The NAM is constantly working to support and strengthen the men and women who make things in America. That mission is upheld by outstanding members of the NAM Board of Directors and their commitment to promoting the industry’s competitiveness on the global stage—a goal laid out in the NAM’s “Competing to Win” agenda.
Welcoming new faces: A number of new members have been elected to the board and will begin their two-year terms in January. They come from many sectors of the industry and companies both large and small, holding an array of leadership roles and boasting a wide range of experience. All of them are dedicated to ensuring that manufacturers in the U.S. have the tools they need to prosper.
The new members include the following:
- Edward Blair, president, Lutron Electronics Co., Inc.
- Sara Beth Burton, senior vice president, global supply chain, Hallmark Cards, Inc.
- Richard Cammarano, president and chief executive officer, Tech-Etch, Incorporated
- Karl Ehemann, vice president, global manufacturing and quality, Corning Incorporated
- Ed Elkins, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Norfolk Southern Corporation
- Cynthia Farrer, senior vice president, global operations and integrated supply chain, Allegion plc
- Aimee Gregg, vice president and general manager, containerboard and recycling, International Paper
- John Hartner, founder, Digital Industrialist LLC
- Christopher Kastner, president and chief executive officer, Huntington Ingalls Industries
- Ram Krishnan, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Emerson
- Reece Kurtenbach, chief executive officer and president, Daktronics, Inc.
- Rose Lee, president and chief executive officer, Cornerstone Building Brands
- Thomas Long, co-chief executive officer, Energy Transfer LP
- Michael McGarry, chairman and chief executive officer, PPG
- Lori Miles-Olund, president, Miles Fiberglass & Composites, Inc.
- Christopher Perkins, president North America and senior vice president Taste & Beyond North America, Firmenich, Inc.
- Kimberly Ryan, president and chief executive officer, Hillenbrand, Inc.
- Karin Shanahan, executive vice president, global product development and supply, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
- Matt Shields, senior vice president, global animal health manufacturing, Merck & Co., Inc.
- Sachin Shivaram, chief executive officer, Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry
- Shruti Singhal, chief executive officer, Chroma Color Corporation
- Mark Smucker, president and chief executive officer, The J.M. Smucker Company
- Matt Wood, national industry leader, commercial products practice, FORVIS
- Brent Yeagy, president and chief executive officer, Wabash
- Renée Zemljak, executive vice president, midstream, marketing & fundamentals, Ovintiv USA Inc.
What we’re saying: “The diverse backgrounds of our new board members, and their varied experience across many manufacturing sectors, make their counsel invaluable to the NAM in its efforts to bolster the industry’s competitiveness,” said NAM Chief of Staff Alyssa Shooshan. “We are counting on their insights and dedication to help steer manufacturers through this turbulent time and into a position of even greater strength.”
Hurricane Ian’s devastating landfall in Florida Wednesday afternoon marked the second significant storm to hit the U.S. and territories in less than two weeks. But as is usually the case when catastrophe strikes, manufacturers are already among those leading the charge to help the communities affected.
Manufacturers mobilize: In Puerto Rico, where approximately one-third of all residents remain without power following Hurricane Fiona Sept. 18, manufacturers including Dow, UPS, Coca-Cola, Ecolab and Toyota are funding product donations across the island through NAM partners Good360 and SBP.
What’s happening: These NAM partner organizations are providing on-the-ground updates and working to get products where they’re needed most. Items of greatest need include:
- Solar-powered power generators;
- Nonperishable foods and ready-to-eat meals;
- Mold remediation products;
- Oxygen tanks;
- Hygiene kits and supplies;
- Drinking water;
- New clothing; and
- School supplies.
Meanwhile, the work is just beginning in Florida to respond to Hurricane Ian, with anticipated items including drinking water, nonperishable foods, hygiene kits, tarps, blankets and mold remediation products.
NAM in action: The NAM’s Emergency Response Committee is an employee-led, volunteer group that works year-round with nonprofit partners, including Good360, SBP and Project HOPE, to provide NAM members with disaster-preparedness resources and training.
