Increase in Business is a Good Thing But Not Without Its Challenges

May 3, 2017

Since the first of the year, manufacturers are more upbeat regarding the economy and business. 

Business owners applaud the positive changes that are being implemented to help foster business and they applaud the relaxing or elimination of burdensome regulations.

As one owner recently stated "This is the first time in the last eight years that it is fun to be operating a woodworking plant." 

A recent survey by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) found that 93.3% of large and small manufacturers have positive outlooks for the economy. This is an all-time high in the surveys nearly 20-year history.

As good as things are, there are new and major challenges that managers are facing. The inability to find qualified workers is the most pressing challenge. You are only able to automate so much. You still need a live person to run that sophisticated machine. 

All manufacturers must take a serious look in the mirror and ask themselves, “If I was a young, talented worker, would I be willing to accept a position at your company?” 

Are you offering a job with an hourly wage or are you offering a place to come and work to make a meaningful contribution to a company? Do you consider employees parts of the puzzle that are easily replaced or do you consider them important contributors to your overall success? 

In visiting many operations, you see employees being required to take their breaks and lunch in their cars or on buckets outside of the plant on a year round basis. What does this say to candidates that are considering your company for employment? Remember, having a lot of orders is a great thing but having a staff that is dedicated to delivering a quality product in a timely manner is crucial.

The important thing is that we must constantly strive to become an employer of choice  and remain an employer of choice! A dedicated team that is always moving in a positive direction will help you meet your goals and be successful.

Since 1929, the Wood Products Manufacturers Association (WPMA) has worked with members to be competitive in the global marketplace and successful in their daily operations. We do offer prospective employees an opportunity to reach out to members for potential employment. We also offer members a no cost opportunity to network with fellow industry professionals to hopefully fill vacant positions.

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