But What Does it Mean for Me? China & Tariffs

If you have left your house or used the internet in the last 18 months, then you are at least aware of the trade war between the United States and China. We are also guessing you have probably also heard a lot of opinions, and possibly very little facts. 

At Pentaflex, we understand that being aware of today’s economic climate will assist us in continually improving for our employees, our community, and our customers. While we might not have all the answers to the current situation, we want to ensure that you always have the information you need to make an educated decision for your organization and your customers.

Here are the facts about the last year and a half for this economic situation…

  • In July of 2018, the US imposed a 25% tariff on various goods entering the country from China. 
  • Since then, there have been three other installations of tariffs on Chinese products.
  • In response, the Chinese government has placed their own tariffs on American goods ranging in percentages.
  • In December of 2018, both countries agreed to meet and discuss finding a solution to the trade disagreements. Any raises in tariffs were paused during this time.
  • In May, the United States installed a 25% increase on about 200 billion of Chinese goods.
  • China responded in June with a 25% increase on about 60 billion of US goods.
  • As of late August, Mr. Trump has proposed new plans that would increase the current taxation on Chinese goods from 25% to 30%.
  • China has responded by saying they will retaliate if these proposals do in fact go into effect in September and December.

Is there an End in Sight?

According to Mr. Trump’s statements at the G7 Summit in France, the only way these disagreements with China will end is if Beijing is willing to bend to his requests. Both sides have continued to go back and forth on their statements throughout the following weeks. But, it appears as though both sides are preferring an end to this trade war soon. 

What does this mean for manufacturing?

While the beginning of these taxations began with a small amount of goods, as of this past May, almost all imports from China are on the list. Depending on negotiations in the next month, that list could include even more. 

These continued tariffs could encourage manufacturers to source either from a different country or from the US. However, there would inevitably be a lull in the acquisition of said goods while teams reroute their supply chains. 

What can you do?

The best step you can take for your customers and your company moving forward is to stay up-to-date with the changes. In today’s world of manufacturing, the survivors are the adapters. The second step is to keep an open dialogue between your suppliers and your customers with changing goods availability and pricing. Be sure everyone is on the same page, and do not make hasty decisions based off one statement you hear or read. 

We are here to help

Our team monitors the global trade situation regularly to minimize the potential impacts to our customers due to increased raw material costs. Would you like to speak to a Pentaflex representative about how we are keeping our customers our top priority?   Give us a call at 937-325-5551.

Sources

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45899310

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49471713

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48196495

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/25/kudlow-does-not-expect-china-to-retaliate-against-trumps-latest-tariffs.html

https://www.ecomcrew.com/trumps-china-tariffs/

How Do you Stand Out?

At Pentaflex, we regularly ask ourselves what makes us stand out from other manufacturers. In a competitive and ever-changing world, it is of the utmost importance to have regular reflection and improvement. Below, we have outlined five different key areas that we believe keep our team and our products at the top of our game. We hope that by sharing these areas with you, it will encourage and motivate your team to reflect and improve where necessary.

Value Your Employees

One of the key components to success in the Pentaflex culture is our cultivation of our team’s growth over time. We believe all humans have the need to grow, learn, and change in their careers. When a new associate joins our team, they sometimes have very limited experience with our industry. Our seasoned team members take the time to share the necessary skills and expertise with newer members to cultivate a culture of learning.

We have also found implementing and maintaining a formal structure of increased compensation in tandem with demonstration of increased knowledge and skills is just one way to show our employees we value and appreciate their desire to work and learn with Pentaflex.

This system also aids in our conversation with employees about the importance of their jobs. Unfortunately, sometimes the world’s view of manufacturing can be somewhat skewed. What we are constantly trying to share with our clients, our community, and our team is that the world of manufacturing is an industry where every little step matters.

Walk the Talk

Pentaflex is a family owned business where we recognize and encourage that our greatest asset is our employees. Just one of the ways we “walk the talk” is through open communication. This is why we our team participates in weekly meetings with the entire company. These meetings allow us to share our successes and our challenges with the entire team and engage in problem solving and discussion.

