“There’s a severe shortage of workers,” says Mitch Free, Manufacturing Analyst and CEO of MFG.com. “Indicators are showing good signs; the market is active, reshoring is gaining speed, and there’s a high potential for growth. However, job shops are reporting that they cannot take advantage of this industrial growth because they’re unable to find skilled machinists.”
MFG.com surveyed over 250 of America’s job shops for its just-released “Job Shop Health & Capacity Report” (April 2012). CEO, Mitch Free, talks results and impacts on future industry health:
Reshoring is Real: “The results of this survey confirm that reshoring is real and job shops are benefitting. 40% of job shops reported getting a new contract that was previously sourced to a foreign supplier,” reports Mitch Free, CEO of the world’s largest online marketplace for the global manufacturing industry.
But It’s Limited By Unskilled Workers: “Job shops are reporting one of their greatest challenges is finding skilled employees. Sourcing professionals have reported that they want to reshore more work but are having a tough time finding high quality suppliers with capacity. This is especially true in the areas that were hit hard by offshoring.”
We Need To Start Educating NOW: “As manufacturing began leaving the U.S. twenty years ago, it became an unattractive career choice, especially in the areas of high volume machining, forging, casting, die/mold making, textiles. Trade schools should revive their training programs to address the shortage. Job shops need to re-introduce the apprentice program.”
Job Shops Need to Attract More Foreign Customers: “Over 80% of job shops get little to no business from outside of the U.S. Small businesses in the United States need to learn how to become exporters. Dependency on the United States market and economy going forward is a risky strategy. Job shops must learn how to connect with and sell to customers abroad.”
Marketing Is Crucial To New Business Generation: “Marketing is more important to job shops than ever before. Potential customers are very active in the market right now sourcing for varied reasons like moving to a more distributed supply chain or looking for local partners they can innovate with. Job shops need to become savvy marketers to attract this new business.”
American Optimism Abounds: “The fact that 78% respondents reported being optimistic about their sales and profits for 2012 is a great sign for the U.S. economy. Job shop owners are very in tune with where “the rubber meets the road” and are usually the leading indicators for greater economic trends.”
What’s A “Job Shop”? Companies are called job shops because they typically do not have products they produce for themselves, they produce parts and components for product companies on a contract basis, explains Mitch. The companies are also known as machine shops, plastic molders, metal stampers, die makers, mold makers, extruders, fabricators and the like.
What is MFG.com? MFG.com is the world’s largest online marketplace for the global manufacturing industry facilitating billions of dollars of sourcing for custom parts, tooling, packaging, textiles and apparel each month. MFG.com has members in 50 countries and operates in 9languages for regional offices in Atlanta, Paris, Shanghai, China and Seoul, Korea.
Who is Mitch Free? Mitch Free, CEO of MFG.com, sees the trends before they happen and talks to global manufacturers about their businesses every day. Mitch Free is a member of the exclusive “Small Business Council” for CNBC and is a Small Business Contributor for TheStreet.com.
Mitch’s industry analysis has been featured on Fox News, CNBC, Fox Business News, CNN Money and in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune Small Business, Inc. and more.
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