Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro


7 things a manufacturer can do on MFG Day

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on July 16, 2018

There are 49 manufacturing events already registered in California for the National Association of Manufacturers' MFGDay on October 5, 2018.  We need to hit 150 to show California's manufacturing chops in 2018. 

Here are some some things you can do to make your MFG Day a success.

One of the most important things to do is to establish a connection with your guests. Those few hours you spend with them are your chance to communicate the importance of what you do — and the creativity, advanced skills and technology required to do it. Ideally, your passion will spark something similar in the young people who you introduce to manufacturing, inspiring them to learn more about the industry and one day join the manufacturing team.

Follow these seven rules of thumb to improve your chances of connecting with your guests and inspire the next generation of modern manufacturers.

1. DON’T ASSUME VISITORS KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MANUFACTURING

In planning a good tour — especially when the intended audience members are primarily people with no manufacturing background — you have to start by creating a story of your company that anyone could understand.

How did your company get started?

What do you make? Who buys your products?

What do they do with them?

Keep explanations simple and free of industry jargon. Think storytelling with illustrations rather than textbooks packed with pages of small print.

 

2. YOU CAN’T SHOW EVERYTHING

The quickest way to lose the interest of your visitors is to try to show every bit of minutiae. Pick a few stops that represent key stages in the production process and allow you to demonstrate the progress a product makes through the shop.

What are the best places in the plant to give an overview of the production process and highlight the work of your people and machinery?

Where will visitors get the best view? Can they hear you?

Which of your team members are the most enthusiastic about their work and comfortable explaining what they do and why it is important to the process and the company?

These considerations should guide you in planning the tour.

 

3. CREATE A DISPLAY AND OFFER HANDS-ON EXPERIENCES

Of course you can’t allow visitors to get up close and personal with your machinery, but you could create a display that illustrates what a product looks like in various stages of completion, where they could be allowed to pick up and hold something they’ve seen made.

Maybe you even have something that one of your machines can make that they could take with them as a souvenir? (This doesn’t mean one of your production parts or finished products!)

 

4. CLEAN UP BEFORE YOUR VISITORS ARRIVE

No clutter, everything in its place, floors swept clean, a path through the shop is easy to follow.

Remember that part of the reason to invite visitors to Manufacturing Day events is to prove that manufacturing facilities are great places to work. First impressions count: What does your company look like as visitors approach from the parking lot? Let’s dispel the myths that manufacturing is dark, dirty and dangerous.

Also, make sure employees are dressed neat and clean on tour day and if they have a role to play in explaining things to your visitors, they should be wearing a name badge so that they can be addressed by name when there are questions.

 

5. CATER TO STUDENT VISITORS

Students are the workforce of the future. This is your opportunity to provide advice about the kinds of careers that your company offers, the type of training and educational coursework you seek when hiring employees. There is no better time to offer comments about opportunities available to dedicated workers with a professional attitude. If there are specific kinds of training or skills that you need and find it hard to hire for, let them know.

 

6. PUT UP A WELCOME SIGN

This is important both literally and figuratively. Put a sign on the door, shake hands with visitors, thank them for coming, and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the opportunity you have to share your company’s information with them.

 

7. SEND INVITATIONS

Manufacturing Day is a national celebration of the 12 million talented men and women who work in the industry. Who could you invite to share this celebration with you? Here are some ideas:

The families of your employees. If family events aren’t a common occurrence at your company, this is a perfect day to invite families to come and see where their family member works and learn what they do. Maybe you could do a special event just for family members at the end of the workday.

Your elected officials. Ever complain about the fact that your elected officials (local, state, federal) don’t make good choices as related to manufacturing? Invite them to come to your plant and see for themselves. Remember: Most elected officials have never set foot inside a manufacturing facility, which means you can educate them!

Potential customers. Give these folks a reason to want to do business with you. Invite them in on a day when they can see how great your organization is.

Current customers. Make Manufacturing Day your customer appreciation day. Your business service providers. When was the last time you were visited by your banker, insurance agent or accountant?