Because of our industry, safety is our first concern every day at Pentaflex. We have a cross functional safety committee that meets monthly to review any potential safety concerns and to immediately review any accident that might occur.

We also have several Six Sigma Black belts on staff. Quality and process issues and improvements are conducted utilizing the six sigma approach and involves a cross functional team for each event.

Always Be Learning

We recently had a situation where a part had to be removed from a press without damaging the edge of the part. We had engaged the services of an outside vendor who quoted us an expensive piece of equipment to perform this task. Our maintenance department looked at the issues and developed a system that was built in house at less than a tenth of the cost of what was quoted to us.

Through creative problem solving like this, we are always able to deliver the highest quality products for our customers.

Invest in Your Community

Pentaflex believes there is a great need for businesses to invest and give back to their local community. For example, several members of our team volunteer for organizations such as the YMCA, Leadership Clark County, The Springfield Museum of Art and the Springfield Rotary Club.

Pentaflex has a long history of supporting civic endeavors to better our community for our employees and their families. Additionally, Pentaflex works closely with the Clark County Reentry coalition to help returning citizens find meaningful employment opportunities.

Show Why You Are Always the Best Choice

Our unique capabilities combined with our deep knowledge and years of experience draw our best customers. Many times we will take on a job that we did not initially win, but rather our customers realize the importance of the right investment for their products and their customers.

Connect with Similar Values

Would you like to talk more about the culture, leadership, and learning at Pentaflex? Give us a call at 937-325-2620 or submit this short form.

manufacturing jobs

The Future of the Manufacturing Workforce

State of the Workforce

A never-ending conversation in the manufacturing world over the past few years has been the demand for quality employees in the rapidly changing world of the fourth industrial revolution. Almost every single manufacturer in various specialties is starving for employees, but can’t seem to fill the positions. 

In fact, in a study performed by Deloitte in 2018, they predict that our industry is facing a potential shortage of 2.4 million workers in the next decade. 

But why is this? It’s not as if the US population is declining (or plans to decline) anytime soon. 

The Forecast

The Deloitte report points to three different reasons behind why they believe this trend will occur in the next decade:

  1. Shifting skill sets due to new technology
  2. Misperceptions of manufacturing jobs
  3. Retirement of baby boomers

While these three reasons do pose a threat to the current status quo, there are ways for us manufacturers to address all three with just a little bit of brainstorming and collaboration.

Shifting Skill Sets Due to New Technology

As we continue to research and evolve, new technology and machinery will continue to make its way onto the shop floor. This means that our team will be left with less repetitive jobs, and more positions that require problem solving, collaboration, and innovation. 

But this shift cannot happen overnight. In order to stay loyal to our teams who have stayed loyal to us, it is our job to find pathways to efficiency that include their abilities and currently underutilized skill sets. 

Instead of seeing new technology as “replacements,” view this tech as “enhancements” to your workforce. Identify team members that show an interest in the new technology and how it can improve their position. 

You will find yourself being able to realign your team to sit in the right seats, instead of just throwing in the towel and feeling like you have to start from scratch with a new row of candidates.

Misperceptions of Manufacturing Jobs

As manufacturing leadership, this is an area we have complete control over the narrative we choose to tell. We need to be out in our communities, in our schools, and in our government sharing that manufacturing is no longer the position of the 1900’s. 

Through teamwork, innovation, and encouragement, a position in manufacturing is a place to grow. And, it is a place to stretch your knowledge and influence our world for a better tomorrow.

If you don’t currently have a dedicated partner to help you share your story, find a local marketing or PR firm to help you spread the word about the real opportunities with your company.

Attend the local high school’s career fairs – take a few team members from the floor and have them share their real experiences about why they chose you.

Get involved in the local technical school. Sit on their boards, volunteer in their classrooms, hire their students as interns for the summer, and ask what they need to better prepare your employees of tomorrow. 

