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                                                           price increases,” Hurst continues, “meant setting up relationships with customers that would allow us to pass through pricing, and also give back when prices on commodities drop. This model has worked pretty well—in this case the networking group probably saved our business.”
Like Laystrom, Erick Ajax, owner of E.J. Ajax and Sons, Minneapolis, MN, praises PMA’s GADA Group.
“The other GADA members have the same challenges that we do. Just recently, I had a question about intel- lectual property. Within an hour of sending my question out via the GADA e-mail listserve, I had seven or eight members from across the country come back with ideas.”
With PMA networking, adds Wes Smith, president of E & E Manufactur- ing Co., Plymouth, MI, “I’ve made many friends that have become customers and friendly competitors,” an obser- vation echoed by James Zawacki, owner of GR Spring & Stamping Co., Grand
Rapids, MI.
“We’ve become much more suc-
cessful as a company due to member- ship in PMA,” Zawacki says. “Network- ing with PMA members has provided us with a strategic alliance; enabled us to purchase a captive tool shop, and offered access to best manufacturing practices from around the world.”
“My biggest customer today is Nis- san,” Zawacki continues, recalling how his company’s strategic alliance in Mex- ico came about. “Back in 2004 we were growing rapidly, and Nissan called, wanting us to be in Mexico. Because of networking with PMA, I already knew of three U.S. companies with plants in Mexico, and with one of those we formed a strategic alliance. That helped us earn $5 million worth of new busi- ness, and helped our partner (Batesville Tool & Die, Batesville, IN, another long- time PMA member) as well.”
Zawacki says he probably has visit- ed more than 200 PMA-member plants over the years, with officers from 100
PMA plants visiting GR Spring & Stamping in return.
“Seeing these operations either gives us new ideas or reinforces what we already are doing. Networking through PMA is key to our success. You don’t have to be smart, you just have to be smart enough to learn from others.”
Through networking, PMA has been the mechanism for diverse entities to confront common challenges.
“PMA has brought a lot of small, family-owned operations as well as medium-sized and large metalform- ing companies together to work on common issues as one, instead of as individuals, from training and com- pensation to legislative issues,” says Kent Djubek, president of E.J. Ajax and Sons. “The association has created a group of people with common interests who can talk about common issues. It’s hard to put a dollar value on our membership—it’s the intangibles, rub- bing elbows with people from the industry with the same challenges.”
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       Schuler Incorporated | Advertorial
RE: Way To GO!
Congratulations on 70 years of industry leadership! Through good times and bad, the Precision Metalforming Association has stayed the course in driving industry edu- cation and advocacy. SEYI America sincerely appreciates your tireless efforts.
Sharing Success
Thank you for contributing to our success. As SEYI coincidentally celebrates its 50th anniversary this year (how cool is that!) we recognize the value PMA brings to our business.
We look forward to sharing many more milestones with you as a trusted partner.
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