Blogs

Filter Content

Team USA wearing USA-made

January 23, 2014

By:

Less than two years ago, the 2012 U.S. Olympic athletes’ official uniforms, designed by Ralph Lauren, drew much criticism—not for appearance, but because they were made, head-to-toe, in China. The 2012 fiasco was a subject of a blog post on thefabricator.com entitled, “Will Olympic uniform...

Continue Reading

Millennials, stress, and technology

January 23, 2014

By:

According to the “State of Workplace Productivity Report” released by Cornerstone OnDemand, a cloud-based talent management software company, the millennial generation, or those born between the years 1980 and 2000, is struggling with technology and information overload. The report, which...

Continue Reading

A nickel for a nickel

January 21, 2014

By:

Fabricators aren’t alone in looking for ways to cut back on material costs. A friend recently posted a photo of a large jar of coins on his Facebook page—change from a routine purchase. In coming years, that change jar might have a different color, from the inside out. As reported in the...

Continue Reading

Passing on the torch in metal fabrication

January 20, 2014

By:

The boomer generation is retiring, and they’ll need to hand off the torch to somebody. The big question is who.

Continue Reading

A key tool in building a winning culture

January 16, 2014

By:

Metal fabricating shops that perform well have well-performing workforces. It sounds too simple, but you’ll hear the same thing from managers in these high-performance organizations. Company owners and managers don’t debate about spending money on training programs that help to keep skills...

Continue Reading

U.S. small businesses increase revenue exporting to China

January 15, 2014

By:

If you think only large U.S. corporations export to China, you’re wrong. Small businesses export as well. Money.cnn.com recently profiled five small businesses that currently are exporting their products to China. These products include wine, air purifiers, wallpaper, explosives detection...

Continue Reading

Encouraging employees to solve problems

January 8, 2014

By:

Yesterday’s “Fabricating Update” e-newsletter featured an item about a soft skills gap—how manufacturers are finding that their current employees and potential hires, are deficient in communication and problem-solving skills. According to a recent survey of hiring managers and human...

Continue Reading

My 10 Favorite Things About the Polar Vortex

January 7, 2014

By:

The Polar Vortex offers opportunities rarely experienced in the "Lower 48." Here are my favorites:

Continue Reading

The shoppingest time of the year

December 17, 2013

By:

Three days ago someone asked if I was done with my Christmas shopping. When I said, “No,” this person said, “Why not?” Not that I owed him or anyone else an explanation, the truth is, I really dislike shopping. I know this flies in the face of the stereotypical thinking about women: Women...

Continue Reading

A trade meritocracy

December 16, 2013

By:

Last week, when I visited Fisher-Barton South Carolina, Alex Robertson, business development manager, showed me a part on the shipping dock—a part he was proud of. The contract manufacturer had won the job about eight months ago. And it beat a quote from a stamper and fabricator in India....

Continue Reading

'I quit'

December 12, 2013

By:

Yesterday's "Stamping News Brief" e-newsletter focused on job satisfaction. It featured a blog post by my colleague, Dan Davis, in which he wrote about the relationship between age and job satisfaction, and how employers are happy with older workers. We asked newsletter readers to share their ages...

Continue Reading

GM = Good moves: exits and entrances

December 10, 2013

By:

In a good move that followed closely in the wake of the U.S. Treasury's announcement on Monday that it had exited its last vestiges of ownership of General Motors, the automaker promoted development, purchasing, and supply chain EVP Mary Barra to the CEO position. She will be the first female CEO...

Continue Reading

Laser cutting: The headwater of metal manufacturing

December 10, 2013

By:

During the past few years the industry has seen some incredible productivity gains in the laser cutting arena. Solid-state fiber and disk lasers are starting to dominate the FABTECH® show, and companies are beginning to tout the technology not just for thin sheet cutting, but for plate cutting as...

Continue Reading

Protesting the minimum wage

December 5, 2013

By:

Strikes and protests rippled across the U.S. on Dec. 5 as many minimum-wage workers demanded higher pay. Close on the heels of demonstrations by Wal-Mart workers on Black Friday, the protests center on the viability of making a living at $7.25 per hour. A common demand is a big jump in the minimum...

Continue Reading

Taking on training efforts

December 5, 2013

By:

Jon DeWys, president, DeWys Manufacturing, Marne, Mich., recalled a huge effort they poured into a job fair it held about two years ago. Like many other metal fabricating shops, they were struggling to find potential employees that were mechanically inclined, could show up on time, and could pass a...

Continue Reading