Volunteer in your community through various nonprofits and government entities. Share with your community the opportunities, jobs, and livelihoods that your organization’s presence provide to the area. 

It won’t be easy, but you will need to start somewhere. Sit down with your leadership and determine where the highest priorities lie – and just start there. Create a detailed plan with numerical measurables and a realistic timelines. 

Retirement of Baby Boomers

Now, this is one we can’t really directly influence. Unfortunately, our legacy employees will eventually have to leave us. But, if we are adamant in our influence of the first two trends, this will not be a hindrance in the productivity and ability of our facilities.

We’re Ready…Are You?

We encourage you to start planning today for the manufacturing world of tomorrow. And this isn’t something we’re just preaching about – we are actively living it! One way we have found to help change perceptions about a career in manufacturing is by participating in National Manufacturing Day every October by inviting middle schoolers to the shop to see the possibilities for themselves. 

Curious about how else Pentaflex is preparing for continued shifts in our industry for our customers and our team? 

Give us a call at 937-325-5551 or email us at sales@pentaflex.com to talk more.

 

Sources

https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES3000000001

https://www.softwareadvice.com/resources/manufacturers-skills-in-demand/

https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/industry/manufacturing/manufacturing-skills-gap-study.html

https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=kf7tgg1uo9ude_&met_y=population&idim=country:US&hl=en&dl=en

the fourth industrial revolution cover image

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

At Pentaflex, we consider it a top priority to be at the forefront of all industry shifts for the sake of our clients, our team, our community, and our industry. In this post, we will explain Industry 4.0, the influence on manufacturing, and what you can do to stay at the top of your game.

A Little History Lesson

Industry 4.0 is the Fourth (but not the last) Industrial Revolution. The first revolution was the introduction of steam and water into the manufacturing world. Next came electricity and assembly lines. These first two industrial revolutions did in fact change history as we know it. But both of these revolutions also took a considerable amount of time for everyone to grasp and implement fully into their processes. That is why you will see almost one hundred years between the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd revolutions.

Industry timeline

We saw Industry 3.0 hit center stage at the tail end of the 60’s. This is where computers start to impact machinery and processes in everyday manufacturing. Manufacturers saw the benefit and continued to improve the software. This resulted in speeding up assemblies, cutting back on overall costs, and creating a safer working environment for manufacturing teams.

One of the biggest positive consequences of the third revolution was speed. Everything could be done faster. This also meant we found problems faster, fixed them faster, and improved them faster. Because of this, we saw the fourth revolution hit almost half as fast as its predecessors.  

What is Industry 4.0?

As we move into 2019, we are now rapidly seeing the full adaptation of Industry 4.0 – only 50 years after the third industrial revolution. Essentially, this revolution is the more advanced & sophisticated version of 3.0. This revolution we are seeing computers have the ability to receive more data, interpret said data, implement their findings into their current processes, and then share that data with other computers. Regular terms for this time include cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and cognitive computing1. We will discuss all these topics and more in later blog posts.

The modern world originally coined the term “Industry 4.0” back in 2015, but has been in regular use since early 2018. This is by far the most exciting adaptation to manufacturing for companies and consumers alike – and is also the fastest.

How ‘Smart’ Are You?

In the coming months and years, we will gradually see the demand for ‘smart’ facilities increase. Supply chains will continually search for the most advanced and fullproof systems.

What will really set apart manufacturing teams will be the ones that have learned to harvest the data, interpret, and improve their processes for the betterment of their teams, their customers, and the end-users.

What Can You Do?

The first step we recommend is learning more about Industry 4.0 and how it will directly influence your industry. Learn which components the team is already modifying in your processes and which ones are being overlooked. By staying up to date on where your industry is at, you ensure that you are always at the top of the conversation and ready to contribute to the next big shift.

We have linked a few sources at the bottom of this blog post to continue your education.

The second step is to ask the leadership in your company how they are embracing this new shift in manufacturing. How is the team preparing to update systems, streamline processes, and keep customers in the loop about these progressive changes?

