped out. Milt, welcome to The Tao of Pizza.

Milt Tandy 2:32

Thank you, Barb. Appreciate you having me.

Mark Hiddleson 2:36

So, I got excited when I found out you were a Louisville Cardinals. So are you. Am I making any assumptions here? Are you a football

Milt Tandy 2:47

fan? Oh, I am. I'm I do follow the University of Louisville. And I believe we we've got a ball game coming up very soon with the football season underway now. So it's pretty exciting. Everybody's excited about it.

Mark Hiddleson 3:04

It is it's an exciting time of the year. And I haven't had a chance to talk about football. Football on this show. It is it is one of my passions. But uh, so tell me about the time when when you went, went to Louisville in, you know, kind of what was it like in the 80s or late 70s 80s?

Milt Tandy 3:25

Yeah, so when I was at the University of Louisville, it was my final senior season. It was very exciting because in 1980, the basketball team won the national championship. So, as a senior at the University of Illinois, I got to follow him all the way through and, and that was a lot of fun. But, you know, I was a Communications major. And back then, we did internships with the local TV stations. So I might be running camera, or doing technical directing for one of the local news shows. So it was a different time there. There wasn't any laptops on any desk. You know, we rolled everything out with an ink pen. So it was pretty exciting back then. Yeah,

Mark Hiddleson 4:18

yeah, that is I look good. Even on some of the presentations I do. I went to college in the 90s. And I like to show images of the computers and typewriters that I typed up my term papers on IBM, IBM Selectric was was top of the line if you didn't have a word processor, so how did that lead to getting started in a career in a manufacturing, manufacturing business?

Milt Tandy 4:46

You know, it's I guess my story is kind of unusual. A lot of times you find in the material handling industry that it's a lot of second and third generation people. Master Where he's a little different. I was working at a little Food Mart, right down the street, from our crafters, actually kind of around the corner. I never knew why our crafters existed. But the gentleman at the time, that was the president of the company, he would come into the little food mark. And he would get, you know, gas or he would buy a soft drink. And he would always ask me what I was doing, how school was going. I never knew who he was. And this went on for several years. And then one day I told him, I said, I just graduated from the University of old law, I'm looking for a job. And he handed me his card, and said, I'm the president of the company around the corner, wants to come down and talk to me, I've got a sales position open. So yeah, he had a sales position open, because he had one guy that needed a little bit of help. So with a college degree in hand, 1980 does was kind of a tough year, the economy wasn't really going well. So I took the job thinking, I just need a job. It was $2.90 an hour. And with a college degree, I was like, Okay, I'll give it a shot and see what happens. And I've tripled my salary since then.

Mark Hiddleson 6:28

You should do a series on how to triple your income in

Milt Tandy 6:34

two years, you know?

Mark Hiddleson 6:36

Yeah, that's great. That's a great story. I I remember, you know, I started working when I was young. And but I didn't start paying taxes until I was 12. And that was 1980. And I was 82. And I think I was washing dishes in the bakery, but it was like $2.20 Something cents to 35. And then they took out taxes. So that's great. And so. So he was the president of the company. That's a That's a great story. So did you have any background in sales? Or, you know, what were those early days? Like, did you

Milt Tandy 7:17

you know, it was the early days of WireCrafters was when we look back and start talking about it now. What goes because there's a couple people that were that are still here that were with me in those early days, you know, there wasn't a computer in the building. We made, probably our first Excel sheet was actually on the chalkboard, where we would put the job numbers up. And we would check them off as they went through departments. So we could tell people what their ship date was. We probably invoice in about a 10 day period. I'll probably invoice when I did my first year to starting here. So it's it's been an amazing story of the growth that we've had. It's not all due to the inflation we've recently had. We've we've added a few orders in the meantime. But it's been. Yeah, when you think of not having a computer in the building. So when when people would want a wire partition cage, they would call us on the phone and describe it to us. And you you really learn to listen, which is very important for a salesperson. So you you had to listen and understand as you're making a quick sketch of what they want. And then you would you would give them a price and then mail the quotation to them. And if if the sketch was wrong, they call you four days later and say, Wait a minute. This isn't right. But it would take four days to find out.

