Solving the Manufacturing Talent Shortage

Although we often hear “there are no good jobs out there” those of us in the manufacturing industry know there are jobs-a-plenty that manufacturers can’t fill. And this has been true for several years.

A recent issue of INDUSTRY WEEK magazine featured the article “How Manufacturing Can Solve Its Own Talent Shortage Crisis”.   It first identified 3 key drivers behind the shortage of workers: (1) lack of interest & negative perception of manufacturing; (2) industry needs shifting to ‘knowledge workers’ who can work with big data analytics programs, 3D modeling & printing, robotics and other emerging technologies; and (3) looming retirement of the baby boomer generation of skilled workers.

Contrasting college graduates & their perspectives on manufacturing with U.S. employers and their needs the author said “It’s time for the two to meet in the middle.” Really? If colleges and high schools can’t (or won’t) embrace the idea that careers in manufacturing AREN’T “dirty or dangerous that require little thinking” how can we meet in the middle? And when the author of the article then stated that “U.S. employers should attract young millenials who value freedom, flexibility and entrepreneurialism by giving them what they want” part of me was ready to stop reading. But I didn’t.

The article proceeded to list 10 ways that manufacturers could solve the talent shortage by “redesigning hiring and development strategies” along with building “learning & knowledge programs with virtual platforms”. That sounded interesting yet time consuming but there were some good ideas on the list that I’d like to share:

  • Be open to different resources for sourcing talent….such as technical institutes, academia, sourcing agencies
  • Leverage company & industry specific knowledge….enable the best thinkers who understand your company’s unique environment, business processes and competitive advantages to train others
  • Provide on-the-job coaching and mentoring to bridge gaps and empower employees
  • Build external relationship with suppliers, business executives, education partners, local government officials and other business leaders who can push for change.

Nobody ever said it would be easy.

What do you think? Would your company being open to doing things differently to get the talent you need? Please let us know your thoughts…..share this blog with others…….and as always thank you for subscribing to EVERYTHING’S CONNECTED.

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The Key to Business Growth: Taking Share (Infographic Part 2)

12 Tips for Taking Market Share – Part 2

With the US economy on track to grow only 3% in the second half of 2014, the best way to grow your business is to take market share from the competition. This infographic outlines some ideas on how you can do just that!

The second in a 2-part series, this piece has tips #7-12.
Read Part 1 Here >

Taking Market Share Infographic Part 2. The key to business growth in this economy is taking market share from your competitors. - Remke.com/blog

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The Key to Business Growth: Taking Market Share (Infographic Part 1)

12 Tips for Taking Market Share – Part 1

With the US economy on track to grow only 3% in the second half of 2014, the best way to grow your business is to take market share from the competition. This infographic outlines some ideas on how you can do just that!

The first in a 2-part series, this piece has 6 ideas.
Watch for 6 more in the next blog post.

Taking Market Share Infographic. With the economy growing slowly, the best way to grow your business is by taking market share away from the competition - Remke.com/blog

 

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New Production Machines Require a New WorkForce

Things Learned at IMTS 2014
Sensors, advanced integrated circuits and software are now totally embedded in new production equipment that was displaced at the recent International Machine Technology Shown in Chicago. And the new production equipment requires a new workforce capable of running them.

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Small Contractor Describes the Perfect Distributor

A recent article from tED Magazine interviewed a small contractor, Jeff Klimek of Techno-Structure, Inc. about his ideal distributor. It gives all electrical distributors a keen look into what’s important to smaller contractors.

Read the full article on tEDMag.com: Small Contractor Describes the Perfect Distributor >

“Sometimes it’s easier to manage a chaotic situation when you’re dealing with a company that makes dealing with them simple and straightforward”

Key Considerations for Distributors:

Web-Based Purchasing: ordering it typically performed after-hours, when customer service teams aren’t available. Web-based ordering makes that possible.

Integrated Stock Levels: show stock levels on the website so availability is clear.

Efficient Will Call: no waiting to pick up last minute parts.

Free Shipping: loyalty to a distributor would increase if shipping fees were obsolete based on an annual sales volume.

Expedited Shipping: next-day or 2-day shipping is a must for last minute parts.

One-Stop Shopping: everything needed for any project should be available from a single distributor to save time.

No-Hassle Returns: stand by the products you sell and help get replacements very quickly and easily.

What would you add to that list? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 

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Alibaba Could Become a Bigger Threat to Distribution than AmazonSupply

If you’ve never heard of Alibaba, it won’t last for long. From the looks of it, Alibaba will be a household name soon, possibly more common than Amazon.

So who are they and what do they want from the electrical industry?

Alibaba and the threat they pose to the US Distribution chainAlibaba is a Chinese based distributor that some describe as a cross between Amazon and EBay. They describe themselves as the “largest online and mobile commerce company in the world”.

