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California illustrates power of manufacturing on State of MFG Tour 2019

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 5, 2019

CMTA welcomed the National Association of Manufacturers to California last week to highlight the state’s modern manufacturing industry as part of the fifth annual NAM State of Manufacturing Tour.

The tour collectively opened eyes, changed minds, and recruited new people to be a part of our industry, by elevating the people and companies at the core of manufacturers’ excitement for the future.

During the visit, CMTA's new president Lance Hastings and NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee met with students, business leaders and local manufacturers to discuss the industry’s optimistic outlook for the future, the high-tech, high paying opportunities in modern manufacturing and the urgent need to recruit the next generation of manufacturers.

We began the two-day visit at world-famous candy manufacturer and CMTA member Jelly Belly Candy Company, where we got an up-close look at the candy making process and, of course participated in many tastings. (You can see one particular one here)

Timmons, Hastings and Lee then toured Bishop-Wisecarver, an automation solutions provider. Following the tour Bishop-Wisecarver President and CMTA and NAM Board member Pamela Kan hosted a workforce opportunities discussion on how manufacturing companies can champion science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in the community to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. The day was closed out by a visit to Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, California, where the school’s robotics team discussed how STEM education is inspiring their future career aspirations (see student's excitement in 1 minute video here).

On Wednesday, Timmons, Lee and David Seaton, chairman and CEO of Fluor Corporation and NAM board chair started the day at Salesforce for a panel discussion with Achyut Jajoo, vice president of manufacturing, automotive, & energy industries at Salesforce and CMTA’s very own Lance Hastings. Business leaders from the San Francisco area heard from panel participants about how technology is transforming the manufacturing industry and the looming workforce crisis for California’s manufacturers.

“We’re at the next frontier of manufacturing in the United States. We’re leading in technological advances, such as artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality, that will actually spur job creation, boost wages and help us lift everyone up and leave no one behind,” said Timmons in his opening.

On workforce challenges later in the discussion, Hastings said, “We’re at this 3 dimensional crossroad between a workforce, the needs of a manufacturer and the fact that people aren’t looking at those 30 year careers. They might work in the same place for 10 or 20 years but their jobs are constantly changing and evolving. We need to be able to adapt our old model to the new millennial consumer workers, rapid innovation and a growing attrition of skilled workers.”

In total California was so excited to be a part of the NAM's State of Manufacturing Tour to help drive the powerful message of modern manufacturing and key priorities directly with people who will decide our future: students, educators, parents, manufacturers, business leaders, policymakers—and the press.

You can see some pictures below and you can watch the workforce discussion at Salesforce here.  You can read an opinion centered around the Tour and manufacturing authored by Jay Timmons and Pamela Kan in Fox and Hounds here.

 

 

 

 

 





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After 120 years CA's Jelly Belly still setting supply chain and efficiency example

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Aug. 17, 2018

This week CompanyWeek and CMTA bring you a profile on California's iconic 120-year old Jelly Belly Candy Company.  Under the leadership of fifth generation CEO Lisa Brasher the company is expanding into new markets and categories, requiring new supply chain efficiencies, and remains an international powerhouse among the confectionery industry.

Jelly Belly produces a whopping 15 billion jelly beans a year.  With more than 100 flavors, including a line of organic beans, the company needed to improve efficiencies to keep up with delivery times. "We don't limit our commitment to innovation to candy making," says Brasher. "We extend this to the supply chain too. Over the years, we have developed new relationships with vendors from ingredient suppliers, to shipping and logistics, to keep our company running as efficiently as possible. In the last few years, we have worked with a third-party logistics provider to improve delivery times to the Midwest and East Coast. Gone are the days of three to five days to deliver to these accounts, and that improves our retailers' businesses and ours."

Just like so many California manufacturers Jelly Belly and Brasher are constantly improving its supply chain, but Brasher also uses technology to find efficiencies elsewhere in the system. "We look for opportunities across the board to improve efficiency by investing in technology," says Brasher. "For example, we have further automated our packaging process by developing a number of different package types, all with different needs to pack efficiently. Automation has allowed us to improve accuracy and output. Ultimately, it doesn't matter if we can produce 1,700 Jelly Belly beans per second if we can't pack them up and ship them out in a timely and cost-productive way."

Here are a few opportunities and challenges before Jelly Belly:

Challenges: "The candy industry faces the well-known challenge of obesity," says Brasher. "We are upfront about the fact that we make candy, but we think that by being transparent about our products and giving consumers options in terms of smaller package sizes, we can empower them to make the best choices for themselves and their families."

The price of sugar in the U.S. is another challenge, she adds. "We pay significantly more for sugar than we would on the open market. We are working with industry leaders to talk to our political representatives about this issue. Spending less on sugar could allow us to expand, hire more employees, and reinvest in our American manufacturing."

Opportunities: "We are always looking for new opportunities for growth. We have expanded lines into sports nutrition with our Sport Beans product, and entered the organic category with Organic Jelly Beans and Fruit Flavored Snacks," says Brasher. "We also look for ways to be innovative in how we connect with consumers. We recently updated both of our North American tours with new 4K videos and interactive exhibits. Reinvesting in a tour seen by three-quarters of a million people each year lets us stay fresh and relevant."

Needs: "As we continue to invest in automation, we need skilled mechanics and journeymen to maintain the equipment," says Brasher. "We have found that many of our friends in the industry face the same need for qualified mechanics. It is an in-demand skill." .... READ MORE ON COMPANYWEEK CA

 

 





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