Meet Mike Duffin

Mike Duffin has accepted the position of executive director of the Precision Machined Products Association. I had the opportunity to sit down with Mike and talk about his background in the business and his vision for the trade association he’s known and been a part of 20-some years.

But first, a word from your sponsor. There’s a whole bunch of stuff going on in this issue of Production Machining that I’d like to mention before getting into my chat with Mike.

The most obvious is our pre-show coverage for the upcoming PMTS, which we co-sponsor. Included with your copy of PM this month is a copy of the Directory of Exhibits for the PMTS. Dates, location, details and lists of products, services and companies you’ll see are all in this supplement. It also contains information about the technical/education sessions that will be held during the show and, most important, how to register to attend.

This show is unique in that it’s focused exclusively on the process of manufacturing precision turned parts and comprehensively on the products and services it takes to do that job well. Starting on page 60 we have put together a section highlighting some of the machines, tools, software and accessories that will be on display at the show. It’s an unabashed attempt to whet your appetite to come to Columbus in May and “kick the tires.”

Budgets across the board are tight. Everyone must prioritize spending decisions based on return. PMTS is a unique opportunity to see, feel, touch and commune with a wide swath of our industry—but only our industry. This is as efficient a trade show as exists in North America.

Now back to your regularly scheduled column.

A Chat With Mike Duffin

Mike Duffin has accepted the position of executive director of the Precision Machined Products Association. I had the opportunity to sit down with Mike and talk about his background in the business and his vision for the trade association he’s known and been a part of 20-some years.

Mike is, as I like to refer to it, “of the body.” He worked in a screw machine shop founded by his father. Mike and his brother ran the shop for 27 years until 1994 when they sold it to one of their customers. In his long association with PMPA he has been active, holding positions as trustee and chapter officer and numerous committee memberships. His shop and membership experience will be well applied in Mike’s new position within the PMPA.

One of the first bullet points on Mike’s agenda for the PMPA is to get a definitive profile of the precision machined products industry as it now exists. “Most of us sense that the industry has changed and is continuing to change,” he says, “but quantifying the changes in a meaningful way would be helpful for planning the direction of the PMPA. We need to grow this organization, and to do that we need to know more about potential new members.”

PMPA helps its members in numerous ways. Mike’s company benefited directly from association-provided management services such as helping set up an accounting system and helping with supplier relationships through networking with technical members. “These are real and practical benefits for a member company,” he says. “One of the best ideas I got from PMPA was a gain sharing program, which I implemented within my company. Between 1990 and 1999, more than $1 million was paid to the employees through this program.”

The challenges Mike sees today for the association include loss of membership, justification of member dues and consolidation among member companies. “In our efforts to define the industry,” Mike says, “we may find a redefining of the association and its role in the industry. Once we get a fix on what the industry looks like today, our organization can address these challenges intelligently. We must give current and potential members value for their dues.”

I really like Mike. I think he’s going to be very good for the PMPA, and I have a feeling he’s going to get better known to the segment of the industry that’s not in the PMPA. I’ll keep you posted.