Focused on Machining has a well-earned reputation for excellent customer service and rapid turnaround times. The company specializes in precision machining for aerospace, defense, medical, commercial, industrial, and food and beverage applications.
Owner Justin Quinn joined us on a call to share what brought him to the manufacturing industry and how he came to own Focused on Machining.
Focused on Machining: Veteran-Owned and Relationship-Driven
“October 26, 2016, is when I took over Focused on Machining,” Justin tells us. The Air Force veteran and former banking professional never expected to join the manufacturing industry, but a marketing strategy changed the course of his life. “I joined NTMA to meet shop owners and earn their banking business,” he explains. He even served as treasurer on the local NTMA Rocky Mountain Chapter board.
Justin eventually realized that banking didn’t fulfill him like he’d expected. After leaving the military, he found himself craving a camaraderie that the finance sector lacked. “The manufacturing industry reminded me so much of my experience with the people in the military,” Justin shares. “That’s really what drove me to seek out a machine shop to purchase—and NTMA facilitated that.”
Under Justin’s leadership, Denver-based Focused on Machining has grown rapidly. The expert team delivers custom-machined parts in volumes ranging from single prototypes to orders of 10,000. The ITAR Registered, ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100:2016 certified CNC shop is known for exceeding customer expectations.
How NTMA Chartered a Future for Focused on Machining
Entrepreneurship is in Justin’s blood, evidenced by his coming from a family of successful business owners, including an uncle who owned a machine shop. It only made sense that the MBA holder felt pulled toward striking out on his own venture.
“My experience working on aircraft in the military had given me the technical acumen, and my finance degree and MBA gave me the business acumen,” he says. “Those experiences gave me the confidence to say, ‘Yeah, I can do this.’”
After telling other NTMA members that he was interested in buying a machine shop, the introductions started. One of those meetings was with FoM’s owner at the time, Rich Pollmiller. Rich wasn’t trying to sell his shop, but Justin had heard Rich was “somebody you should know,” and the pair hit it off right away.
“I told him why I wanted to be in manufacturing, why it was important to me to work with my hands. I wanted to create something. I wanted to be part of American manufacturing,” Justin describes.
It was six months later when Rich contacted Justin again and asked, “Hey, are you still looking for a shop?” Over lunch, FoM’s long-time owner good-naturedly grilled Justin about his valuation strategy, ultimately telling the younger entrepreneur, “You should buy my shop.”
Justin was shocked—and thrilled. “Rich had a really nice shop! I couldn’t believe he was ready to sell!” But 25 days and stacks of paperwork later, Justin Quinn was the new owner of his own precision machining business, Focused on Machining.
“I credit NTMA with getting me to this point,” he states.
Focused on Machining Builds Bold New Strategies with NTMA
“The first year and a half were not easy,” Justin admits. “It was a rough, bumpy road.”
The value of NTMA quickly became apparent as he leaned on his RMTMA chapter community for advice and insight. “The core benefit of my NTMA membership is being able to call someone up and say, ‘Hey, I’m struggling with this employee issue. What have you done? What have you seen?’ Or, ‘My customer wants me to move to Net 60 or Net 90. What would you do? Do I say no? Do I risk losing the customer? Do I deal with it?’ Having relationships with people who deal with the same problems day in and day out—that’s what’s valuable to me,” Justin tells us.
As he gained knowledge and confidence and developed new strategies for the shop, differences of opinion inevitably arose between the new owner and FoM’s long-time general manager. “He had incredible technical knowledge, but I wanted to do things differently—to push the envelope a bit more,” Justin shares. “Eventually, we made the decision to part ways. It was very amicable, but that’s when I was really on my own.”
Ready to execute his ideas, Justin quickly promoted a talented young machinist to fill the leadership role. “FoM had grown a little bit up to that point,” he says, “but after I really began leading the charge, we took off like a rocket ship. We’ve grown like crazy!”
NTMA empowers owners with high-value networking
Today, Justin considers his NTMA membership to be every bit as valuable as the shop he owns and runs. “I really leaned on the relationships I had developed in NTMA,” he shares.
Three NTMA members, in particular, have had a tremendous influence on Justin’s success with Focused on Machining. Moseys owner Bob Mosey and Ricaurte Precision owner Hernan Ricuarte have helped Justin refine his ideas and strategize for success.
“They’ve given me advice, helped me look at things from a different perspective, and connected me with vendors,” he says.
“I’m continually blown away by the amount of support I’ve received from my fellow NTMA shops. FoM is where it is today because of NTMA and all the shop owners who have guided me.”
NTMA enables relationship-rooted learning and growth
Justin credits another NTMA member, Mike Hirsch, with connecting FoM with one of its largest customers, a business that, last year, contributed half a million dollars to the Colorado shop’s bottom line. The former owner of Hirsch Precision also taught Justin how to quote big packages, how to negotiate pricing for customers with tight budgets, and how to determine when a risky opportunity is worth taking.
“We started with small, challenging orders. Then, as we perfected new processes, we found better tooling, got better workholding, sourced better material, and built better relationships with vendors,” Justin raves, “and parts that we didn’t think we could make money on have become some of the biggest profit generators in the shop!”
NTMA establishes opportunities for collaborative community
In LA for an NTMA conference, Justin experienced the reciprocal value of NTMA membership when Bob Mosey sought his advice on marketing strategies. “I took my wife and kids for a tour of Bob’s shop, and when we sat down in the conference room at the end of the tour, he began asking me questions!”
This role reversal underscored the importance of shared expertise within the NTMA community, with Justin contributing his unique knowledge back into the pool.
“Bob was asking me for advice on marketing, and I was telling him about how FoM works with Paperless Parts Marketing Solutions for content like our blogs and social media posts,” he shares. “It was interesting to see how I had leaned on him for so many years, and then he turned around and sought advice from me. It was really fun to give back like that.”
Every day, interactions like this one help shop owners avoid potential pitfalls and foster a community of collective growth and learning.
Manufacturers like Focused on Machining Build Sustainable Success with NTMA
As we prepare to wrap up our conversation, Justin tells us, “Every NTMA member needs to know this: if you’re not attending the NTMA events, you’re not getting the largest benefit.”
As one of the many members who attend every NTMA event possible, the FoM owner knows firsthand the bonds that grow among manufacturers—and he hopes to see more members become part of what he considers a “close-knit family” of owners and experts.
“The more struggles your shop is facing and the more challenges you have, the more you should come to NTMA events and just be a part of the network,” Justin insists. “You’ll be shocked by how much help you get. NTMA didn’t just get me into machining; they got me to where I am now.”