Be sure to ask more than once as plans and processes will continually improve as the technology does. Ask if there are ways for you to get involved and to help further the implementations along.

The third step is to contact your current manufacturers in your supply chain. Ask them what they are doing to embrace the fourth Industrial Revolution. Every organization should be able to give you a straightforward, honest and excited answer.

Have You Called Pentaflex?

Our team is ready and excited to discuss these changes to our industry for our customers and our team. Give us a call at 937-325-5551, fill out our short contact form, or email us at sales@pentaflex.com to hear how we are staying at the cutting edge for you.

 

Sources

1http://info.microsoft.com/rs/157-GQE-382/images/EN-US-CNTNT-Report-2019-Manufacturing-Trends.pdf

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/is-your-business-model-fit-for-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/

https://www.oliverwyman.com/our-expertise/insights/2018/feb/agriculture-4-0–the-future-of-farming-technology.html

our dedication to you certification

Our Dedication to You

Next to the safety of our employees, our high standard of quality is the most important component of our business. We understand that when you receive a product from us, consistency in your product and service ensures not only a seamless experience for you, but for your customers as well.

At Pentaflex, we see the big picture. We understand that our products must be of the highest quality to ensure they run smoothly and add to the perfection of your products and service for your customers.

This is why we take our IATF 16949 certification extremely seriously. This certification is an industry standard certification that ensures the quality and consistency of our products and services to you. Here are the four key reasons we acquired our IATF 16949 Certification:

Why IATF 16949 Certification_ (1)

Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

We understand the value of having machinists you can count on – no matter what. Our goal is through a detailed and thoughtful process, you will trust us with all your metal stamping needs.

Encouraged Analysis

A process can and should always be evaluated and improved upon. We have made it a point to work this evaluation into every step of our processes. This includes everything from the first meeting with our customers to your finished product leaving our production floor. If you happen to see an area in one of our processes that you think could use some analysis, please contact us.

Continual Improvement

Because of our constant evaluations, we are able to quickly and efficiently pinpoint gaps in our service or machinery. For example, we recently installed a new state of the art Dallas Servo Feedline.

Confidence & Consistency

Through the first three steps, we ensure you will always receive a consistent and high quality product from your team at Pentaflex.

Let’s Talk

Are you ready to work with a team that will always put you first, and has the certification to back it up? Give us a call at 937-325-5551, fill out our prompt Contact Us form, or request a quote on your metal stamping project today.

 

 

Learn more about IATF 16949

https://16949store.com/iatf-16949-standards/what-is-ts-16949/

https://16949store.com/demos/Eligibility/index.html

https://16949store.com/iatf-16949-requirements/section-10-improving-the-quality-management-system/continual-improvement/

https://16949store.com/iatf-16949-requirements/what-is-iatf-16949-quality-management-system/

tractor_farming_technology

Technology & the Agriculture Industry in 2019

Summary: Share the upcoming trends for technology in agriculture in the coming year and how it will influence the industry.

Agtech

In the past decade, we have seen a trend between various industries and their rejection or acceptance of technology. Where industries like marketing, supply chain, and retail were the first ones to jump on the train, we are now seeing the last passengers board for departure.

A prominent industry in this situation is agriculture. One of the oldest industries in our world, they have made leaps and bounds in the past few years to move up to speed. One of the main reasons for this are a new generational dominance over the industry. While others are the demands of the population, and the sustainability needs of the planet.

Here are three areas of Agtech (Agriculture Technology) that you should be aware of in 2019…

Self-Propelling Farm Machinery

The idea of self-propelling farm machinery completely taking over the agriculture industry is still a long way off. However, we are starting to see the trend move this way for various machinery such as sprayers and smaller mechanisms.

For a great overview of the agriculture machinery manufacturers, check out this article titled Manufacturer Consolation Reshaping the Farm Equipment Marketplace. This article gives an in-depth side-by-side comparison of the various industry leaders since the early 1900’s. If you study the trends of these manufacturers, you will see how they have reacted and implemented new products based off the needs of the farmers of that time period.

