There are many issues that confront our businesses these days. It is one thing to try to keep one’s eye on the ball, but there seems to be so many balls, all coming toward us at the same time. The PMPA provides a number of tools you can use to help you make sense of all these fast-moving issues, so you can make parts—and a profit.
Tools You Can Use — Benchmarking Online Using iLumen
PMPA provides the opportunity to benchmark to other members, as well as to all NAICS Code 332721 shops for which there are data. This is done using the iLumen online benchmarking service, which is free to PMPA members. It provides a safe, secure and easy method to upload your key financial indicators and then see them as a company-specific dashboard.
Your easy upload fills in charts that can then be easily downloaded for your use in management meetings and in communications with your accountant or bank. By benchmarking your key financial performance to those of other shops, you get key, competitive insights into the areas where you are best-in-class and the areas where you need to improve.
PMPA online benchmarking makes sense of your financials as compared with the rest of the industry, so you can take appropriate action to stay competitive.
Tools You Can Use — Marketing, Business Trends and Business Intelligence Reports
Each year, PMPA surveys member and nonmember shops for trends in markets served. Each shop has its own view of its customers, but by aggregating the views of more than 100 shops, PMPA provides a broader and deeper view of the markets served by precision machining companies.
Broader because 100-plus shops cover more customers and markets than any one shop. Deeper as the number of participating shops over the past 5 years provides longitudinal information regarding the market changes. To participate, shops simply complete a one-page survey form. Then they’ll receive a copy of PMPA’s annual Market Survey Report.
Our monthly Business Trends reporting provided key signals and measurements of the recovery in our business for the third and fourth quarters of 2009. It remains a popular indicator for the attitude and outlook of our industry. More than 100 shops currently participate in this monthly survey and report. Each participant gets a custom report showing his or her company’s performance relative to the rest of the industry.
Business Intelligence Reports include “Auto Market Focus Reports” by IRN Inc., “Economic Analysis” by Dr. Ken Mayland, “PMPA Material Impacts Reports” and a variety of other topical reports developed by the PMPA staff and members.
Tools You Can Use — PMPA Nominal Grade Translator
The PMPA Web site is where members can access the PMPA Nominal Grade Translator for Steel. There, you can find the North American equivalent of more than 450 Chinese, Japanese, German and Werkstoffe numbered carbon, alloy and stainless steel alloy designations, as well as their machining, chip, annealing and weldability characteristics.
This members-only service is enhanced by the user’s ability to call PMPA staff to investigate equivalents for grades not currently listed. One new member was recently working on an extensive list of steels for a quote on a major package of jobs coming back to the United States. He says, “I found several of the grades I needed on your Translator. Your assistance with the other grades that we couldn’t find anywhere has made you our new best friend.”
By sharing technical expertise, PMPA helps all North American shops meet the challenges of today’s global marketplace for precision machined products.
Tools You Can Use — Member Support, Advocacy & Networking
PMPA maintains an ongoing relationship with a leading labor law firm. That allows members with emerging issues to get an immediate legal review of their situations, with the possibility of further engaging the firm.
We continue to advise our members on emerging situations, such as
OSHA enforcement initiatives or additional changes in EPA Storm-water (SPCC) regulations. PMPA members know they are just a phone call or e-mail away from
getting answers to whatever difficult questions pop up on their radar screens that day.
PMPA has advocated on behalf of the industry in California regarding proposed metalworking fluid regulations. The association also continues a strong effort in Washington, D.C., where we were successful in getting industry-favorable language added to the Net Operating Loss Carryforward (NOL) bill, which was passed in the fourth quarter of 2009.
When you are busy trying to find orders, quote new business and produce product, knowing there is an effective organization covering you is more than just peace of mind. As our victory on the NOL legislation shows, effective advocacy is a result of effective associating.
When you ask PMPA members what they value most from the association, they overwhelmingly answer, “networking.” PMPA provides topical, online, e-mail Listserves that allow members to engage our entire community on issues, problems or needs on a real-time basis.
PMPA also hosts a number of local- and national-level meetings where members can discuss common problems, share technical ideas and get support when needed. Our Management Update meeting will be held February 26-March 1 in Scottsdale, Ariz., Management Update covers topics of specific management interest, such as industry/economic trends, boosting sales and profits, small business lending, improving employee engagement and dealing with increased government regulation.
Our National Technical Conference will be held in Pittsburgh on April 24-27. It will be the place for engineers, machinists, managers and quality professionals to “come to the well” to refill their knowledge of the processes, materials, methods and issues we face in our shops every day.
Tools You Can Use — Effective Associating with PMPA
You have a number of issues confronting you and your business every day. PMPA provides the ways and means for you to effectively manage those challenges, whether by providing critical benchmarking data for continuous improvement, marketing data for competitive analysis, economic reports, information on materials pricing, grade equivalents, regulations changes or through lobbying that delivers.
PMPA. Effective Associating. Tools You Can Use. It’s networking—and a whole lot more.