Munch Machine: The Ideal Supply Chain

Meet Munch Machine

From this groundbreaking young startup, located in Washington State’s Yakima Valley, comes the first industrial cannabis harvesting
machines — namely, the Mother Bucker, which can cleanly buck up to 150 Lbs of marijuana buds in only an hour. When the cannabis industry was underground, a growing operation hired people to manually buck and trim, or maybe had a machine that looked like it was designed to be hidden in someone’s basement. “We were the first people to show up with an industrial-sized machine,” laughed Evan Bouchier, lead engineer at Munch Machine. “The community was kind of caught o guard.” 

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Munch Machine may be considered a new company, but it has historic roots in the hops industry. In 1940, the founder of the Dauenhauer Manufacturing Company changed the hops industry by inventing the first industrial hops harvesting machine — adding needed efficiency and lowering processing costs. Until Dauenhauer, hops had previously been hand-harvested only. Seeing the same slow processing in the cannabis industry today, Dauenhauer Manufacturing started Munch Machine, asking lead engineer Bouchier to test the market by producing the rst few machines in 2016. “Everyone took notice of Munch Machine right o the bat, even with the rst really rudimentary prototype we made,” said Bouchier. “Sales skyrocketed throughout the year.” 

The Problem With Instant Success

Marijuana is a risky business. 

munch-machine-ideal-supply-chain

Munch Machine may have had great success in their first year, but because of the uncertainty of the budding pot industry they didn’t have the luxury of relying on forecasting or contracts. “We were making 30 machines at a time, realizing that they were selling faster than we thought, and then quickly ordering 30 more machines,” Bouchier said, “but we weren’t in a position to really get out in front.” Accurate forecasting was virtually impossible, and Bouchier needed an easy way to make quick, small batch production runs. As a lead engineer also taking on procurement responsibilities, he couldn’t devote a lot of time to sourcing new suppliers. When he discovered MakeTime, he took the chance to see how an online production management service could help. “I was connected with your Director of Sales, John, straight away, and the user interface was fantastic,” Bouchier noted. “I was able to see pricing and feel confident MakeTime could produce exactly what I needed.” 

Keeping Control of Production

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Through MakeTime, Bouchier could bene t from a production service, but still keep control over his procurement. “Seemingly by being far away and remote I would lose all control and it would take forever, but I didn’t have that experience at all,” he said. As a startup with modest resources and limited time for extra procurement e orts, MakeTime’s full production management services allowed Munch Machine to focus on engineering instead of stressing over logistics and sourcing. Bouchier could also determine ideal lead times when demand required. “Having the ability to pay a relatively modest upcharge to have things super fast was critical,” he said. “That was a huge part of the service MakeTime provided.” 

MakeTime’s price-per-part is more affordable than Bouchier had previously been able to source from other companies and suppliers. For MakeTime’s trial, Bouchier sent in a re-designed part he had been ordering from an expensive MRO supply company. “It was fine when I only needed to order a few for the prototype,” Bouchier stated, “but then it turned into our design.” 

MakeTime analyzes historic data to generate industry-wide pricing estimates. Pricing is overall faster and more accurate than traditional RFQs which rely on a manual quoting process. Bouchier ultimately spends less, but is able to integrate more ideal, custom-made part designs into his machines. “[MakeTime’s] prices beat anything else we had tried, and we were getting a product our local suppliers weren’t optimized to make,” Bouchier pointed out. “MakeTime solved a problem I couldn’t otherwise solve.” 

The Ideal Supply Chain

MakeTime’s nationwide supply chain opened up a large network of machining capabilities for Munch Machine, and Bouchier was able to build a supply chain that still integrated his local suppliers. “All of a sudden I had access to the whole spectrum of manufacturing techniques,” Bouchier noted. With such a large network of qualified suppliers, MakeTime can send parts orders to the machinists who ideally suited to manufacture them. “[My local suppliers] are hanging on to the parts that t their operations the best,” Bouchier said, “but anything that’s more complicated we’ve sent to MakeTime, and MakeTime has knocked it out of the park with pricing and quality.” 

Munch Machine is entering their second year of business. The pot industry shows no sign of slowing its roll, and demand for Munch’s machines continues to rise. With unlimited manufacturing supply at their ngertips, Munch Machine can easily scale up production without spending time and money on extra sourcing trips and supplier communication. Meanwhile, their local suppliers retain the part orders they are best suited for. “MakeTime is perfectly matched for anything in the startup space,” Bouchier pointed out. “The service is brilliant.” 

Key Takeaway

Using MakeTime doesn’t mean leaving your local machine shops in the dust. For a startup like Munch Machine, using MakeTime as an ancillary to their local shops opened up design exibility while keeping sourcing costs minimal. 

About Munch Machine

Munch Machine is a growing, forward thinking startup out of Yakima Valley, Washington, revolutionizing agricultural cannabis production with the rst industrial-sized cannabis harvesting machines. The company is owned by The Dauenhauer Manufacturing Company. 

About MakeTime

MakeTime is a tech company streamlining the production of CNC machined parts. Powered by data and the nation’s largest network of qualified and connected suppliers, we focus on reducing the manufacturing timeline, simplifying the production process and harnessing the power of U.S. manufacturing. The result is a reliable path to prototyping, production and aftermarket CNC machining that is fast, intuitive and cost- competitive. MakeTime is located in Lexington, KY in the heart of American manufacturing country.