Before it was a 40-employee operation serving the aerospace, medical and other major industries, Teton Machining Solutions was a small tool and die shop in the basement of a home in Jackson, Wyoming, near the mountains from which it takes its name. At the time, the company was mainly a turning shop utilizing cam-operated Brown and Sharpe screw machines. Teton eventually grew into a shop serving the medical device, recreation and electronic devices industries after purchasing its first Citizen Swiss machine. In 1981, the company moved to its current location of Payette, Idaho, to better reach its Pacific Northwest client base, including 11 divisions of Hewlett-Packard.
“With the demands we have to meet, we probably wouldn’t be here today if we had just remained a screw machine shop,” Andy Oyervides, president of Teton Machining, says. “The move to CNC machines was a huge catalyst for us. We developed a new customer base, our quality standards were raised and within 5 years, our company went from an ‘Old World’ type of shop to a high-tech shop with certifications and across-the-board product diversity.”
Today, Teton serves the aerospace, oil and gas, medical, firearms, semi-conductor and various other industries. Teton’s CNC mills, lathes and Swiss machines allow most projects to be completed all in-house. Perhaps the most unique part of the company’s success stems from its decision in 2005 to become an employee-owned operation through ESOP. Since 2007, 100 percent of the company is owned by all of its employees.
"There can be tremendous strength in having 40 owners solving problems and looking for ways to advance and grow our company versus a sole proprietor bearing the challenges of leading and managing,” Mr. Oyervides says. “We see this as a huge competitive advantage and believe it provides an opportunity to share the rewards of ownership.”
Similar to many other PMPA members, Teton is working on ways to close the skills gap within the industry. Because of its rural location, Mr. Oyervides says it’s difficult to attract vocational students from nearby schools. The nearest trade school is a number of miles from Teton’s headquarters, so many of the students are reluctant to venture out to Payette after graduation. To combat this issue, Teton has developed its own training system for its current and prospective employees to grow. The result has been a considerably low turnover rate, with some employees working more than three decades with the company.
A PMPA member since the 1980s, Teton’s success also relies on many of the benefits and lessons taught through the organization. The company attends national conferences and some of its employees are active participants on the listserves. According to Mr. Oyervides, PMPA offers opportunities to network with other members when trying to solve problems on the technical, quality or human resource side of things.
For non-members looking to reap the benefits of a PMPA membership, Mr. Oyervides assures that there are a variety of opportunities for problem-solving and networking, but
only if the company is willing to participate in return.
“That is where you will benefit the most,” Mr. Oyervides says. “There are plenty of opportunities for those who are actively involved, and you’d be doing your company a huge disservice to not participate in these events.”
Teton Machining Solutions is located at 1805 NE 10th Avenue, Payette, Idaho 83661.
Phone: 208-642-9344. Website: tetonmachine.com