may update pentaflex 2020

May Update from Pentaflex Inc.

In times like this, it is extremely important to keep up as much of a fluid conversation with our team members, customers, and community members as possible.

To our employees, we would like to say thank you for your continued loyalty and trust in the leadership team as we move forward with the best solutions to keep you safe and ensure Pentaflex will continue to be a company our customers can rely on for years to come. We know how impactful these temporary layoffs can be to you and your families, and we do not take these decisions lightly. Right now, for the safety of all of you, and survival of the company, we are taking steps each day to get us closer to the time that we will be able to welcome our full team back to work.

To our customers, thank you for continuing to put your trust in Pentaflex to manufacture and deliver the highest quality components. We want to reiterate that if you find yourself struggling to acquire the product you need at this time, that we are operational and available to quickly turn around small batches of components as needed.

To our community and local government, thank you for coming together at this time to support one another in any way possible. It is through the support we give to one another that we will get through this to a new normal.

While our doors have been able to stay open throughout this process, we have implemented various procedures and protocols to practice safe social distancing. Some examples of this include a meeting at the beginning of a new shift that reviews all social distancing requirements, ways to stay safe, and reminders to wash your hands often and thoroughly. While most of our positions are already six feet apart or more from another team member, we have also created safe social distances in our break room by cutting down on the available number of tables and chairs while making sure they are a safe distance apart.

As our local and state government continue to share recommendations and resources for moving forward, we will listen and react accordingly.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a Pentaflex representative, please do not hesitate to contact us directly via phone or by filling out our contact us form.

A Statement from Pentaflex Inc. Regarding Covid-19

To our Team, Customers, and Community:

The Pentaflex Leadership team would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and collaboration as we do everything we can to safely and effectively keep our manufacturing floor operational during this time. Below, we will share what we are doing as a response, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly

What We Are Doing for Our Team

While we still have work to complete for our customers, we will be giving our employees the opportunity to come to our facility to work while maintaining the safety protocol put in place by our state government.

For any of our employees who have experienced a shift in their home life due to the situation (for example, child care), we have set up internal relief options for these employees to receive the support they need while having the ability to be present for their loved ones.

All of our employees know that we understand this is a situation that is changing rapidly, and if they have any questions or concerns, the leadership team is available to them to find solutions and answer their questions. 

We also have informed our employees about state and federal relief programs available to them depending on their needs.

What We Are Doing for Our Customers

As a manufacturer, we will continue to perform essential production for our customers for as long as we are safely allowed to do so.

We recognize that our customers’ needs are changing daily, and we are ready to react as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Our sales team is also available to converse with anyone who has currently experienced an upset in their supply chain. If your company cannot acquire the parts you need due to another manufacturer’s temporary closure, we have the resources and the experience to perform short runs for you in this time so that you can continue production.

Community Resources

For anyone in the Springfield or Clark County area in need of assistance, here are a few local organizations that can offer support and education during this time:

Next Steps

Please regularly check our social media channels along with our website for updates as this situation continues to develop. 

How to Stay Motivated in November and December

Make the Most Out of ‘No Motivation November’ and ‘Distracted December’

During the holidays, it can be very easy for productivity to falter and burnout to set in, leaving you even more stressed and behind schedule on January 1. We at Pentaflex strive to always provide the most value to our customers so that they may, in turn, provide the most value to their customers.

Below, we have compiled some tips and tricks to compartmentalize, prioritize, and dominate in a healthy way during November and December:

Separate work and home as much as possible

During the holiday season, it can be easy for these two areas of our lives to bleed over a little more than usual – coordinating schedules, buying last-minute presents, checking email constantly to see if a client actually responded to your email, and more. 

A lot of this crossover happens because of our smartphones. To combat the tiny computer in our pockets, at work and at home, we recommend leaving it on silent or in the other room as much as possible. 

This can be a task that seems almost impossible at first, but we promise with little steps, you can achieve this goal. 

  1. Start with giving yourself half-hour increments of checking your smartphone.
  2.  Put the phone on silent and place it in a drawer or pocket while at your desk. 
  3. Set an alarm for the next time you can check it. 
  4. Every week, increase the time by ten minutes until you get to a full hour of not checking your phone. 

You will be amazed at the amount of work you complete when you are not constantly interrupted! 

Schedule out your week

Not just your work week, but your time at home as well. If you take the time on Friday afternoon or Sunday night to plan out the next seven days of your life, you’ll never feel like you are wasting time. 

But how detailed should you get? Here’s what we recommend: at work, schedule down to the 15-minute mark. At home, schedule down to the 30-minute mark. 

For example, at work, you may start your day with 45 minutes dedicated to checking in with your team and answering any questions they have for the day. Then, you transition to 15 minutes for email, 30 minutes to work on a progress report, 15 minutes to check up on a customer or two, etc.

At home, start with scheduling out full-family events such as dinner, practice, recitals, doctors appointments, etc. From there, actually schedule out the time to make your gift shopping list, baking that pie for the neighborhood party, and setting up decorations. 

The most important part of your schedule: BUFFER TIME. Try to allot 3-4 blocks of time throughout your day to account for running behind schedule or just giving yourself a break. 

