Actually, Saturday, February 1st, is the deadline, but do you really want to come in on Saturday to do this?

Saturday is the deadline, but don't you have something better to do???
Saturday is the deadline, but don’t you have something better to do???

OSHA is paying a lot of attention to paperwork issues, and the PMPA recently testified about their proposal to increase the burden on employers with a new on line reporting scheme.
For now, you need to summarize your 2013 injuries and illnesses  (OSHA 300 form) and post them via 300A form in your shop.
Need more details? We provided links to resources and downloadable forms here.

Great news for manufacturing:

  • Real value added for manufacturing rose 1.9 percent in 2012, after increasing 0.7 percent in 2011.
  • Manufacturing’s current-dollar share of GDP increased for the third consecutive year, to 12.5 percent, its highest share since 2007.
  • Manufacturers contributed $2.03 trillion to the economy in 2012.
  • Manufacturers were responsible for creating 12.5% of GDP in 2012.
  • U.S. Manufacturing taken as a stand-alone entity, would be the 8th largest country in the world on a GDP basis

This informstion was taken from the latest Bureau of Economic Analysis news release on revised GDP statistics by industry. While the BEA release covers 2012 data, and our latest business trends report shows that precision machining industry sales for 2013 were up 5.2% over 2012.
Now is a great time to be in manufacturing.
BEA Industry GDP Release

The  PMPA Business Trends Summary Report for 2013 shines an optimistic light on first quarter 2014 for our precision machining shops and for manufacturing in general.

Optimistic light on 2014 for precision machining.
Optimistic light on 2014 for precision machining.

The 3 month sentiment indicators for Sales Outlook, Lead Times, Employment and Profitability were all strongly positive according to our 92 respondents.
That will translate into a strong first quarter according to our experience.
And how was last month and last year for the precision machining industry?

  • Our sales index for  calendar year 2013  finished at 120, a new high
  • December 2013, finished above 100, first December ever above 100.
  • December 2013  was up 17% over December 2012.
  • And the variability of sales for 2013 all year was lowest we’ve calculated, with a standard deviation of just 7.23, compared to 2012’s 11.44 and 2008’s 13.8.

Our full report looks at some key markets’ prospects in the year ahead- Automotive Light Vehicle, Aerospace, Housing, Medical Devices and how they can impact our business in 2014.
Read the full report here.

February 1 is deadline for Posting OSHA 300A in your shop

On Feb 1st, yours should say 2013...
On Feb 1st, yours should say calendar year of 2013…

Employers with 11 or more employees must post a summary of the prior calendar year’s injuries and illnesses. It is not enough to complete this report, you must post the summary in a visible place, from February 1 to April 30 each year. All employers maintaining the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s 300 Logs for workplace injuries and illnesses pursuant to OSHA’s recordkeeping standard must post their 2013 annual summary by February 1 2014. Employers must utilize the annual summary form (form 300A) when complying with the posting requirements.
Here is a link to OSHA’s downloadable Injury and Illness Recordkeeping forms
For more information.
Do I need to fill out the OSHA Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses? Probably

PMPA recently provided formal written testimony, additional supporting comments and an estimate of implementation costs at the recently held informal hearing at OSHA in Washington D.C. last week.
You are busy enough running your shop and serving customers, so we prepared comments  and went to Washington to represent the small manufacturing companies like yours about what we thought the proposed rules’ impact would be.
We had three broad themes:

  1. No safety or health outcome benefit for workers has been established;
  2. On line reporting will discourage recruitment of employees to manufacturing careers;
  3. Encourages employees not just employers to mask injuries and illnesses. An unexpected outcome due to changes to worker deductibles in their health insurance due to the Affordable Care Act may result in a spike of false ‘at work’ injuries being reported . from employees with non work related injuries who may balk at personally paying their new high deductibles for emergency care.

We provided formal comments prior to the meeting.
This YouTube Video captures my additional comments to the panel at the informal hearing: Link

And here is our back of the envelope calculation to disprove the agencies “$9” per small shop cost of implementing the proposed rule.

The Agency estimate of $9 to implement doesn't even  factor in reasonable time or wages.
The Agency estimate of $9 to implement doesn’t even factor in reasonable time or wages.

We remain puzzled why this administration would throw an obstacle like this to dissuade people from careers in manufacturing with the current job situation so dire, by providing numeric injury and illness rates publically without any context for understanding. So we tried to explain what we thought the impacts will be.