Mark Hiddleson 9:12

Yeah, yeah, I remember so what so when I things that really sped up. I started in the industry in the late 90s. We really sped things up because we had a fax machine. They started vaccine. We fax in series, we had the curly paper and then there would be I worked at a distributor where there were five or six guys and he would go to look at the fax machine to see if your quote came in.

Milt Tandy 9:37

And we had we had one of the first fax machines. Honestly I think that that was in the Louisville area because we had a warehouse in Philadelphia and we we did not send him a fax until after five o'clock because it would tie up the phone lines. And I could remember We're standing around the fax machine, when we were sending him the first set of, of sheets of paper, so he would know what to ship. And it took about six minutes per page to go through. And after he received a handful of pages, I remember him calling 30 minutes later. I got it all. And we were all excited, man, this was a game changer. It was a game changer. It really was. It was. Yeah. And

Mark Hiddleson 10:36

I mean, email, it was kind of the same way I remember in I worked for Ross Clark for years and worked towards the end, email was coming in. That was early 2000. Everyone had email and stuff, but I was like, you know, this is a fluke. So they used to print my emails out in the office and have it in the folder. And then every Tuesday, I would come in the office, I'll get my email folder and see. And I'm like, man, these guys are sending me emails, and this stuff's not going to last. So I was wrong about that. It's taking point out two years, but I say tick tock or other stuff like that could be replacing a lot of email. So

Milt Tandy 11:19

yeah, I can remember when we first took our approval drawings, so when someone gets a little bit more of a complicated layout, we would you know, we'll do a an approval growing. And they were always overnighted. So we were paying about $20. And there might be at that time, there was probably seven or eight a day that were overnighting to people. And I could remember we sat down and said, Do you think we can email these drawings? And we have saved a little money now doing that? Yeah, that's great. So you've taken

Mark Hiddleson 12:04

so one of the things I was really impressed melt, we were doing a project and I went to the website, because honestly, the last time I personally quoted a WireCrafters project, it was the one where you call on the phone and you get an expert on the phone and you kind of explain what's going on. Because you know, as a distributor, we're kind of we're a general practitioner, we do dock equipment, we do racking shelving, wire partitions is one of the things and you were in so you were one of the early I remember talking to you as early guy, so we had to go into our customer is that we were the expert, but we'd always rely on you to give us the product know that we know what are the right questions that we're asking and, and all that. And now you are at the cutting edge. Because when I went to do that I looked and I saw this Monday's With Milt YouTube thing, which I thought and I thought I thought we were on the leading edge with the podcast. Distributors and as a man, Monday's With Milt, he's two or three years ahead of me. So where did that idea? How did that start? And tell me more about Monday's With Milt, because I've watched about four or five episodes in which is great for product knowledge. You're having fun, which for me, you know, our rule number one is, are we having fun, even though we're working? You know,

Milt Tandy 13:26

let's have some fun here. Yeah. Yeah, I think the probably the, one of the first Monday's With Milt was in May of 2017. And I used to go into my marketing department every morning and sit down with the team and just discuss, you know, what different things we could be looking at. And one of the guys would, when they would see me coming in the morning, it would be okay, here comes moments with Milt. And it'll they, they were all young enough, obviously to be my children. So one day I was out on the floor, we thought we would, you know, duel, a video. And David Fishburne, our marketing manager, he said, You know what, let's call this. Let's see if we can do this every week. And we'll just call it Monday's With Milt. And I said, Well, it's, you know, we can do it for a while. But we do wire partitions. And there's a lot of applications, but it's still just one product. So we stretched it out every Monday for about three and a half to four years. And then recently we decided to go to every other week, because I'm just kind of running out of things to talk about, but we seem to find something new ever Retired. Yeah, so just recently, if you watched any of them, we had a family vacation over in Ireland and Scotland. So while we were in Scotland, I got behind the bar with a guy a young man, that was the bartender in a neat little pub and him and I did a Monday's with Milt from a bar and Scott and so we we try to have a little fun with it, but we try and give a little product knowledge at the same time.

