Monday, November 11, 2013

What do manufacturers care about NOW?

By Steve Staub (Staub Manufacturing Solutions)

MADE in DAYTON blog has been on the leading edge of a lot of positive things happening in our region's manufacturing industry. We have worked hard to change the misconceptions about the industry. We’ve brought some much needed attention to the workforce development topic and the need for skilled workers. 

We’ve provided in-depth articles about sales, marketing, exporting and emerging technologies like 3D printing. We understand, though, that the manufacturing business is dynamic, always changing, and we want to continue to offer you relevant content every week.

So, I want to ask you, "What is important to you... NOW?"

I recently had lunch with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while. We talked for a bit and then he asked me a very interesting question, “What keeps you up at night?”. Wow, what a pointed question! He wasn't asking about my minor concerns. He was looking to see what major issues I was dealing with in my business. You know, the kind of issues that you can't stop thinking about and are still there nagging at you when it's time for bed. 

And those are the kind of issues I'm asking you about today.

You might be thinking that it would be hard to narrow your concerns down to just one major issue. There is a lot going on. Here are some current issues that may be on your mind:
  • Manufacturing seems to be growing yet the economy is still questionable.
  • Many companies are still having problems borrowing money even though interest rates are low.
  • Unemployment is still high and yet there are literally thousands of unfilled manufacturing jobs in the Dayton Region.
  • There is no solid pipeline of skilled workers for the future of our industry.
  • Many companies are scared to spend money because of uncertainty in the markets.
  • Companies are scared about Obamacare and are being told rates will increase 90% and higher!
  • Everyday the Federal Government spends far more money than it brings in. 

 This list could go on for pages but I don’t want to get you depressed!

We try not to talk too much here about the negative stuff. We’re pretty optimistic people and we try to focus on all the good stuff that's happening in the region. However, we do believe that we need to be aware of the issues that are facing our industry so we can be prepared to take them head on.

Which is why I'm asking the question today, "What's important to you now? In the coming months we'll be lining up experts here on this blog to help address the issues that you tell us are the most important.

I heard someone say recently, “We're doing well now, but I’m concerned about the future.” Maybe that's what you're thinking too. Well, what is it that needs to change to make you feel more comfortable about the future? We'll do what we can to address it.

Ok, it's time to hear from you. Share what you care most about right now in the comment section below or send us an email at


  1. Increased costs keep me up at night.
    Be it Obamacare, material costs, fuel prices, trucking costs, wages etc. we can not afford any more price increases.

  2. Posted via LinkedIn:

    That is a very interesting question. It seems that most manufacturers have forgotten a few things. One of the most important things that manufacturers have forgotten is what their best asset is and how to use that asset to its greatest potential. Do you know what your organization's best asset is?

    Manufacturers have caused their own problems by losing sight of what matters most. When you have a good work force that makes a decent enough living wage that they have some disposable income and this work force has been cultivated with strong buy in to your organization, then you are creating a very strong consumer base that will help boost your organization's vitality.

    Workers that have disposable incomes are not only good consumers, but also depend less on social safety nets, which means that less government money will need to be used in that arena.

    Currently the trend in manufacturing looks like the beginning of the fall of the Roman Empire. When all of the wealth is put into the top and the middle shrinks, a devastating collapse will happen, because a roof and foundation do not a building make without supporting walls (the middle).

    Also, technology is only as good as the techno mind. Companies are starting to put all of their investments solely into technology instead of creating a balanced system. With all of the techno minds out there that spend time creating methods to hack into and destroy technology, putting all your main assets into this basket is a precarious one.

    The question isn't what do manufacturers care about now. It is do manufacturers really care about now?
    By Bobbi Beyer

    1. It is obvious you have spent, at best, superficial thought on this as you wish to demonize manufactures. I don't believe any manufacture promoted free trade agreements that unilaterally sent millions of jobs overseas. Nor do I believe manufactures promoted dubious energy policies that caused energy costs to more than double since our current president was elected. I do not believe manufactures championed the Federal government championed the take over of two of the big three auto manufactures outside the standing law on bankruptcy to benefit political friends and punish non union retirees and retired bondholders. I suggest you do a little deeper research and thinking.
      And by the way ... there is an old truism. If you don't make I, grow it, or mine it, it does not create wealth.
      From Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  3. Posted via LinkedIn:

    Many issues are affecting manufacturers as a whole and are probably on the minds of a lot of manufacturing business professionals. Some of the items mentioned on this Dayton blog are also of concern for Accent as well, as they concern how to optimize the use of different aspects of your business and keeping up with the latest Microsoft systems as well. In addition to being aware of these problems, though, it's also important to know what steps can be taken to make them more manageable and how these different problems might in fact be related in certain aspects.
    Ben Baxter

  4. Posted via LinkedIn:

    Maintaining a steady flow of qualified people in any organization is a real challenge now. The explosion of social media and internet sources means that organizations are flooded with resumes. The recruitment process is very often "hit or miss" by both employer and job seeker. In my opinion the term "talent acquisition" is a complete misnomer. Just punching in some key words on a database search is not "acquiring talent", it is a $10 an hour data entry job. As someone who is in career transition now and has a history of "kicking 80 yard field goals" (in the word of an ex-boss) I can attest to the frustration that exists on both sides of the fence. Most studies show that only 20% or less of the best "interviewees" actually make the best employees. This shows that the corporate HR hiring model is seriously broken. No organization can really succeed long term unless there is a great fit between new people and their success in the organization.
    Dr. Gregory Walko

    1. Dr. Walko,
      As an unemployed/underemployed person who has been trying to find a career for two years now I must agree. There is very few companies that have "human" in HR. I recently read a book called "Stop Peeing On Your Shoes: Avoiding The 7 Mistakes That Screw Up Your Job Search" (which I STRONGLY recommend for job seekers). The author points out (pg 53) that if 800 people submit resumes and the HR person spends 1 minute on each resume, that is over 13 hours spent just looking at resumes. As a job seeker I have little chance of even getting my resume looked at unless I have a relative or close friend working at the company who can get someone in HR to look at it. I know that where I work some job postings are getting thousands of resumes and often the people who land the job either had a great network, or had great interview skills but did not always make a great fit for the position.
      Another problem is the job postings themselves. Did anyone really put a lot of thought into the job posting? Many of the times the job you interview for is different that what they posted and in the initial interview you can tell that the HR person has no idea what the position entails, they are just going through the motions. The "Talent Acquisition" process is definitely broken at many companies. There needs to be a better process, and just throwing a position description and then advertising the position is where it all starts to go wrong.
      I hate to be so negative but I have spent so many hours preparing for applying to positions and not ever getting comformation that my resume was received, or just getting a generic brush off letter. I have made a list of companies that I have applied to and have been treated rudely by that I will NEVER work for. I also have been fortunate to find a couple of companies who have great HR departments and have concentrated my efforts on those companies, after all if they treat me great as a perspective employee imagine how well they must treat their employees. The opposite side of that coin is if they treat perspective employees shabbily, how badly do they treat their current employees? I think that this is a point many companies forget/are not thinking ahead on and is a constant point of discussion among career seekers. Many of us have learned about how companies appear to treat us and we will always have that shadow in our minds.
      Ray Ryburn