- These resources, which include e-learning modules, fact sheets and webinars, enable manufacturers to support their employees ahead of, during and in the aftermath of disasters.
- The NAM’s ERC also helps manufacturers activate to aid their communities when disaster strikes—and it works to identify and highlight members that are leading this critical work.
Be prepared: In a webinar sponsored by the NAM’s ERC, Amanda Gallina, SBP community engagement manager, and Matt Woodruff, vice president of public and government affairs for Texas-based tank barge operator Kirby Corporation, gave their suggestions for hurricane preparation.
For businesses: Woodruff provided some commonsense advice for employers:
- Have a plan: Have a hurricane-preparedness plan and ensure that all employees understand it—before hurricane season starts.
- Make a list: Create a checklist of tasks that must be done during the season, starting with the first day.
- Set up: Create and offer remote work sites for affected communities and employees.
- Support: Provide support to the families of employees who live in disaster-hit areas.
The last word: “The NAM stands ready to provide resources and support for its manufacturing members and the communities in which they operate in all conditions,” said NAM Director of Member and Board Relations Isabelle Powell.
- “We urge members to contact their membership directors with questions on how to better prepare their team or support people in their communities.”
For more information on manufacturer disaster preparedness or to be added to the NAM’s ERC mailing list, please email [email protected].
In late 2021, the Manufacturing Leadership Council launched the Manufacturing in 2030 Project, a comprehensive examination of the factors that will influence the industry leading up to the year 2030 and beyond. The latest milestone in this sweeping project is the release of The Next Phase of Digital Evolution.
This groundbreaking white paper examines the global megatrends like population, the economy, sustainability demands, and technology development – all of which will impact business decisions and are essential for manufacturing competitiveness.
Data’s Growing Role: Data is perhaps manufacturing’s most important asset, tracking everything from individual machine performance to the status of global supply chains. Developments in digital systems for factories, high-powered industrial networks and advanced communication technologies are giving rise to the ability to collect data.
Combined with a rise in analytics capabilities, manufacturers are now able to apply that data in powerful ways to improve processes, speed innovation, find new business opportunities and ultimately create conditions for greater competitiveness.
A Rising Middle Class: Population trends will influence where manufacturers build new factories, who they hire, the products that they make, organization for supply chains and who they are selling to.
Africa and Asia are projected to have the strongest population growth, and while traditional middle-class markets in the U.S., Europe and Japan are expected to grow at only modest rates, 88% of the next billion entrants into the middle class will be from Africa.
What’s to Come: Manufacturers will also need to consider their role in creating sustainable business practices and how they will overcome persistent workforce challenges. Institutional investors are pressuring businesses to significantly improve environmental practices, while the already yawning gap in skilled workers is expected to skyrocket to 2.1 million unfilled openings by 2030.
Technology could have a role in solving both of those issues. On the sustainability front, data can be key to monitoring emissions, utility consumption and waste, while also giving rise to new processes that improve on those metrics. For the workforce, data can empower workers to make more informed decisions, automation can eliminate repetitive tasks, and technologies like augmented and virtual reality can enhance training and upskilling.
To learn more about these and other insights, download the full white paper here.
A word of caution about the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s plant tours: Attending one could make you rethink your manufacturing operations.
Inspiration abounds: The MLC, the digital transformation arm of the NAM, recently hosted a plant tour of Lincoln Electric’s headquarters in Cleveland. Inspired by the innovation on display, one attendee vowed “to go back to my own company and start asking what’s stopping us from implementing similar technologies and practices.”
- The two-day Lincoln Electric event included visits to the company’s welding and training center, its machine division, its 3D printing facility and its automation-solutions center.
- Tour participants also learned how the business is overcoming workforce shortages through culture and technology solutions.
What is Lincoln Electric? Lincoln Electric was founded in 1895 as an electric-motors manufacturer. Today it is a global industry leader in welding equipment and consumables, additive manufacturing and automation solutions. The company has locations in 19 countries and serves customers in more than 160.