Wall Street and the electrical industry are keeping a close eye on Alibaba because of their capacity to sell B2B. This gives them an additional way to continue growing and increasing profits. Whether or not they will have a strong presence in the electrical industry remains unclear, but with their sheer size, it is expected that they will have an impact.

This article from tED Magazine outlines the company and why we should keep an eye on them. Click to read the full article “Alibaba Could Become a Bigger Threat to Distribution than AmazonSupply”, published Sept 7, 2014.

The article cites the sheer size of Alibaba as the biggest threat. Their IPO is expected to be the biggest ever and estimate the value of the company at $167 Billion (compared to Amazon’s $160 Billion Value). They are expected to raise $25.3 Billion in the upcoming IPO to help them expand even further in the US.

Looking at their current financials, the threat is real. In the quarter ending June 30, revenue increased 46% from last year, while earnings increased 60% to nearly $1.2 Billion.

We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Alibaba, along with many other manufacturers and distributors. Tell us what you think in the comments below.

UPDATE: Alibaba stock premiered on Wall Street today, Sept 19, for a whopping $92.70 per share,  well exceeding the $68 expectation. It quickly grew to a high of $99.70 in active trading. Read more on Reuters.com

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5 Things to Know About Molded Connector Construction

1] Extreme Environments Demand Tough Materials

5 Things to Know about Molded Connector Construction by Remke IndustriesCorrosion, abrasives, liquids, heat, cold and stress from constant motion are all factors to consider when choosing a molded connector. No matter how demanding your application can be, the right materials for construction will make all the difference. And don’t forget about NEMA and IP Ratings! They should be one of the specifications for your connector.

Standard materials include TPE, PUR, PVC and Nylon. Higher-rated materials include Polyurethane, Polyester Resin and Silicone.

If you need a waterproof molded connector, look for one that has an O-Ring with locknuts to create the tightest seal possible.

2] Contact Materials Seal the Deal

While the overmold to the connector protects it from the surrounding environment, the right contact materials keep power flowing properly through the connection.

Standard options for molded connector contacts include brass, copper and nickel, which are best for controlled environments and general industrial applications.

If you have environmental concerns, consider gold-plating or copper alloys to deliver increased conductivity in low voltage and corrosive applications.

3] Strain Relief is Important for Long-Term Reliability

When molded connectors take abuse from bending and flexing with a piece of equipment, extra strain relief should be used. A cord grip or wire mesh grip will provide pull-out protection, even in vertical runs or in environments where extreme flexing and movement occur.

4] Little Extras Go a Long Way

Extra options for molded connectors will help you get the long-term performance you need, and reduce maintenance along the way. Here are 3 of the options that at the top of the list.

  • ‘Ribs’ molded into the exterior housing increase grip-surface and reduce slip-offs or the need for special disconnection tools.
  • When the entire connector is molded to the cable, it is extra durable in any environment.
  • LED Lights make it easy to see if the connection is live or not.

5] Distribution Boxes Make Installation and Maintenance Simple

Using distribution boxes simplifies installation and maintenance in environments where multiple connections are needed to control power, conserve space or change components in seconds. Simply terminate multiple connections into one box, and wire the box to the power supply.

Contact Remke Industries to find the perfect molded connector for your application. Our experts are ready to answer your questions. 877-438-8833

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American Worker Productivity in 2014

We salute American Workers on this Labor Day Weekend!

As a company based in the USA, manufacturing electrical connectors in the USA and serving other companies here, the people of Remke take so much pride in our home, our workers and our overall contribution to this great country.

With the economic turmoil of the past 10 years, it’s even more important to salute the productivity of the American Worker.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Manufacturing sector productivity increased 3.6% in the second quarter of 2014 as output increased 7% and hours worked increased 3.2%. Productivity increased 2.9% in the durable good sector and 5.9% in nondurable goods.”

“Over the past four quarters, manufacturing productivity increased 2.1%, as output increased 3.7% and hours increased 1.5%.”

Read the full Economic News Release: Productivity and Costs, Second Quarter 2014 on the BLS website>

Since 1987, American Worker Productivity has seen much change, but has been steadily increasing according to these productivity charts by The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Mfg Productivity 1987-2013

 

 

WE SALUTE the work ethic, productivity and genuine caring of the Remke team! 50 Years of providing quality electrical connectors will bring very bright things to our future!

 

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Quick Guide: MC Cable Connectors

News Flash……MC Cable Installation Continues to Improve with Advances in Materials and Fittings……

Now you would not have heard this story reported by the mainstream media or on cable news networks. BUT – the use of Metal Clad Cable over traditional conduit is growing as contractors in every industry are discovering how much faster and more cost effective they can get jobs done using MC cable and fittings.
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Top 10 Management Practices of Effective Leaders

Being good at your job doesn’t guarantee that you will be a good leader or manager. Effective management is an art – but fortunately for most of us it’s an art that can be learned if all of us will follow some basic principles. Different management styles will suit different situations however there are some universals………
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