Media. Is there a local reporter who seems to have a serious interest in manufacturing? Invite them to visit your plant on Manufacturing Day. They are always looking for interesting stories to tell. Why not make it yours?

Youth organizations. Are you active in, or do you know someone who is active in the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or a similar youth organization? Invite them to visit your company as a field trip. Better yet, invite a school group.

 

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Update on CA MFG job growth vs. the country

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on July 16, 2018





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Sacramento Region Innovation Awards shines light on northern CA MFG - Apply by July 20

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on July 7, 2018

The 3rd Annual Sacramento Region Innovation Awards will recognize the area’s vibrant innovation community — from startups to established companies — and their breakthrough creations. Manufacturers can apply themselves or submit a nomination up to July 20. Eligible entries will undergo a strict evaluation process by peers and leaders from the Capital Region’s business, civic and academic communities. Pioneering innovations will be judged on market need, economic impact, disruption and novelty.

The program will accept entries for recently developed business innovations that are established in the 9-county Sacramento region. New technologies, as well as other products, services and processes, must fit within one of the eight program categories, including

  1. Advanced Manufacturing
  2. Food and Agribusiness
  3. Government and Civic
  4. Hardware and Electronics
  5. Medical and Health – MedTech
  6. Medical and Health – BioPharma
  7. Software
  8. Sustainability.

You can apply and see eligibility requirements at www.sacramentoinnovationawards.com/submissions.

In celebrating regional innovation, the awards aim to strengthen the Sacramento story, build the local economy, and stimulate the creative minds fueling our innovation ecosystem. Founded in 2016 by business law firm Stoel Rives LLP, the program is made possible with support from CMTA Associate member Moss Adams LLP, the Sacramento Business Journal, Five Star Bank, and the Greater Sacramento Economic Council — not to mention dozens of community partner organizations and the esteemed Selection Committee. Join the effort  — nominate or apply before July 20!

 





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CA's HDA firm is a gem in specialized and precise MFG

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on July 1, 2018

This week CW California and CMTA bring you HDA, a Lake Forest based development firm that serves a broad range of medical, aerospace, and industrial clients, providing both engineering and contract manufacturing services.

The privately owned company has operated since 1983, recently becoming well known for their products that help clients pass regulatory compliance or solve highly technical and difficult challenges. HDA also sources most of its supply chain - mostly circuit boards - from other California companies.  

With just 16 highly technically skilled employees and almost no automation, HDA is a good example of today's small manufacturing firms that are highly specialized to provide extremely customized products, all the while providing high wage jobs up and down the supply chain.

Most of HDA's supply sources are domestic and CEO Hunt Dabney says he likes to keep it that way as much as possible. "We work with local California communities to populate circuit boards, and we use local laboratories quite often for testing," says Dabney. "Some things, such as electronic distributors, however, get sourced overseas because they are not readily available here in the United States. We try to find the parts that we need, and at times, we have to source them overseas."

Here are a few opportunities and challenges before HDA:

Challenges: Market penetration. "We aren't a large firm, so there is a limit to the number of programs we can run," says GM Jon Schmidt. "Firms like us go in and out of being in a marketing phase. I've spoken with friends who own similar firms who agree that at times, you get too busy to take anything else on. You start finishing programs, then you are back to marketing again. We are working to improve in this area."

Opportunities: "In terms of startup companies, the medical industry peaked last year," says Dabney. "It's interesting to support people as their products are going into clinical trials. We have companies that we work with where we manufactured a product for them 10 years ago, then they'll get acquired and the new owner will not retain the information needed to manufacture the same product. Then, those companies will ask us to build the product back up. We have good record retention and can always help in this area."

Needs: Qualified software, electrical, and mechanical engineers with medical and/or aerospace industry experience. "We always want to network with other companies," adds Schmidt. .... READ MORE ON COMPANY WEEK CA





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CA industrial electricity rates are becoming a significant competitive disadvantage for MFG

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on June 18, 2018





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