Mark Hiddleson 15:34

Yeah, that's that's awesome because that's uh, you know, sharing those experiences with your team and everything that's we love travel to and we're usually we're only traveling we did travel for a lot of business. So tell me about some of the what's the difference saw one of your your videos was talking about when you walk into a distribution center. The opportunities for wire partitions, they're kind of everywhere. There's tool cribs, there's higher security areas we do a lot in the project we're actually working on with you right now is for wind security and somebody's basically taking standard pallet racking and put sliding doors on standard pallet racking. So what are some of those? And what makes the distributors your you sell mostly the distributors, right or exclusively? So what makes a difference? What are the distributors who are really, you know, finding opportunities, you know, share some of the unique challenges or problems that they're solving with wire?

Milt Tandy 16:37

Yeah, you know, I feel like over the past, I don't know decade, the safety has become just a huge part of the material handling world. And what we have found, so many of our distributors, sell pallet racks. And, and you're one of them. So we probably some 2025 years ago, we introduced our wire mesh panels to be and we had to trademark the name right back. So we put panels on the back of the pallet rack to keep things from falling off. And for many years, people were using another product, a material type product. And it would catch something that was falling off the rack. But our product would prevent anything from falling off the rack. So we really, we really got in to the rack back in a big way. And so many of our distributors are selling on a pallet rack, they look for that opportunity. Every time. You know, in McDonald's, you know, do you want fries with that? Well, when you're selling pallet rack, would you like a rack backhand. It's good for any active outlet. We've also put a lot of doors on the front of the pallet rack, because many times the customer has items that he would like to keep safe and secure. If you don't ask him, he doesn't realize he can do that. So we can put both slide doors and double hinged doors on the front of the rack. So you can turn one or two or three bays into a secure storage unit. So that's been a big a big item for us. Probably what we what's been the biggest impact over the past few years, is we started an automation division. And we are we are really pushing machine guards. So we're doing a lot of work around ASRS machines, we're doing a lot of robotic work sales. We now have four outside salesmen that just vote for the machine guard and they live around the country. We also have for outside material handling cells. So we've really, we've got people out there that they live in Northern California. They live in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and its watercraft are employees that are out there every day. You know, just working with distributors on automation machine guard and also the pallet rack backing. We're doing a lot of work and data centers. So many of these data centers for the colocation sites, there is a huge need for war petition. So it is only had been growing and growing with all the different applications.

Mark Hiddleson 20:04

I noticed that was one of the things when I thought about because we were doing the one obviously we're putting the rack and in sliding doors on pallet rack, which is really nice, because the racks already there, you're already using it. So there's really no disruption to your operational, we've just come and put doors on this and just made it secure area, the rack back is something that we are going to do a lot more of because especially now the trend is with warehouses, it's a lot more picking because it's shipping smaller shipments directly to consumers. And so there's a lot of people picking in areas where you've got racking over the pic module, and that it's a safety issue because we get people with a forklift on one side. And on the other side, there's people you know, pulling orders by hand. And then for the wine storage, we also do two tier catwalk pallet racking. And so you can create individual lockers. So I've seen that there's places here where people were in the Napa Valley, I didn't know that I tell you we were in the Napa Valley. I don't know if I shared that. But

Milt Tandy 21:09

I think I'd do that.

