Gatherings And Get-Togethers

A recent conference I attended in San Antonio reconfirmed that there's still high value in communing with humans that are often on the other end of our electronic communications.

I believe there is good reason why our president travels overseas to meet with other heads of state and vice versa. There is something very human about looking another person in the eye and discussing common issues. In addition to the seemingly fantastic communication tools available to each of us, there is still a need for face-to-face contact.

E-mail, cell phones and teleconferencing help keep us connected to our co-workers, customers and colleagues with the speed and simplicity only science fiction could imagine a few years ago. However, there are occasions when it's better to physically meet face to face.

A recent conference I attended in San Antonio reconfirmed that there's still high value in communing with humans that are often on the other end of our electronic communications. At the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) Management Update Conference, about 200 other like-minded humans agreed and hopped a plane to Texas for the 3-day event.

This annual conference is designed to help managers and owners of member companies in the PMPA stay up with macro and micro issues facing the precision machined products industry. The payoff for the attendees is the opportunity to hear from experts in their field and the happenings that can impact the strategic and tactical operation of a manufacturing enterprise. The program is constructed to help relate these things to the attending members.

For me, a big benefit of attending these conferences is the chance to meet and talk to PMPA members who are readers of this magazine. The conference provides time for informal networking, and I like to take full advantage of that. Many attendees also use the opportunity to benchmark themselves against other similar businesses, which is tough to do via phone or e-mail. However, many of you are not members of the PMPA, which is something you might want to reconsider (see these articles: A Closer Look at the Stell Business in 2005, Internal Audit Program Improvements, Member Profile: Fischer Special Manufacturing, 2005 PMPA National Technical Conference).

A good opportunity for you to network with like-minded manufacturers in our precision machined parts field is to attend this year's Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS). My recommendation is to look through this issue of Production Machining magazine, and entertain the notion of attending the show, which will be held May 3-5 in Columbus, Ohio.

We've dedicated this issue to PMTS in order to highlight some of the products and services that will be shown at the trade show. Only exhibitors relevant to the manufacture of precision parts are involved, and they will number close to 200 when the show opens.

I can't think of a better chance for the industry to come together and network with each other and, at the same time, see, discuss and kick the tires on technology that can impact your job and your business. As a further enticement to attend the show, we've included the official Directory Of Exhibits that contains a complete exhibitor list as well as the concurrent conference schedule.

This show is sponsored by the PMPA, but is open to anyone involved in the manufacture of precision machined parts. It is a valuable gathering that only a visit can redeem. I hope to see you in Columbus.