This New Normal seems like a scene out of Alice in Wonderland.
This New Normal seems like a scene out of Alice in Wonderland:

The Workforce Participation Rate fell to an astonishing new low of 62.8%, and yet the Employment outlook for skilled workers in our precision machining shops is the most positive it has ever been, with 99% of respondents saying that the employment outlook will remain the same or increase over the next three months.
Alice would recognize this trend...
Alice would recognize this trend…

Americans not in the labor force exploded higher by 535,000 to a new all time high 91.8 million.
91.8 million Americans no longer in the workforce!
91.8 million Americans no longer in the workforce!

This is not due to just inevitable baby boomer retirements.
The estimates due to baby boomers range from 20% from the conservative Heritage Foundation to 25%  from the liberal Economic Policy Institute.
And yet Manufacturing Institute estimates 82% of U.S. Manufacturers are looking for skilled workers, confirming the strength of our previously mentioned 99% positive outlook for job prospects in the precision machining industry.
Why does this matter?
…we estimate that potential GDP is currently about 7 percent below the trajectory it appeared to be on prior to 2007.”-Reifschneider, Wascher and Wilcox IMF Paper
Graphs courtesy of Zero Hedge

Your customers may demand that you give them firm pricing for raw materials, but here are 4 reasons that say “Ain’t gonna happen.”

" Why yes,  I can hold that price firm for the year" said no one in their right mind. Ever.
” Why yes, I can hold that price firm for the year” said no one in their right mind. Ever.

  • BUSINESS CYCLE Business Cycle is currently in a downward phase. what savvy organizations should be doing right now is planning for budget reductions, cross training employees, evaluate vendors for sustainability. Nothing in the business Cycle justifies firming up pricing at this time.
  • BIAS TOWARD GROWTH Everyone expects the prices of things to grow, particularly for commodity raw materials. The Steel Benchmarker chart for hot rolled steel band shows that this is hardly ever the case…
  • VOLATILITY That Steel Benchmarker chart  shows a price differential ranging from 4.5% in 2012 to a high of 100% in 2008. This is why your customers want firm prices, not why you should bet your business on giving them firm prices over which you have no control.
  • DETERMINANTS OF DEMAND What is driving demand for the raw materials? is it even North American, or is it China or emerging economies? Global demand is typically what  is driving prices here in US and around the globe. US GDP growth  in 2013 was estimated to be 1.6% China’s  7.5% Pick a number. Any number.

Customer’s seek firm prices to eliminate their risk, but shoving risk onto suppliers unilaterally is  not eliminating risk, it is just getting it off their desk and onto yours. Our job as sustainable, competitive, quality suppliers is to intelligently manage risk. In today’s raw material environment, saying “No!” to agreeing to hold firm prices for raw materials  when you have no ability to effect that price’s firming is intelligent management of risk.
Full article on why you are not the Carnack of Metals.

PMPA is proud to announce and congratulate the 4 PMPA members to be awarded the 2014 STEP Award by the Manufacturing Institute. step small
PMPA members named were Patricia Lewis, Berkley Screw Machine Products, Inc. Rochester Hills, Michigan; Tanya DiSalvo, Criterion Tool, Cleveland, Ohio;  Kimberly Arrigoni, Haberman Machine, Oakdale, MN;  and Janice Wiegand, Mercury Manufacturing Company, Wyandotte, Michigan.
The STEP Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory-floor to the C-suite.
“These women are the faces of exciting careers in manufacturing,” said Jennifer McNelly, president, The Manufacturing Institute. “These women were selected because they each made significant achievements in
manufacturing through positive impact on their company and the industry as a whole.“
The STEP Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research, and best practices for attracting, advancing, and retaining strong female talent.
A recent survey from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found that nearly 82 percent of American manufacturing companies have a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers. Contributing to this gap is the underrepresentation of women in the industry. While women make up approximately 50% of the labor force, that number is only about 24% in the manufacturing labor force.
On February 6, The Manufacturing Institute will recognize these 160 recipients from over 110 companies at the STEP Awards in Washington, D.C.  The STEP Awards program will highlight each Honoree’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing. By telling the real stories of these women, we will inspire the next generation of talent to pursue careers in the industry and support current female talent within the manufacturing industry.
Official Press Release:

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 180,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 8 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.