Mark Hiddleson 21:11

You knew that is? Yeah, we're just gonna create, you know, people do it a lot of different ways. But I was looking at your website, and the solutions are so clean, you basically give different people individual lockers on the

Milt Tandy 21:26

racking system. Right. So yeah, that that application, we haven't seen too much of that beyond the West Coast, we've done a few jobs coming this direction. But it is amazing. When we tell people that we provide wine storage lockers, for those people that want to have access to their wine 24/7. And they have so many cases, or bottles of wine, they don't have room in their homes. They just kind of look at you with a funny look like people are spending, you know, $100 $200 of money to store their wine in a storage unit. I'm like, yeah, it's it's a big business, especially on the West Coast.

Mark Hiddleson 22:23

Yeah, and it's a big business here, because there's only Well, I think Kentucky has some unique shipping laws, which makes sense to have a storage locker on the west coast. But it's also the weather. You know, it's really expensive to ship things and why they normally ship it in just over the road containers are not reefers, they're temperature controlled. So there are certain times of the year where you can't really ship wine from here to there. So people have they'll, they'll store their wine here in the months that it's too hot to ship it. And then we have a lot we have a lot of different clients in the wine industries, but there's some people that curate other people's collection, and then they'll just ship it to him when they want it. So they've got the all the systems in place for people, they can track their inventory online of what they're wanting is there's even one that tells you the value. It's like a little stock market. Deal that tells you what your wine is worth. But all of it needs to be secure. Because obviously it's it's a lot of money when I started doing the math and I said okay, if it's even if it's $100 a bottle, there's 12 bottles, and the case is 1200 bucks a pallet, there's 50 cases on a pallet and it starts to add up adds up, it adds up pretty quick.

Milt Tandy 23:39

Now in Kentucky, of course, we're the bourbon capital of the world. We don't have a lot of bourbon storage, as far as for 24/7 usage, because we drink it fairly quickly. So you've got a great need for

Mark Hiddleson 23:58

that. Yeah, yeah, you, you drink it fast. And I will let you put a lot of people find out from Napa Valley. And they always ask me if I'm in the wine business, and I say mainly on the consumption side.

Milt Tandy 24:08

Yes, that's right.

Mark Hiddleson 24:12

We do a little bit we actually do do quite a bit with wineries because there's so much of it around here. It's also not just personal use a lot of the wineries have higher end collections that they want to, you know, like large format bottles, you know, your two liter three liter and they want to keep those secure. So I'm looking forward to get in this Napa Valley secure mill. We're we've done a good job, but there's a lot more work to be done here.

Milt Tandy 24:37

Well, you know, we've we've provided our wire partition to attach to the pallet rack for the type of wine storage you're talking about. Though we've also made we have filled up buildings with just wire partition lockers. Where there's no it's a different design that I use in pallet rack. Um, so it can be done both ways. You know, the big difference is when we provide storage lockers for like condominium storage, typically, the shelf needs to hold about 300 pounds backs, if people are doing like a double tear type, store storage unit. But for the wine storage, we have to really beef up the shelves, we typically grade them at about 1000 pounds per shell, due to, you know, the cases of wine that are going to be stored upon. So it's a Yeah, it's a very, it's a very interesting market.

Mark Hiddleson 25:43

Yeah, and people don't realize the weight of we just did a tour a few weeks ago, in a wine cave, actually the oldest wine cave in Napa Valley. And it was champagne bottles, and they were stacking them in the cave, probably about eight feet high. And they said you couldn't do that with wine bottles, the only reason they can stack it that high is the champagne. Because if you stack wine, and if you get about four feet high, it's too much weight. It'll crush the bottles. Oh, I didn't even realize that. I would just think you could stack them like bricks as high as you could stack them. Yes. And I did. I watched that's one of the videos that I watched where you guys actually loaded it, and then you left it to see if there was any deflection. That's right, in your system. So you can do those two tier with like a stairs and and a catwalk if you build them. That's right. Yeah, you have. So there's actually a, I'm gonna have to write that on notes of other things to talk about metal, because there's some opportunities, those storage condos are really popular, and we're doing storage platforms in some of them. And I think the two tiered storage is just way more efficient than you know, platform. Because even you put a flat point by platform, you still have to have the shelves, you still have to have security. So so that's a great, I want to learn we're gonna we're gonna get some quotes on those. Okay. And I didn't realize you could go to story with those, because I thought I looked at it in. So you just go to too high with the shelf. And then there's like a catwalk

