On the ReboundJune 1, 2010
The news is good from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—as of mid-May, manufacturing has added 101,000 jobs this year. More than half of those new jobs belong to three key industries—fabricated metal products, machinery and primary metals.
Several recent conversations with metalformers and industry suppliers alike reflect those statistics, as I’ve heard countless tales in recent weeks of workforce fortification. The only caveat: Many companies are expanding with caution, surveying the landscape for any recurring signs of weakness. But no such signs appear on the horizon. In fact, PMA’s May business-conditions report reveals that a mere 15 percent of member companies expect orders to drop off during the next three months, while 46 percent expect orders to continue to rise.
My perspective comes from a handful of visits to suppliers along with a new traveling companion—MetalForming magazine’s new publisher, Andy Flando. Without fail, all express optimism, with varying levels of caution. Press time is filling up, Andy and I were told, and as it does so is consumption of products needed to refuel our nation’s pressrooms and fabrication shops. Toolrooms throughout the industry are buzzing with activity as dies make their back into production. Wise spending, if not big spending.
As the industry rebounds and metalforming companies look to invest once again in their businesses, MetalForming also has looked to invest in our products and services. The process began with the hiring of Andy, a 15-yr. marketing and publishing professional, as our new publisher tasked with directing sales and marketing efforts and with developing customer relationships. Also, just within the last few weeks the magazine’s staff has taken large strides to improve the functionality, the look and feel of our website. The redesign, in its infancy yet, already features enhanced navigation and the latest new-product and technology introductions. Every day we’re posting new information to the site to help metalformers bounce higher as they continue to rebound.
PMA also has just launched a new website, www.pma.org, designed to help metalforming professionals find solutions to business and industry challenges, locate technical training and engage in peer-to-peer collaboration. For designers and purchasers of metalformed parts and assemblies, the new PMA.org houses a robust manufacturing member directory to complement the longstanding MakeitMetal buyers’ guide. Search for suppliers by manufacturing process, drill down by specific capabilities and geography, and use the new Request for Quote functionality.
Says Randy Kish, PMA marketing manager: “Our goal with the new website is to be the go-to resource for metalforming knowledge and networking. What we’ve launched is just the tip of the iceberg.”