Which leads to our final tip…

Take a Break

Now, we know we might be getting some eye-rolls at this point. Between holiday breaks, year-end reports, planning for 2020, and still managing day-to-day, how, when and why would you take a break?

Because humans are not designed to experience prolonged stress over a long period of time. It actually causes more problems in the long-run with your efficiency, motivation, and even your decision-making ability. 

The good news is that you don’t have to take a two-week vacation to some resort to restore your mental health. Instead, try one or a combination of these tricks to help you stay alert, focused, and determined:

  1. For every thirty minutes that you stare at a computer screen, take a two-minute break and either close your eyes or stare off into the distance to give your eyes a break before resuming. 
  2. For every hour you are sitting, take a five-minute break to either walk around or stretch. This will increase blood circulation to your whole body – including your brain!
  3. Grab a glass of water. For most working adults, the first instinct is to grab coffee or an energy drink. But sometimes, when we are feeling fatigued, all we need is some hydration. You can try this tip by starting your day with a full glass of water before you drink your coffee. 

Finish Strong

While these last two months normally seem to fly right past us, we want to be sure we make the most of 2019 by compartmentalizing, prioritizing, and motivating ourselves, our team, and our customers. 

If you’d like to speak with a Pentaflex associate about how we continually stay at the top of our game, submit the form on our contact us page or give us a call at 937-325-5551.

 

 

Resources

Energy Audit: http://research.theenergyproject.com/s3/brao?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=burnout_assessment

How Work Breaks Help your Brain: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers

8 Effective Ways to Stay Ahead of the Holiday Sales Slump: https://pagely.com/blog/stay-ahead-holiday-sales-slump/

Happy Manufacturing Day!

What is Manufacturing Day?

Manufacturing Day is a nationwide event hosted by the National Association of Manufacturers to bring awareness to the career possibilities and opportunities in manufacturing for students of all ages. While October 4th is the official date, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reminds all of us that any day can be MFG Day when manufacturers strive to invest in their community and the future generation of employees.

Why does bringing awareness to manufacturing jobs matter?

For over half a century, the American culture has praised young american’s higher education ambitions while looking down upon the traditional blue collar positions that this country was built upon. While there is still value in higher education, we believe it is our industry’s turn to shine in the light of improvement and opportunity.

Manufacturing has gone through multiple improvements throughout the years including far superior and safer working conditions, higher product quality standards, and favoring company culture and teamwork on the shop floor.

This is why we here at Pentaflex and manufacturers across the country are working tirelessly every day to help change the narrative around our industry.

How can you get involved in the next generation of manufacturing employees?

 

Parents

Encourage your children to spend time and think through what career path they would like to take after high school. In today’s world, the decision they make when they are 17 no longer defines them for the rest of their career path. So, if they would like to throw their hat in the ring for something “less conventional” than what you originally planned, then encourage them to do so. You never know, it just might be what they were meant to do all along.

By motivating our children to go after their dreams instead of conventionally what society is telling them, we help foster a passion and excitement in the next generation to get up and go to work every morning.

 

Teachers 

Incorporate examples and scenarios into your classroom that include career paths like welding, operations, assembly, fabrication, and more. 

Encourage your students to job shadow at local manufacturers and equip them to ask the right questions about continually learning and growing within those companies. Most of those companies have multiple ways for their employees to contribute to the organization and success of their customers.

 

Manufacturing Employers

Invest in your community. If you are in need of skilled, hardworking, and determined employees, then look right outside your front door. Here are a few ways you can get involved in your community:

  • Attend career days at high schools and trade schools.
  • Offer paid internships for high school students and college students to learn your industry and provide feedback on the experience of working at your establishment. 
  • Take part in manufacturing industry initiatives like MFG Day.
  • Establish yourself on social media to show your customers and your employees that you are willing to contribute to the conversation – no matter the medium. 
  • Offer competitive pay and salaries based on performance and improvement.

What about Pentaflex?

Pentaflex makes it our mission to invest in our local communities of Springfield, Ohio and the surrounding Clark County area. We support Springfield-Clark CTC in the training and encouragement of skilled trade programs. We also show our gratitude to local higher education options like Clark State Community College and their many programs dedicated to training the next generation of management and leadership.

If you would like to speak with a team member at Pentaflex about our other initiatives, would like to schedule a tour for your student(s), or are interested in a career with us, please complete our short Contact Us form or give us a call at 937-325-5551.

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

Pentaflex Supports Ohio’s Local Farms

While Ohio is commonly known as aOhio Farms long-standing hub of industry, we are also blessed to have a thriving agricultural presence. Indeed, manufacturing and agriculture are the two largest industries in the State.

 

Ohio Farms at PentaflexSo it is no surprisPentaflex Ohioe that we are happy every summer when the farmers markets and farm stands open to provide fresh produce.

Our owner, Julie McGregor, is a big advocate of good food and fresh produce,and she likes to share her passion with the employees at Pentaflex. Every year Julie contracts with a local farm to provide Corn and Tomatoes to all the employees. It is a wonderful gesture and much appreciated. Thanks Julie!