Milt Tandy 27:21

with I'm sorry, I'm not building the platform or the catwalk. I'm building a two storey or a or a double tier storage locker. So it's going to be about 90 inches tall with a divider shelf in the middle. And then you have a door above and below it. So people can access either the bottom half or the top half.

Mark Hiddleson 27:47

So you can split it into two. Yeah. Nice. So I wanted to ask you,

Milt Tandy 27:54

if one wonders what made

Mark Hiddleson 27:57

and I'm making an assumption, you've been there for 42 years, but why are crafters had to be a great place to work to stay there you that are here at Gluster. Tell me, tell me which one it is and why why is it such a good has to be a great place to work?

Milt Tandy 28:15

I think it started off, you know, two kids in a mortgage. So that you know, that's what makes the best salesperson. Yeah, find somebody with two kids in a mortgage, you'll probably hang on to him for a while. But no, when I started at WireCrafters, and it's still owned by the same family, the deebot family, his own this company since it began in the mid 60s. So we're, you know, we're just over 55 years now. And I've been here for the majority of that. There's a handful of us that have between 40 and 45 years here. It's been a very good family atmosphere. The owner of the company, Steve debo. He still he still comes in weekly. He's still very much in the know of what's going on. You know, he he promoted me to President a few years ago, so that he could, you know, take a step back. That's worked out. Well, he, even though it it happened about, you know, two to three months before COVID hit. So we had a whole new group of challenges when that came. But it like I say it's been just a very good atmosphere. Trying to keep that family culture has been really hard over the past year and a half because we've added probably 100 employees He's in about the last 18 months. And whenever you grow that much when the business just grows so quickly, you really have to struggle to keep that culture in place. And we've we've had our, we've had our problems doing that. But you know, I try to walk the shop for as much as I can every day. We have over 225 employees. So we've grown quite a bit. We're in about 250,000 square feet. And we've got a 70,000 square foot building behind us that we've owned for many years. And the tenants will be out of there, within a year, and we'll be we'll be moving into that. Well, you know, adding that to it. So we'll be over 300,000 square feet this time next year. So it's, it's pretty exciting.

Mark Hiddleson 31:07

Yeah, so it's 300,000 square feet is 225 employees. And, and still, the goal is to maintain that family, family culture,

Milt Tandy 31:19

right. Wow. It's very tough. This past weekend, we bought several 100 tickets for our professional soccer team we have in Louisville. So we had a lot of the employees went to the game, we all went together. And at the end of next month, we'll have a family day at the Louisville Zoo. So we'll have all the families at the zoo next month. So we just, it's, it's a work in progress.

Mark Hiddleson 31:56

You're gonna have four or 500 people, you're gonna be taken over. Zoo. Zoo. Nice, nice. So I also noticed, and I didn't I don't know anything about horses or horse racing, but I saw one of the videos and I didn't watch it, but you have it. Do you have a horse at Churchill Downs?

Milt Tandy 32:21

I do. I went in with about 20 other guys. And we all put up a little bit of money and bought a horse. We think he could be the first horse that his dentist came in ninth four times in a row. I know many that have done that. That's the claim to fame. Yeah, so not everybody. Not every horse can do that. Yeah. But his, his name is paid in full. We call him 50. For sure. Right now, he's the he's got a bad hope and, and they're working on that so he can race again. Maybe he'll come in seventh or eighth. Hell who knows. But it's been a it's been an interesting little gamble with a group of guys. So it's been fun. Churchill Downs is very close to WireCrafters. It's only a couple of miles away. So we have a lot of distributors to come to town. We have a membership at the Turf Club within Churchill Downs. So we're, we're there quite often. The horses run about three months a year, actually, about four months a year. They're, they're in town running. So you know, we invite a lot of people in and take people to the Kentucky Derby. So we really try to enjoy as much as we can between the horses and the bourbon industry. It's a good place to be located. Yeah,

Mark Hiddleson 34:11

the only thing I know about the Kentucky Derby is that Hunter Thompson wrote an article about it and made him famous in the in the 70s. And honestly, I haven't even read that. I just know. So when is the Kentucky I should know when it when is the Kentucky Derby.

