Part of the mission statement appearing on the website of metal forming company Clips & Clamps Industries reads, “We don’t see what we do as just forming metal. We see it as creating solutions and solving problems for our customers through practical and economical manufacturing processes.”
In that light, we asked company president Jeff Aznavorian to share some insights into how he manages the company—the biggest challenges he faces, what he looks for when building his management team, moves he made to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and much more.
When asked to recommend a management-related book he’s recently read, Aznavorian says: “Sales Management Simplified,” by Mike Weinberg.
“As the leader of a small business, whether I like it or not, I need to be heavily involved in the sales-management process," Aznavorian explains. "While reading through the examples in this book, it felt as if the author was a fly on our conference-room wall. Great insights and practical tips for the non-sales manager that finds him/herself involved in managing sales.”
economists have conflicting perspectives on the future and how quickly
the marketplace will recover from the COVID-19 crisis. And, for
manufacturers, it is increasingly more challenging to forecast 2021.
As noted in this article from MetalForming Business Edge columnist Laurie Harbour, president and CEO of Harbour Results, Inc., “it is important to note that economically we are not out of the woods yet and the overall health of the economy will impact your business in many ways. When will the recession end and recovery begin? We strongly feel it will be 8-10 months before we experience a recovery.”
To help you stay informed, Laurie dives deeply into several key economic indicators
to watch to build future business strategies, including employment,
consumer spending and debt, the government deficit and bank health.
Next month’s Love Letters to Manufacturers topic: The Benefits of Using Benchmarking Data and Systems Applications and Products.
place over four afternoons at the end of January and beginning of
February, the Metal Stamping and Tool & Die Conference including
Lubrication Technology features 12 presentations on the latest stamping,
tooling and lubrication technology developments. PMA members can
register for free! Register now.
investment-banking and consulting firm BlueWater Partners has published
its Middle Market M&A Review 4th Quarter 2020, noting a rally
during Q3 that saw deal value and volume rebound sharply. Yet, total
deal value through the first 9 months of the year was the lowest since
2013. Other key findings: U.S. companies continued to fortify balance
sheets in Q2 2020 as cash levels hit a new record; while most economic
indicators heading into 2021 are encouraging, consumer confidence
declined in November as COVID lingered and threatened a quick, sustained
recovery; and the bounce back in M&A activity is expected to
continue in 2021.
“Experts say the law is clear,” states this Healthline article: “COVID-19 vaccination can be required as a condition of employment, with certain caveats… U.S. law provides certain conditions when you can refuse vaccination and keep your job.”
Noting that some 40 percent of Americans say they likely will take a “wait and see approach” and choose to not get the COVID-19 vaccine, “for the most part, employers can mandate that employees be vaccinated,” University of Michigan law professor Kate Andrias told Healthline. “However, there are some exceptions.”
forming companies anticipate little change in business conditions
during the next three months, according to the December 2020 Precision
Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. The report
shows that 34 percent of metal forming companies expect an improvement
in economic activity during the next three months, up from 30 percent in
November, while 49 percent forecast no change, compared to 19 percent
“Metal forming manufacturers are showing resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic, but finding workers continues to be a challenge despite the high unemployment rate,” says PMA President David Klotz. “In addition, members are experiencing supply-chain problems that are causing low steel inventories as supply tightens.”
“We expect U.S. industrial production and total retail sales to reach business-cycle lows in the first half of 2021, with the ensuing business cycle rising trends extending into the first half of 2022,” notes the latest economic brief from ITR Economics, provided to the Precision Metalforming Association. “We expect that annual retail sales will break above the pre-pandemic level around mid-2021, assisted by the massive and timely fiscal and monetary stimulus. Annual U.S. industrial production will be about 1.1 percent below the pre-pandemic level by the end of 2022 as protracted recoveries in markets tied to oil, gas, and aerospace hinder industrial production’s potential to bounce back more readily.”
PMA’s annual Automotive Parts Suppliers Conference (APSC) heads back to Detroit on April 28-29, 2021. Join your peers in the Motor City to discuss the latest developments in the auto industry and hear keynote presentations on the state of mobility, the global automotive market outlook and more. Early-bird registration rates end on January 15—register today.
This timely blog post from insurance company Oswald, a Cleveland, OH-based independent insurance-brokerage and risk-management firm, offers nine solid tips for easing the claims process following a cybersecurity breach from ransomware or a compromised email event—assuming you have a cyber policy in place. Among them:
Refrain from using business email accounts.
Contact the local FBI or file an IC3 report (link provided in the blog).
Refrain from attempting immediate data restoration to allow for a forensic investigation.
While larger manufacturers have begun to widely adopt digital applications, “for smaller manufacturers, the process of making this switch can be daunting,” says author Michael Taylor, a project manager at NIST MEP. “Initial expenses, as well as the cost of training employees, is enough to stop the process altogether.”
You can’t stop progress, and we know that digital applications are changing manufacturing—now and forever. Give Taylor’s recent blog post a read, where he describes five digital applications that deserve your attention—digital performance management; predictive maintenance; yield, energy and throughput optimization; automation and robotics; and digital quality management.