Member Meeting Minutes from Thursday 6/18/15


  • Introduction
  • Purpose/Context
  • Call for Agenda Items
  • Maker Work’s Mission, Vision
  • DOR and P/L
  • Membership Options
  • Storage
  • Call for Volunteers
  • Member Handbook
  • Announcements
  • Appreciations


Introduction / Purpose / Context

This is the first of what we plan to be regular meetings.  Tom Root and Dale Grover, the two owners of Maker Works, have some information to share, and are also interested in hearing from members on these and any other subjects.

One of our hopes is to give the members more insight into the organization, in much the same way we involve our staff in all aspects of the business.


Call for Agenda Items

Suggestions from the floor:

–equipment status



–online forums

–SOP availability

–more advanced classes


Maker Work’s Mission, Vision

Tom went over Maker Works’ three bottom lines:  People, Planet, and Profit.  Maker Works is a for-profit, but has two other bottom lines in addition to profit:  people and planet.  This is why we provide services at reduced cost to a variety of students, for example.  These bottom lines are reflected in the mission diagram, a pyramid with Maker$ on the bottom, 1099’s, and Students on the three sides.  (See the member handbook for more details.)


DOR and P/L

Maker Works believes in open book management.  We not only are willing to share the details of the finances of the business with our staff, but in fact we expect them to know the finances and what they mean.

As we thought more about our members, it started to make sense to us to apply this open book approach to our members too.  This isn’t like a store where customers have a fleeting experience and then are gone.  Members are spending lots of time here, becoming a community with a real interest in the long term viability of the space.  There doesn’t seem to be a good reason not to include them in the open book policy.

One tool we use and would like to share is the DOR board.  (Short for Department Operating Report.)  It is a dashboard that shows us some figures about the business that we use each week for evaluation and planning.  Tom showed the DOR board updated for the previous day’s weekly huddle.  The figures include the current and previous week’s values, but just the current week figures are shown here:

Total active members:  130

Total of all members to date:  828

Number of class seats sold:  25

Number of class seats offered:  40

“Energy” of the staff at the meeting (on a scale of 1-10):  8.6 (average)

Facebook “likes”:  1723

Current cash bank balance:  $13,355

Revenue last week:  $2,683

Email subscribers:  1,673

Tours given:  8

Promotional responses (offered during a tour):  1

In future meetings we’ll discuss the DOR in more detail.  We expect to change it around in the near future to include some other measures.

At this first meeting, Tom presented a summary of the 2014 profit and loss statement.  In brief:

Income (minus cost of goods) = $301,788


Facilities (rent, utilities):  $229,409

Wages:  $108,199

Admin (insurance, office supplies, professional fees):  18,369

Operating (consumables, credit card costs):  $13,804

Taxes:  $9,884

Marketing:  $5,726

Instructors (non-staff):  $5,200

Miscellaneous:  $1,547

Total Expenses:  $394,859

2015 is shaping up better, and we hope to share these figures as we put them together.

Open book management is just about sharing the information.  There are three pieces:

  1. Know and teach the rules of the game (e.g., how to read a balance sheet, the terminology of finance, etc.)
  2. Keep score (keep books up to date and share the information)
  3. Share the winnings.

In the context of a Maker Space, sharing the winnings may be keeping the doors open.  That’s certainly our goal!


Membership Options

We reviewed the current membership options we offer, including the newish 24-hour and punch-card membership options.  (See our website or any staff person for more details.)



It is difficult to provide good service to our members in terms of temporary storage when a lot of our space is taken up with temporarily-stored items that have taken up a more permanent residence.  So we’ve been cleaning up the storage areas and building out a new membership storage area.  We now offer spaces by the week for active storage.  Plywood storage is $10/week, and a “garage” for a cart is $25/week.  Carts to park in a garage are $5/week (you can bring your own if you like).  This space is for active storage.  To discourage people from leaving stuff, the rate goes up after 4 weeks of non-use.  We hope this will help keep the storage available for actual active storage–we just don’t have the space to support long-term storage of unused items.


Call for Volunteers

We’ll be bringing the Great Maker Race to Maker Faire Detroit again this year.  (Maybe you caught us at the Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire a few weekends ago.)  Volunteers are needed to help visitors design, craft, and race their cars.


Member Handbook

Come in for a brief orientation and get your member handbook.  Full of helpful information.



The Ann Arbor District Library is having their Summer Games soon (if not already).  Get points for reading and other fun summer activities.

In September, the AADL Makerspace is opening!