Milt Tandy 34:29

It's always the first Saturday in May

Mark Hiddleson 34:33

1 Saturday in May. It's like another nine months. We got nine months to go. So first Saturday in May. And so what's it like? It's not just the day it's like the Super Bowl right? It starts a few days ahead of time, doesn't it?

Milt Tandy 34:48

It does. You know it used to be that. We'll just kind of start with the day before which is called oaks day and the big race there There's always about 12 to 14 races. But the big race on oaks day is for the fillings for the you know, the female horses. And that's your your top Phillies, you know in the country are going to run that day. But now, what happened on that, that's on Friday, what happened is so many of the school teachers would call in sick and go to Oak stay that about 1520 years ago, the school system just made that one of their holiday. So that's that was always the day that all the vocals came out. Well now, it seems that the out of towners like to go Friday and Saturday. So now we have Thursday, is called therapy. So Therby is when you have a lot of the old goals. Now the schools have not shut down yet on therapy. But I'm anticipating that that's going to happen to where they're probably going to be all Thursday and Friday. Oh nice. But between those, and the horses run all week, but between those three days, you're probably looking at about 350,000 people will be there. In order to clean up the facility. In between days, they will hire every high school athletic team that's out there. Every high school football, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, all of those kids are out there with brooms and bags and dust pans. And they get them out there at seven o'clock at night. And by midnight, it's all cleaned up and ready for the next day. And it's a good fundraiser for those schools. So they we take a lot of pride in, in the Kentucky Derby. No question about it.

Mark Hiddleson 37:13

Yeah. And that cleaning up is

Milt Tandy 37:17

you know, there's a,

Mark Hiddleson 37:19

that's a job that needs to be done. It's funny, the the president of the company a lot of times, those are the jobs that I'm doing. There's a lot of, and I think that's a great way to teach kids. I mean, somebody's got to clean it up and show up and you're doing a fundraiser and you're making a contribution, you know, and when you start it looks like a disaster. I've seen these events, they have a concert here in town where it's a similar thing. It's 100,000 People over three days. And you look when people walk off, and you see what's left behind. People must just take their stuff. I mean, we take our stuff and put it in the garbage. But a lot of people must just finish it in this like those, you know, those commercials in the 70s? Like don't litter, right jolla guide driving and just throwing them McDonald's out the window. We don't do that anymore. But at a festival for some reason people just go wild,

Milt Tandy 38:11

right? Yeah. I still think they might drink too much. I don't know.

Mark Hiddleson 38:18

And then you forget, yeah, sometimes they end up throwing their cell phones, everything else out the window, too. So I have to ask you, I said in your introduction, that the first time you were ever in an airplane, he jumped out so I really I have to either share with us what that experience was like And yeah.

