SaberTool was having a hard time getting in front of their ideal customer and staying ahead of emerging markets was an uphill battle, until they joined MFG.


An ISO certified precision machining shop located in Cadillac, Michigan, Saber Tool Company specializes in designing and manufacturing custom gages, fixtures, and die details for a wide variety of verticals. “We do a little bit of everything,” says Founder Ken Bollman, who started Saber Tool in 1996. “Tool & die isn’t as big as it used to be. So we diversified. We got into other areas like production machining and fabrication. And we also do work in automotive, plastics, defense, consumer. Really, we do it all.”

“Leveraging MFG buyer profiles, we’re able to quickly see if buyers are serious about sourcing their parts in the United States. I called one customer to ask if he was serious about sourcing US-made. He said yes. And now we’ve been doing business for almost nine years.”

Ken Bollman
Founder, Saber Tool


Business Challenge

In 2003, Bollman says he joined MFG to get new leads and increase work from American buyers that wanted to source American-made. “2003 was a low point for Saber. Locating the work we needed — and wanted to do — wasn’t easy. Staying competitive against emerging markets was an uphill battle. We needed a tool that could help us penetrate the markets where our ideal customers were.” Bollman says he found a way to do that using MFG.


After joining MFG in late 2003, Bollman says one of the first features he leveraged was the platform’s Award by Location tool. Showing in what regions buyers typically award their RFQs, the Award by Location tool helped Bollman immediately identify the markets in which he would be most competitive. “To stay competitive, Saber Tool needed a way to see where buyers were sourcing their parts — before we quoted on anything. With such a small staff, there wasn’t time for quoting on jobs we had little chance of winning.”


In the 13 years since Bollman joined MFG to help him generate leads and gain new and continued business, he says that the Marketplace has been a pillar of support for Saber Tool. “We’ve picked up sustained business from MFG over the years, really supplementing our bottom line.” And Bollman has kept coming back to the MFG Marketplace to search for new leads and connect with potential customers repeatedly. “MFG can be a powerful tool. One of our bigger partnerships Kimberly-Clark — came about because of MFG. That one really helped put the wind back in our sails.”

Objective Benefits Achieved
Part Quality “One way we make sure the customer is 100% happy with the end product is by ensuring quality. We inspect every part file before we begin work. And if we see something that doesn’t look right, we let the customer know, making any necessary changes.”


And They’re Not The Only Ones…

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