Archive for December, 2015
In a world of social media and instant sharing, new trends and styles spread like wildfire through the internet. For this reason, it is important for those who work in metal manufacturing to be up to date on the latest and greatest in terms of style, effectiveness, and quality.
Any interior designer will say, lighting is the key to tying a beautiful room together, and whether that lighting is custom done or simply just something unique that can be found in a store, it’s sure to be a very important aspect of a room, that touches everything. Of course, at the center of every creative lighting fixture is a precise, well done piece of metal manufacturing. Truly the heart of any light fixture, among other things, masterful metal working. Of course, manufacturing said lighting fixtures can be a challenge. It’s hard to balance beautiful and trendy design with sustainability and business figures. For this reason, a proper metallist is needed, not just one who is able to fill an order quickly, but one who is able to be precise, and able to share a vision to meet a specific goal or trend. Creativity is not something that many people think of when the words metal fabricators are spoken (I know in my case it isn’t), but this is something that very much needs to happen in our modern day. Interior design is nearly a hobby, and there are countless blogs, Facebook groups, or Pinterest pages dedicated solely to perfect and modern interior design. These trends and styles spread through the populous very quickly, and for this reason, people who sell products meant to be used in interior design need to be up to speed with them.
Sourcing a metal manufacturing job can be a tough choice. International work can be cheaper, but at the same time it takes additional time to be completed and shipped. when working on the bleeding edge of unique and decorative designs and lighting fixtures, it’s vastly important to find a group which understand and work in mind with the needs of home decor specialists and enthusiasts. Effectively, if there is a need for vast amounts of creativity and attention to detail and trends, a domestic manufacturer such as Kryton Engineered Metals is the choice. People who care about getting things done right the first time, and in time to ride the wave of trends that can come and go so quickly in modern home decor.
Baby Boomers are retiring en masse. This unprecedented exodus has been the subject of a Social Security Administration report, which found these workers departing at a rate of 10,000 per day. While such a figure carries far reaching implications for every sector of the economy, the impact on manufacturing companies has been particularly harsh.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
A study by the Pew Research Center shows that, as of this year, Millennials surpassed Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers as the largest segment of the workforce. This influx of 53.5 million new workers should translate into a surplus of skilled replacements, but it hasn’t. Only 5.4% of those 18-34 have opted for careers in manufacturing. Branding can be blamed for part of this shortfall, as the industry has proven inept at appealing to the digitally obsessed generation.
LAWS OF ATTRACTION
There are countless articles, seminars, and HR pamphlets dedicated to the complex art of recruiting Millennials, who are a whole other kettle of fish. Since it could take a separate post to unpack the “How To” conundrum, I’ll simplify things by examining the obvious characteristics of Generation Y. For starters, we know that they are:
- Group Oriented
- Socially Active
- Developmentally concerned
- Digitally Obsessed
Now, let’s look at recent technological advances reshaping our industry:
- 3D Printing and Painting
- Sustainability Initiatives
- Internet of Things
- SMAC Stak
- Next Shoring
- Introduction of Industry Apps
From here we can conclude that manufacturers and millennials make natural allies. Revisiting the branding issue for a moment; our industry has done a poor job of distancing itself from the iconic photographs of dank assembly line laden factories of the early twentieth century. My manufacturing company is not the same as my grandfather’s, but without a push to transmit this new image to the general public, potential workers remain unenlightened.
THE GOOD NEWS
The United States Department of Education has shifted focus to STEM related curricula. This push will help capture the imaginations of future workers and prepare them for a career in our industry.
THE BAD NEWS
While this bodes well for future members of the workforce, it does nothing to assist with the current deficiency. Even if interest were suddenly generated and the industry experienced a massive influx, there would not be sufficient lead time for proper employee training and development.
DOING AS THE NEW LEARNING
This has led myself and other employers to develop on-the-job-training techniques designed to maximize efficiency in a reduced time frame. Here is an opportunity to appeal to the creativity, networking abilities, and group mentality of Millennials, by asking that they assist in the innovation and application process. For employee training and development in the new era, doing must become the new learning.
EMPLOYEE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Kryton Engineered Metals and other manufacturing employers are also maximizing development through such programs as:
- Internship Offers
- Community and Technical College based recruiting programs
- Mentoring Programs
- Job Rotation
As already seen, millennials are training focused and require constant feedback. As a manufacturer, I understand the value of placing incoming workers with veteran employees who can provide such feedback. I also understand their desire to be a part of something larger than themselves, and know I can capitalize on this by having them learn aspects of every job process. Doing so helps them see that they are more than just another cog in the machine. After all, if I wait for education to provide the skilled workforce needed, my machine will not have enough cogs to function.