Combatting Consolidation: Tips to Ensure Maximum Cross-Selling Success

  • Date: September 21, 2017
  • Posted by:David Mack

When companies merge, they often tout an increased footprint and ability to drive product sales across a wider geography as a key advantage. This ability to cross-sell products and services allows the company to sell more, increase market share and minimize the competition.

In theory, the activity known as “cross selling” is a real benefit – unfortunately, when it comes to execution, companies often run into challenges. Executives have high expectations, but at the field level, there is no owner’s manual that directs how to seamlessly consolidate two sales operations.

Read More.

Simulated Workplace: Students Get Back to Work

  • Date: September 12, 2017
  • Posted by:Gretchen Shultz, Director of Workforce Development, Tooling U-SME

This fall, students are getting back to school…and work.

Focused on career-readiness, many educators have created simulated workplaces right in the classroom to provide students with real-life experience to help them prepare for good jobs in manufacturing.

What is a simulated workplace? With the help of local manufacturers, schools transform classrooms into companies. These in-school businesses solicit work, prepare estimates and complete projects for customers.

Read More.

See You at WESTEC?

  • Date: September 07, 2017
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME

Who’s headed to L.A. next week for WESTEC? With a focus on the future of manufacturing technology and the workforce, you bet we’ll be there!

In fact, Tooling U-SME is presenting a series of workforce development & training sessions and we hope you can join us.

Read More.

Industry Feels Urgency of Addressing Skills Gap…Finally!

  • Date: September 05, 2017
  • Posted by:Dave Ewers

Here’s what I’ve seen on my recent travels: many companies that eliminated their training programs at some point — whether last year or five years ago — now realize the operational and financial threat of pending retirements and a lack of qualified workers. They also realize they are at a major disadvantage because they don’t have a structured training program in place to address this workforce reduction.

It’s not too late to catch up. Putting a formal learning and development program in place does not have to be complicated. It just needs to be structured and sustainable.

Read More.

The Importance of a Learning Culture

  • Date: August 24, 2017
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME

“Culture will eat strategy any day of the week.” That’s a quote by management guru Peter Drucker quoted by another leadership expert: Kevin Martin, Chief Research Officer of i4cp and our 2017 tuX keynote speaker. See his entire presentation here.

At the event in May 2017, Kevin went on to say, “Unless your culture supports your strategy, your strategy is not going to execute at all. It's going to implode. What does it take to really drive culture? You need leadership behaviors that exemplify the culture. It’s the leader behaviors at the executive level, but most importantly at the mid-level and front line leader level, that make the biggest difference.”

Read More.

Community Partnerships Address Skills Gap

  • Date: August 09, 2017
  • Posted by:Gretchen Shultz, Director of Workforce Development, Tooling U-SME

Many manufacturers face a dual challenge: They are losing business because they can’t find qualified workers to produce the quality products customers need and expect, and they have to turn new business away because they don’t have the capacity to complete the jobs.

This quandary was reinforced at our tuX event this spring when nearly one third of attendees said they do not have access to enough skilled workers to meet their needs. Almost everyone (98 percent) either needs help or is only moderately successful at closing their technical skills gap. Read More.

5 Reasons Training Must Go Beyond Onboarding

  • Date: August 08, 2017
  • Posted by:John Hindman, Director of Learning Services, Tooling U-SME

Happily, we see the industry embracing onboarding as a way to quickly and effectively shift new hires to full productivity. We applaud companies that are implementing a formal training approach at this important time in an employee’s lifecycle.

But training can’t stop there. Too often, after successful onboarding, training falters. Employees are left to navigate a web of informal learning and development tactics in the form of job shadowing and tribal knowledge sharing. Read More.

Leadership: Time to Engage with Workforce Development

  • Date: July 28, 2017
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME

Ask any industry leader if a commitment to human capital drives manufacturing competitiveness, and the response will be overwhelmingly positive. Yes! Well-trained employees support customer satisfaction. Yes! They reduce downtime and safety issues. Yes! They increase productivity, allowing a company to grow.

So when we asked attendees at tuX, our annual event focused on building a high-performance workforce, about leadership engagement in workforce development we were a bit surprised at the answers. Read More.

Forming Strong Alliances to Build High-Performers

  • Date: July 20, 2017
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME

Over the past several months, SME has announced some important partnerships with leading manufacturing organizations to not only accelerate the development of advanced technologies but, these alliances will also strengthen the workforce.

The latest in this growing list of strategic pacts is Tooling U-SME’s recent announcement about partnering with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI). As part of a new agreement with the IACMI, our organizations – along with members of the IACMI – will collaborate to expand the availability of advanced training for the composites manufacturing workforce. Together, we will leverage the progress of composites technology to understand the needs of this sector fully. Read More.

tuX Polling #2: Industry Gaps in Training & Development

  • Date: July 18, 2017
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME

The feedback we received from manufacturers attending tuX, our annual event focused on building a high-performance workforce, provides important insights on industry workforce trends.

In previous posts, we looked at polling results around The Skills Gap, as well as Formalizing, Standardizing and Measuring Training. Today, we are exploring polling results related to gaps in training and development programs.

Through various questions throughout the event, we tested our hypothesis that manufacturers need help formalizing and standardizing training programs. Read More.

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