Blogs

Filter Content

Cost-cutting here to stay

July 26, 2010

By:

“Caterpillar flaunts its muscle.” You’ve got to admit, that’s a great headline. After reading the story in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, I thought back to a blog I wrote while sitting in the Las Vegas expo center’s coffee shop (which happened to have good Internet access), about 200...

Continue Reading

The unfortunate event of retirement

July 22, 2010

By:

As I write this, I'm sitting at a restaurant checking e-mail and doing some other work. Even though my eyes are working perfectly fine, I'm heading to the eye doctor. I'm watching about 30 senior citizens enjoy their morning coffee and cool temperatures before the summer sun becomes unbearable. It...

Continue Reading

Tell it like it is

July 21, 2010

By:

I don't pretend to be an economic or political expert. I'm just an average U.S. citizen who is worried about our economy and about my fellow citizens, including friends and family, who can't find jobs. I'm also a taxpayer, and I want the money I pay Uncle Sam each year to be spent judiciously and...

Continue Reading

Fabricating more value

July 19, 2010

By:

I’m glad I talked with Drew Greenblatt last week. Otherwise, news of waning manufacturing output might have gotten to me. At Greenblatt’s company, Marlin Steel Wire Products, output certainly isn’t waning. The 28-employee contract manufacturer has grown throughout the recession, and much of...

Continue Reading

Manufacturers provide value, not just jobs

July 16, 2010

By:

When metal fabricators get together and talk about improving the image of manufacturing, the talk normally progresses to politicians. The fabricators lament that the elected officials just don't understand the value that their shops bring to the community and, as a result, don't support their...

Continue Reading

New product idea-Quirky or not?

July 14, 2010

By:

When I woke up the other day, I had this idea for a product. Seriously, the perfect name for it came to me immediately. I’m not going to tell you what it is, because I want to do some research and see if it already exists — and also because you might laugh, or steal my idea. And if it doesn’t...

Continue Reading

Who you callin' a protectionist?

July 9, 2010

By:

If you haven't read this opinion piece by Andy Grove, co-founder of Intel, you should probably check it out. In the editorial, Grove makes the point that the U.S. has outsourced not only tons of jobs to Asia, but also the ability to innovate. He thinks that manufacturing companies that grew and...

Continue Reading

'Now hiring?'

July 8, 2010

By:

The data continues to pile up, yet the result is inconclusive. Judging by GDP, the broadest measure of an economy’s output, the U.S. economy has been growing since the middle of 2009. The PMI, a manufacturing-related gauge developed by the Institute for Supply Management, has been greater than...

Continue Reading

The thinking worker in manufacturing

July 8, 2010

By:

The country continues to fret about unemployment. Millions want jobs, and millions of business owners want those people to have jobs so that they’ll buy products. Most business owners, though, don’t want to be the ones hiring. That’s where the government has stepped in. Of course, government...

Continue Reading

Don't worry about the double-dip, worry about the new 'norm'

July 2, 2010

By:

The talk about the ol' double-dip recession continues. I don't buy it. I think it's just  the Unremarkable Recovery. I don't think that name will stick, but it's probably for the better. It doesn't do much for raising the morale of society. The simple fact remains that consumers aren't spending....

Continue Reading

If you do what you love, you’ll love what you do

July 1, 2010

By:

Most people would agree that working is an essential part of life, and the U.S. is a country whose citizens live to work. A 2004 study titled "Overworked in America" conducted by the Families and Work Institute found that one-third of U.S. employees were chronically overworked. In the book The...

Continue Reading

Is this the best we can do?

June 30, 2010

By:

Smartass, Big Ass, dumbass ... Let me begin by saying that the opinion expressed here is solely mine and not to be interpreted as that of my employer and my co-workers or the editorial position of the publications we produce. It's my take on the caliber of some of the elected officials in our...

Continue Reading

Metal fabricators are true knowledge workers

June 28, 2010

By:

Last week DeWys Mfg., a metal fabricator based in west Michigan, launched a new Web site, and the content of that Web site is worth noting. The contract fabricator is touting its “circle of companies” concept, which is another way to describe the fact that DeWys is a one-stop shop for metal...

Continue Reading

Chinese current events and U.S. manufacturing

June 25, 2010

By:

My co-worker Tim Heston stole a little of my thunder for this week's blog post with his coverage of China's decision to adopt a more flexible approach to how it values its currency. U.S. manufacturers have been clamoring for years for some shift away from China's currency manipulation, but to no...

Continue Reading

What's old is valuable

June 22, 2010

By:

On the road again, goin' places that I've already been. Seeing things (and people) that I hope to see again. I'm just glad to be on this road again. This week I'm in Rockford, Ill., home of my employer, the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl.®, the organization behind The...

Continue Reading