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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.

 

What the Steel Tariffs Mean for U.S. Metal Forming Businesses

In recent weeks, the United States implemented new tariffs on steel and aluminum to promote a policy of “America First.” The theory is that increasing import taxes on foreign steel and aluminum encourages U.S. companies to use U.S.-supplied steel and aluminum boosting production capacity toward a goal of 80% capacity utilization.   Increased usage of American steel should drive more jobs for US steel and aluminum manufacturers and less business for competing suppliers in other markets, such as Europe and China.

What the Tariffs Mean for U.S. Industry and Consumers

While these steel tariffs were put in place to put American suppliers at an advantage, many drawbacks are now occurring that are affecting manufacturers and consumers alike.  The Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users has said that companies that make products using steel and aluminum employ more than 6.5 million workers across the country compared to 80,000 workers at steel plants.  Any company that uses the materials will be faced with higher production costs. A report published in June shows that US steel is at the highest point in 16 years at $982 per ton and the widest price differential compared to $644 in Western Europe and $566 in China.

When manufacturers face increased steel costs, they must offset the added expenses incurred in other ways, which has the following effects:

  1. U.S. consumers will pay an increased cost for products containing steel, such as cars and appliances.
  1. U.S. manufacturers cannot pass on the increased cost to their customers. Higher tariffs lead to smaller profits, unless manufacturers are able to obtain steel from domestic suppliers at pre-tariff costs.
  1. With domestic steel at a premium, American steel suppliers may continue to increase their prices, though they will likely keep it just below the combined cost of foreign steel and its tariffs.

In typical supply-and-demand fashion, the limited supply of steel within the U.S. has already caused the price to go up. Since April of 2018, the price of steel has increased almost 26%.

This makes U.S. manufacturers that rely on steel far less competitive, and leaves some worrying for the future of their businesses. Rather than face intense profit losses on U.S. soil due to the increased material costs, some manufacturers are already outsourcing some operations to China instead, where they can use cheap Chinese steel tariff-free.

Learn More

The effects of the new U.S. steel tariffs are widespread, touching aspects of the entire economy. But nothing has been more impacted by it than the manufacturing sector. Even if the results from the tariffs are good for domestic suppliers of steel, many other businesses that use the steel are feeling the pressure as they are negatively affected by the rising prices.

As a U.S.-based metal stamping company and a metal forming leader, Pentaflex continues to be on alert and up-to-date with information regarding this rapidly changing situation.

For more information about the recent tariffs, or to learn about our products and services, please contact us.