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As I write this article I find that there is a hint of Fall in the air; more in some places than others. Regardless of where you are and how prevalent the Fall weather, reality for all and as scary as it may seem the fourth quarter is here and year end is just around the corner. For many that means finishing the year strong, for others preparing budgets and plans for next year, and yet for others it’s just another day at the office. Wherever you find yourself or your company, one thing I have learned over the years and confirmed through my travels with NTMA, if you don’t plan for “IT” or schedule “IT”, “IT” does not happen. My question for each of us is “what is your IT”?
In my role as Chairman of NTMA my “IT” is assuring that NTMA is providing each of you our members with the greatest service and opportunities to support you in “transforming” yourself, you people, and your company. Even in the midst of a couple years of transition, I firmly believe that NTMA is beginning to come into its own in services and opportunities for you our members. Through our new staff and new offices we are making much headed way on your behalf. Under Dave Tilstone’s leadership as President of NTMA, Dave has developed and enhanced relationships with many industry partners at the very highest levels of their organizations. As such, doors are opening for us the entrepreneurial based manufacturing companies to truly help us move towards “Transforming for Competitiveness”. Membership is growing through all type memberships; educational members, national associate members, and then regular membership. Our services are rapidly growing as reviewed below;
• NTMA-U our on line training is growing students at an accelerated rate as well as drawing in new member companies wanting to take advantage of the training opportunity.
• Our Royalty Programs are increasing with our signature Grainger Program’s usage growing at a 17-19% increase over last year. Driving your business to Grainger and other royalty partners not only supports your company’s needs but also helps support NTMA. A real win for all.
• Our NTMA Sponsored Insurance program continues to grow with a strong and competitive offering of services focused solely on our industry. With a focus on our industry you can be assured of the services needed, as well as the services and coverage not needed. Several members have found our program to be more inclusive and at a more competitive price; some companies saving thousands of dollars. Just give them a chance to quote your business.
• Our growing commitment to the National Robotics League continues as the National Tooling and Machining Foundation just approved a grant to hire a full time dedicated resource to this program. Couple a new full time resource to a very active volunteer team headed by long time NTMA member Steve Tamasi, of Boston Centerless; and the team’s dedication to this program, the future is bright to draw young men and women into the multi-faceted world of manufacturing.
• Our Political Action Team through partnerships with Franklin Partners and Bracewell Giuliani are doing a great job to keep manufacturing related issues in front of our local and national political leaders especially in this critical election year. If you have questions about particular issues or leaders in your area of the country, please reach out to this team for input and support.
• Our Customer Service Team is doing a great job and our member retention rate is nearing 90%. Their real success has been their ability to walk questioning members through the services their membership offers and that they are underutilizing. Once the identified services are reviewed and explained, staying as a member is no longer a question.
• Our NTMA Marketing efforts on our member’s behalf continues to grow; from conference speakers, to NTMA Purchasing Fairs, to on-line advertising through new national associate Multi View and the on-line project opportunities utilizing another new national associate MFG.com.
• Our National Conferences continue to focus of value added programs, speakers, technology suites, and industry partners; bring together 3-4 days of action packed opportunities to impact you, your people, and your company. Even with the outstanding programs, networking with industry peers continues to be one of the highest rate values of these meetings. On that note, a study was done that the retention rate of member companies who attend national conferences is 95-100%. Whether an old member or a new member, be a first timer and come to Nashville and see for yourself.
Folks you can see the services of NTMA continues to grow and continues to improve. Again based on our Staff leadership and many great volunteers across this great land, NTMA is forging the way for its members in this ever changing world of manufacturing. As we continue to see the manufacturing world change, it is critical that we join together as friendly competitors and move forward in mass making the importance of US manufacturing known across our country and the world.
Many NTMA member companies, along with myself and thousands more just attended the IMTS Show in Chicago in mid-September. The final number of attendees was around 103K people and I understand it to have been the largest show since 2004. There is no doubt that the buzz around manufacturing continues to grow from our MFG Meeting 2012 this past March in Orlando to the present. The momentum continues to swell even as a degree of hesitation lingers due to issues such as the upcoming election, pending legislation, certain industry specific challenges, and global uncertainties and stability. None the less, we must prepare and be ready to seize the moment as manufacturing opportunities come our way. Part of that preparation continues to include “transformation”. As stated in the beginning of this article, do you know your “IT”???
This past month had had the pleasure of visiting the Tri-States Chapter in Cincinnati, Ohio. What a great group with strong members, and as is the common theme with strong chapters; a strong Chapter Executive. Visiting with them and seeing their respective companies from volume investment casting, to Tool & Dies, to complex repairs, and to close tolerance machining. I never cease to be amazed at what our members do, what our industry produces, and the critical role we each of our company’s play.
I look forward to seeing many of you in my coming travels and I personally want to reach out to each of you to attend the Fall Conference in Nashville. It is action packed and value driven; guaranteed to be well worth your time and expense. I hope to see you there, but until then my commitment to each of you remains “Transforming for Competitiveness”.