Milt Tandy 38:40

Well, I I was 16 years old. And I was I was born in a family where there wasn't any plane traveling, I can assure you that. But the Vogel, the high school that I went to, they would have with what was referred to as free form week. And all the students over like a three day period, you had to sign up for all these different activities. You could you could learn to play pinata, you could roller skate, you could go on museum tours, there were all kinds of things. And you had to fill up your schedule for like three days. Well, there was a handful somebody offered I don't know who's skydiving. And I thought you know what, that would fill up one full day and make it easy on my schedule. So there was about seven or eight of us that said, yeah, we'll go skydiving. So off we went. And you know, skydiving in the middle in the mid 70s is not like today. They don't you know back then? Well in today's world You get attached to a professional skydiver. And the two of you just kind of jump out of plane. Well, back then, they didn't do that. So you actually had to crow. Well not really crawl but sit in position and get yourself out to where you are standing on the little plate that was on top of the wheel, or the tire of this little plane. And there was a strut that came from the bottom of the wave to the body of the plane. And you actually had to kind of climb out, grab on to that strut, and get in position to show up off. And you had a static line that went from your chute. To the pilot's Chair. Thank God, I had a static line. Because when I've jumped out, you know, pushed off. It's like, I feel like I've blanked out and all of a sudden I woke up and I was just floating down. And, you know, the one of the funniest parts of the story is you're 2800 feet up in the air. This skydiving place was out in southern Indiana, out in the middle of farmland. And the guys that ran this place, they said, look for the red barn roof. And that's what you want to come down for? Well, I'm 2800 feet, the air. I'm in the countryside. I look down, and I see 300 Red Barn roofs. And I have no idea which one is mine. And when I hit the ground, they always put in your little all book, you know the date and how high you were and and it says How far were you from the target. And mine just says out. Like, I was like a mile from the facility. I just floated halfway down southern Indiana,

Mark Hiddleson 42:21

and they had to send out a search crew to come and find

Milt Tandy 42:25

out came in a pickup truck and found me.

Mark Hiddleson 42:29

Man, when you were talking about crawling out on the wing of that plane, I was starting to get the heebie jeebies.

Milt Tandy 42:39

Yeah, but it was a it was an experience. And that was the soul to this day. I've rolled in a plane one more time than I've landed. So that's, that's pretty good.

Mark Hiddleson 42:55

You're 5050? Yes. Yeah, well, that is a that's awesome. And we're winding it down to the end. But I always like to ask a few few more questions. Do you have any favorite business conferences? You go to podcasts you listen to? Or like favorite tools and software?

Milt Tandy 43:16

Yeah, I would say the conference that we attend with probably the best one for us. As a manufacturer of material handling. We go to the Mahina conference, the material handling equipment Distributors Association, because that's where so many of the distributors go every year. So that's that's been a really good conference force. They have a lot of great speakers. They have an economist. The folio brothers with ITR Economics are always there. They do an exhibitor showcase, so that you know the manufacturers can show their wares that distributors walk through. That's been a very good one. I never miss your podcast, though. I have to go with that.

Mark Hiddleson 44:09

That's your favorite podcast? Yeah.

Milt Tandy 44:11

Podcast. And then, you know, some years ago why crafters went through the 8020 process. And ever, you know, 80% of your business comes from 20% of your distributors. And it was actually about 10 years ago, next month that we started down that journey. And we have held on to everything about the 8020 process for the past 10 years. The management team, we review it every month. As a team we meet for half a day, once a month and we go through our 8020 process, and how it forms our business. And it's those principles, we really feel like have taken us to another level. So that that was something that worked out extremely well for us.

Mark Hiddleson 45:20

Well, that's great. Well, while Monday's With Milt became my favorite YouTube video channel about a week ago when I saw it. So, mail, this has been an absolute pleasure. So what's the so the best way to get in touch with WireCrafters is really through a distributor. And the other thing is, I would say, you know, a lot of we've got our listeners or their end users and distributors is probably a combination of both but, you know, checking out Monday's With Milt. It's like you said, there's tons of opportunities in any operation and safety. You know, to me, the safety thing is one of the big thing we want people to be safe in an environment. But this has been an absolute pleasure. You're there tons of fun. I love the YouTube channel. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and wisdom and knowledge. This has been a pleasure.

Milt Tandy 46:14

Well, thanks for having me, Mark. I've enjoyed it myself very much.

Outro 46:19

Thanks for listening to The Tao of Pizza Podcast. We'll see you again next time. And be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.


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