By understanding what the farming community of tomorrow will need to do their jobs in the most efficient and effective way possible, manufacturers must continually push the envelope when it comes to perfecting the technology behind self-propelled farm machinery.

Take Action: Assess your organization’s direction for the current and upcoming years. Are you in tune with the needs of your customers for them to be successful in the years to follow?

Farm Maintenance via Smart Devices

Along with smarter machinery, we are also seeing smart devices and applications make their way into the mainstream. These help the farming community better monitor and manage their crops.

For example, in 2018 there were multiple softwares unveiled to help farmers streamline their productivity and efficiency. On top of smarter and more efficient software, we are also seeing a large increase in mobile applications that allows the agriculture community to manage their entire operation with a few taps on their screen.

But why in 2019? Smart devices have been ruling our world for almost two decades now.

We are attributing this shift to the rise of the millennial decision making farmer. Millennials have been in the workforce for quite some time now (the age range is 23-38). But we are now starting to see some of the older GenYers move into prominent decision making roles.

With them comes updated thinking, efficiency, and ease of process for the sake of the organization and the population. This point leads us to the third and final most important trend to look for in agriculture in the coming years.

Take Action: Review your current processes and see where there are gaps that could be filled by a smart device or software.

The Industry is no longer Resisting

The agriculture industry has been around as long as humans have needed to eat food. But it still had a difficult time moving into the technology-filled world of today. Why?

Because without agriculture, the entire human ecosystem collapses. So, the practical thought was, “why fix something that isn’t broken?”

And this thinking worked for quite awhile. That is until the industry started to realize that their current way of doing things would no longer meet the demands of the planet in various ways.

Now, no matter the generation, the agriculture industry sees the need and is accepting technology with open arms. They are on a quest to streamline processes, utilize efficient machinery, and ensure our sustained future.

How does this Relate to Pentaflex?

You might be reading this and be thinking “What does any of this have to do with a metal stamping company?”

Here at Pentaflex, we believe in the power of investing time in listening to our clients and understanding the industry they are in. Only by grasping the full picture of the industry can we ensure that our processes, machinery, products, and service are meeting the needs of that industry.

Take Action: Call Pentaflex today to hear more about how we are staying up to date on the changes in the agtech world.

 

Learn More from our Sources:

AgTech Trends in 2019: Synthetic Biology, Precision Agriculture, and Millennial Farmers https://learn.g2crowd.com/2019-agtech-trends

Agriculture software: https://www.g2crowd.com/categories/agriculture

Average farm size by acreage: https://www.statista.com/statistics/196106/average-size-of-farms-in-the-us-since-2000/

Agriculture 4.0 https://www.oliverwyman.com/our-expertise/insights/2018/feb/agriculture-4-0–the-future-of-farming-technology.html

Farming Equipment Tools: https://agamerica.com/top-farming-equipment-tools-embrace-2019/

Agriculture software: https://www.g2crowd.com/categories/agriculture

2018 Farming Progress Show: https://www.farmprogressshow.com/en/home.html

Dallas-Servo-Feed

New Capital Investments at Pentaflex

Here at Pentaflex we recognize the need to continuously invest in our facility and equipment in order to provide our customers with the very best quality product.  Recently we installed this new state of the art Dallas Servo Feedline on our 880 ton Aida press. This new feedline will handle material as thin as .030, and as thick as .312. It can accommodate a maximum coil width of 48”.  By investing in this new servo feedline we will be able to fully maximize the performance capabilities of 880 ton Aida press. Please contact our sales team if you have an application that you would like for us to review on this, or any of our other servo press lines.

The State of the Trucking Industry Today and Looking Forward

Despite several challenges, 2018 was a strong year for the American trucking industry. Increased consumer spending greatly boosted shipping demand, resulting in driver shortages as trucking companies rushed to fill orders. With new trade deals and industry initiatives to support growth, we predict a successful year ahead for the trucking industry.

