Three Critical Issues for the Year Ahead


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Anticipation is the key aspect of managerial success. Intelligent management of risk is the real job of management. In 2013, we think you need to anticipate and intelligently manage the risk your shop will face in three key areas. Training, regulatory compliance and healthcare will be the pre-eminent challenges we face, as well as running our businesses profitably, of course.


Why training? What makes this year any different than any other year? Why is training first on your list?

Training leads off because our shops will still be trying to continuously improve their offerings, both products and services. Given the economy and political situation, it is unlikely that shop owners will be trying to continuously improve their businesses by making major investments in new equipment or hiring additional personnel. So any improvements will need to be made with existing equipment and current talent. The way to coax process improvements out of what you already have is with proper training.

I believe that our people are important assets in our business. Like any other asset, they can benefit and improve with the proper investment and upgrades. Training is an inexpensive, but effective way to improve your shop’s capability and competitiveness. Don’t forget that the PMPA Educational Foundation can assist with the cost of training, too.

Your investment plan this year should be to develop and implement the cross training and skills upgrade programs needed so you have the flexibility, agility and capability to answer yes to the quotes that come in, while using your existing talent and technology. What is your plan for investments this year? How does it compare with this?


If there is anyone expecting regulatory relief this year, I have yet to meet them. The regulatory tone of the Obama Administration has consistently been one of enforcement. We see no reason to think that that will change this year.

In order to intelligently manage your risk in this area, you will need to make this a major emphasis in your management practice. How can you do this?

1. Know your obligations. PMPA can help you with that, via our website, Speaking of Precision blog, special reports and staff contacts.

2. Audit your existing programs [safety, environmental, wage and hour] compliance. Do you have programs for these? Are they effective? Are they being used?

3. Remediate any differences between what you have and what you need for compliance. Do it now.

4. Document, document, document. You are the expert in your shop and processes. Outside enforcement per- sonnel are not. They focus on paperwork evidence to confirm compliance. Making documentation a strength is probably the biggest favor you can do for your company this year. Inspection checklists. Training checklists. Audits of training effectiveness.

5. Commit to compliance. Lead by example. Wear your own PPE. Start off every meeting with a status about com- pliance, whether it’s in safety or other areas. Make your leadership in this area clear.

6. Stay connected to the latest trends through PMPA. Our staff is committed to keeping you alerted to any de- velopments in these areas that could affect your shop. Our meetings and other deliverables are designed to give you tools that you can use to meet these challenges and intel- ligently manage your risk. Stay informed through PMPA.


Ladies and gentlemen, the elephant is now in the room. The bill that you had to vote on before you could know what was in it, is now the law of the land. There are immediate changes you must make. Where can you get reliable guidance on how to manage this critical challenge that you must get right?

While each state may have different nuances for compliance, PMPA—through our retained counsel, Fisher and Phillips—will continue to provide guidance in this important area.
The beginning of the New Year is always a time to reflect, take stock and plan for the coming year. Training, regulatory compliance and healthcare will be the pre-eminent challenges we face.

We have great people in our shops: train them! We have effective processes for regulatory compliance: document them! Regarding the brave new world of healthcare regulation, you are not alone. Stay connected to PMPA, and we’ll help you manage the risk of this brave new world.

In order to provide PMPA members with a guide to the changes that are in store related to the new healthcare bill, Joseph J. Brennan from Fisher and Phillips created a timeline of the effective dates of the most important provisions found in the bill and the changes that are coming over the next few years. It is important to note that employers should tread cautiously with this timeline as many of these reforms and their effective dates are subject to both the state and federal rules and regulations.