2012 Awards

Finalist: 2012 Small Manufacturer of the Year

Editor's note: This article is part of The top Minnesota manufacturers of 2012, a feature appearing in the November 2012 issue.

Bowman Tool & Machining (BTM) in Rochester was founded by Bill Bowman in 1977 in a 900-square-foot building and has grown to 150 times that size in the last 35 years. "BTM was founded on quality, integrity, and hard work, and it continues to harbor those traits today," says Chloe Bowman, project manager at Bowman Tool. "Our company is unique in that we have employees that have worked for us for over 25 years, who now call BTM and the Bowman family their own."

BTM is fairly unusual because it is a family owned and operated manufacturing company that serves the needs of a multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 company in the agricultural industry that distributes products worldwide. (BTM prefers not to name this company, but the relationship has lasted for nearly 25 years and BTM was named its supplier of the year in 1998.)

"One of the greatest successes of BTM is our financial independence since 1990," Bowman says. "The owners of Bowman Tool have made it a top priority to remain debt-free, which is what carried us through the recession, unlike many companies in the United States that rely on loans for stability."

"While no one knows for sure what the future holds, BTM expects further growth from the $24 million company we are today to the possibility of reaching $50 million in the next five years," Bowman says. "Our hopes are high, our efforts are feverish, our customers demand the quality we have proven we are able to provide, and the future is bright for Bowman Tool & Machining."

Finalist: Woman-Owned Manufacturing Company of the Year

Bowman is working to change the stereotypes and reputation of manufacturing

Editor's note: This article is part of The top Minnesota manufacturers of 2012, a feature appearing in the November 2012 issue.

Over the past 35 years, Rochester-based Bowman Tool & Machining (BTM) has grown from a one-man shop to a $25 million business. BTM has invested in the industry's finest equipment, including robotic automation and climate-controlled facilities, to ensure it can handle the most complex jobs imaginable. Thanks to Angela Bowman, CEO and second generation of Bowman family ownership, BTM is positioned for an even brighter future.

Chloe Bowman, Project Manager at Bowman Tool, says simply being a female in a manufacturing company that is made up of a 97 percent male workforce has its difficulties in and of itself, but being a female CEO in a male-dominant industry is another feat entirely.

"Manufacturing in the United States has the reputation of being hard work with dirty working conditions and low pay," Chloe Bowman says. "Angie has made great efforts and seen much success with keeping Bowman Tool's employees happy by creating a clean, safe work environment. She knows people appreciate going to work every day in a place that makes them feel secure, not only physically but financially as well. Angie has put an emphasis on accurate wage scales for all areas of the company in an effort to retain the hardworking individuals that work for Bowman Tool."

For Angie, the key to the company's success lies in implementing new programs within the business. "I enjoy taking a problem and finding a more current or efficient way to solve it so that my team can be more effective with their time," she says. "Today's business world is fast-paced; utilizing up-to-date and state-of-the-art technology has been a major focus for me to help meet those demands."

Bowman Tool will continue to change the stereotypes and reputation of manufacturing.

Winner: Best 100 Companies to Work For in 2012

BTM is honored to be named one of the 100 Best Companies to work for by MN Business Magazine and we will continue to maintain excellence as an employer as well as a leader in our industry.