Current State of the Trucking Industry

The strong U.S. economy has resulted in a consumer spending boom. This brought about greater demand for trucks to transport consumer goods. The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that holiday sales will reach approximately $720.89 billion in 2018, a 4.3-4.8% increase compared with the 2017 holiday season.

However, this increased demand has led to some challenges for the trucking industry. The influx of new orders has strained trucking’s workforce as shipping companies struggle to meet demand. Additionally, the implementation of the electronic logging device (ELD) rule mandated that all trucks should install tracking devices to better account for shipment status. While this has helped create greater transparency and safer working conditions, it also further limited the amount of truckers allowed on the road, as drivers without an ELD cannot commercially drive.

Amazon, FedEx, and other major companies have aimed to combat the driver shortage and maintain efficient operations by hiring thousands of temporary workers for the 2018–2019 holiday season.

On November 30th, representatives from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada officially signed the new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), replacing the original NAFTA terms. If the new deal is successfully passed through Congress, we expect to see greater wage growth for American truckers.

Yet despite the benefits to continued free trade between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, Congress may seek to impose caps on cross-border trucking, which may reduce trucking demand. There is also a chance that Congress may require vehicles produced in the U.S. to be composed of at least 75% North American–made parts, driving up costs for new trucks and vehicle maintenance.

The Trucking Industry in 2019 and Beyond

We expect capacity to stay tight with economic growth, with the American Trucking Associations (ATA) estimating that freight volume will increase 2.3% from 2019 to 2024.

ATA Chief Executive Chris Spear aims to address the American trucking industry’s challenges while supporting its continued growth. Spear seeks to make training the younger generation of drivers a top priority moving forward, in hopes of adding numbers to the workforce as demand for truckers continues to grow. The ATA is also researching new methods to increase productivity and implement better safety technology while working to offset tariffs and additional regulations affecting the trucking industry.

The ATA projects that for the next 18 months, the trucking industry will benefit from a strong economic climate. The trucking industry could see an estimated $6.6 billion of new revenue each year if Congress approves the USMCA deal.

The industry experienced the sharpest growth in demand for trucks of the heaviest Class 8 weight segment. The ATA estimates that trucking manufacturers will fill around 305,000 orders for Class 8 trucks in 2019, a 19% increase compared with 2017.

Prep for the Future with Pentaflex!

With continued high demand, we expect 2019 to be a strong year for the trucking industry.

To help in the design of new trucks and maintain the existing fleet, Pentaflex provides a complete range of metal stampings and value-added services, including machining, welding, part washing, and assembly. We also provide components for successful trucking operations, including emissions and axle/brake components.

Our facilities are fully equipped to help your trucking company excel, and our talented staff will continue to deliver high-quality products to our customers.

To learn more about our services and capabilities for the trucking industry, contact us today.

Impacts of the New United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement on Automotive Manufacturers

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Mexico, and Canada was officially renegotiated at the end of September, and became what is now the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. With the ability for U.S. companies to operate in Canada and Mexico free of tariffs preserved for now, the new agreement updates 24-year-old terms to include a heavy focus on the automotive industry, as well as agriculture, the digital economy, and labor unions.

The updated trade agreement terms have the potential to highly impact the automotive industry. New stipulations require a higher percentage of an automobile’s content to be produced in NAFTA regions and a minimum of $16 per hour paid to workers. The deal’s sunset clause details that the agreement will be in place for 16 years and is to be reviewed every six years.

In this post, we will describe some of the agreement’s terms and what they will mean for automotive manufacturers if the measure receives Congressional approval and goes into effect.

What’s Included in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement?

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement includes new terms affecting how much of an automobile is to be produced in NAFTA regions. Original NAFTA terms required 62.5 percent of an automobile’s components to be produced in relevant regions for manufacturers to gain the zero-tariff benefit. New terms in the trade deal increase that requirement: 75 percent of an automobile’s composition is to be fabricated in NAFTA regions.

Canada’s participation in this trade deal was in question until September 30th, when the United States’ northern neighbor finally reached an agreement with the terms. There had been threats previously that Canada would be excluded from the new deal, which would have presented a negative impact for automotive manufacturers relying on Canadian-made components and materials.

