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Lessons from the 2014 MFG Meeting

This past March, hundreds of machine tool builders, manufacturers, and purchasing agents all came together for the 2014 MFG Meeting at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona. The event featured presentations by esteemed industrial leaders including Allan McArtor, chairman of Airbus Americas, and well-known economists discussing the potential for growth in the coming year. It was co-organized by three industrial heavyweights – The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) and the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).

The theme of this year’s MFG Meeting was “Opportunity has no limits…leap for it,” and it seems that’s exactly what many manufacturing companies will be doing in the near future. Because interest rates are still low, manufacturers were encouraged to look into investing in growth opportunities now, since rates are likely to climb by 2015. Von Ruden Manufacturing is taking this advice, currently looking at a sizable investment in new equipment over the coming year. We look forward to transitioning from traditional gear cut processing to the latest CNC machining methods.

The 2014 MFG Meeting also focused on closing the skills-gap and offering recommendations for building up a strong workforce. The presentation “Closing the Skills-Gap” described the different challenges faced during recruitment and how best to solve them when selecting candidates. But the process doesn’t end once new employees are hired – it must continue through proper training. It is also essential for seasoned workers to mentor the next generation of workers, passing along their knowledge before they retire. If you simply fill positions after retirement, you’re losing years of knowledge and experience that could have been passed down the line. The presentation also discussed the importance of recognizing generational differences to cater to each demographic, ensuring a more engaged, enthusiastic team.

Overall, the MFG Meeting shared a wealth of information on how to optimize your manufacturing operations and staff. We’re looking forward to putting these tools to use at Von Ruden. If you have any other tips of the trade you’d like to share, please feel free to connect with us on Twitter!

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