What the Terms Mean for U.S. Automotive Manufacturers

With new terms requiring 75 percent of an automobile’s contents to be produced in the U.S., Mexico, or Canada, NAFTA regions will receive an influx of manufacturing work for automobile components. This increased production could bring new jobs to the automotive manufacturing industry.

Using local materials, including aluminum and steel, benefits labor unions and protects many high-paying jobs currently located in the U.S. Additionally, the United States would have the ability to impose tariffs if the 75 percent threshold is not reached.

It’s also good for the automotive sector that Canada has maintained its partnership within the agreement. Given that numerous automotive companies in the United States rely on Canadian materials and components for automobile production, higher prices would have been an undesirable consequence as foreign automakers may have benefited from American companies’ decreased competitive advantage.

Stay Tuned

While the terms of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement affect businesses in a variety of industries, the automotive sector will experience one of the largest impacts. As the deal moves closer to approval and implementation, Pentaflex is committed to providing the information you need to stay up-to-date.

We consider ourselves a direct stakeholder in this deal due to our close involvement with clients in the automotive supply base— many of those based in Mexico. As a leader in the U.S. metal forming industry, Pentaflex will continue to track trade deal deliberations surrounding the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

To learn more about what the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement means for your business or to learn about our products and services, contact us today.

Strategies to Engage Your Manufacturing Workforce

Manufacturers are struggling with a growing skills gap. Over the coming decade, the industry could see as many as two million jobs could emerge that can’t be filled by the current labor pool.

In the face of such challenges, it’s become more important than ever to improve employee retention in the manufacturing industry. Fortunately, recent approaches in talent recruitment could help manufacturers find the workers they need to ensure their continued success.

How to Attract Manufacturing Talent

Many younger workers mistakenly regard manufacturing as a field for the unskilled or uneducated. Dispelling these opinions is a necessary step in lessening the growing skills gap. The following measures can help you educate prospective employees about your company while giving you an opportunity to discover young talent that will add value throughout your company.

  • Attend local job fairs

Meeting and talking with young professionals can generate leads, raise awareness of the benefits of a career in manufacturing, and introduce possible candidates to your company’s current opportunities.

  • Host open houses

By opening up your facilities to prospective employees, you can expose them to your operations, working environment, and company culture, as well as the types of benefits and compensation you provide. Transparent hiring processes always leads to increased retention in the future.

  • Partner with local schools at all levels, including trade schools and public schools

Partnering with schools will undoubtedly attract more talent to your company. Trade schools in particular might prepare their students for your specific work, which only simplifies onboarding for your company.

Improving Employee Retention in Manufacturing

Since it’s more expensive to assemble a team of trained workers than it is to keep current employees, a high retention rate can make all the difference between success and failure. The following steps can help you minimize turnover throughout your company.

  • Work Community

Host BBQs and other seasonal events to promote team building. When employees feel as though they belong, their jobs will matter more to them.

  • Fun with Competitions

Create competitions between staff and families to get everyone involved. When an employee’s family likes their employer, you’re much more likely to keep him or her for the long term.

  • Giveaways

Give prizes to celebrate achieved goals or significant milestones. This not only raises productivity, but it promotes competition and boosts the moral of the company.

  • Competitive pay, training opportunities, and benefits

Continued learning through training can stimulate employees and keep them connected to your company. Similarly, competitive pay and good benefits only lowers the risk of turnover.

Consistency is essential to manufacturing, but in order to achieve it, manufacturers require an experienced workforce with the training and preparation needed to operate complex industrial equipment. An engaged team and a modern recruiting strategy can help you ensure that your company is never understaffed.

At Pentaflex, we constantly work to improve our company to better meet the needs of our clients and employees alike. As the manufacturing period approaches a period of transition, we’re doing whatever we can to reward our current employees and persuade the next generation of American workers that a career in manufacturing might be the most rewarding path they can take. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of working with an engaged manufacturing company, contact us today.