Welding school: The first stop on the tour was Lincoln Electric’s world-class welding school, first opened in 1917 and relaunched in 2018 as the 130,000-square-foot Welding Technology & Training Center.
- Students at this state-of-the-art facility begin their training at virtual welding stations before moving to one of 150 training booths to use the real “arc.”
- Lincoln Electric also offers virtual classes, a turnkey curriculum for customers and “train the trainer” courses for welding instructors.
3D printing: Tour participants also got a look at the company’s Additive Solutions Center, the largest platform of its kind, which boasts 18 3D printing cells. It serves customers in the automotive, aerospace, marine and energy industries.
- The equipment prints replacement parts, molds, tooling and prototypes measuring up to eight feet long and weighing more than 8,000 pounds.
- It can print in a variety of metals, including mild steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys, bronze and Inconel.
Automation solutions: The Automation Solutions Center tour stop demonstrated Lincoln Electric’s twin answers to the manufacturing skills gap: innovation and tech solutions that increase productivity.
- The technology on offer includes automated arc welding products, collaborative robots, metal fabrication and assembly line solutions.
- Demand for Lincoln Electric’s collaborative robots is up as manufacturers cope with workforce shortages, tour participants learned.
High-performance culture: Tour attendees also learned about Lincoln Electric’s high-performance culture, which rewards success and provides employees with opportunities for growth and development.
- The company’s Incentive Management System for the production workforce includes output-based pay to maximize personal earnings potential, an annual profit-sharing bonus, a no-layoffs policy and an open-door policy.
- “I found the networking time to be highly valuable and came away with several ideas on employee retention,” said a tour participant.
Future focus: Looking ahead, Lincoln Electric leadership said the company’s core focus must and will be on its people—to continue to build a pipeline of talent and attract and develop the next generation of leaders.
How should companies design R&D teams and processes to create the best possible results? That’s the challenge that Babson College Professor of Innovation Management Gina O’Connor addressed in her talk at the Innovation Research Interchange’s annual conference back in June. The IRI is a division of the NAM that advances the field of innovation management by creating contemporary practices—in R&D and many other areas.
A common problem: In an extensive research project at Babson College, O’Connor worked with experts from Goodyear, Synthomer and Diageo to study companies and decipher best R&D practices. She noticed a recurring theme: R&D professionals were being used by companies to solve urgent technical issues rather than to discover and invent.
- “In many organizations R&D has this feeling of being an order taker and of having to solve problems that are finely tuned and narrowly scoped,” said O’Connor. “That erodes confidence—and eroded confidence reduces empowerment.”
Empowerment and autonomy: O’Connor described empowerment as the authority to determine which projects and initiatives to take on and what problems to tackle. Meanwhile, autonomy refers to the authority to make final decisions.
- So, what do R&D professionals need? According to O’Connor, most want a moderate amount of empowerment, but not complete control over what to do.
- “We want to make sure that there’s organizational commitment somewhere associated with what we are doing, but we don’t just want to be told what to do,” as she put it.
So, what works? O’Connor explained that organizations with structureless R&D systems often had erratic decision making, sudden disruptions and unexpected changes in direction that left employees feeling powerless.
- Similarly, organizations with R&D processes that were too formal were also alienating to employees, who felt there wasn’t any room for flexibility or discussion.
- In contrast, the best systems included strong project leaders, consistent back and forth between the R&D group and organizational leadership, constructive communication, clearly outlined goals and trust in employees.
A last piece of advice: Training and developing project leaders is among the most essential steps in achieving successful R&D, said O’Connor.
- “What you need to be doing as a team leader every day is checking in with every member of your team, seeing what they need, where they are, what has happened,” said O’Connor. “It has to be an interactive, interpersonal kind of a thing.”
Learn more: Head on over to the IRI website to check out more of its programs and events.
More companies are taking a disciplined approach to the growing threat of cyber attacks, according to a new cybersecurity survey from the Manufacturing Leadership Council. The MLC is the digital transformation arm of the NAM.
- The survey, which included input from 160 companies, indicates a dramatic change in how seriously manufacturers consider cyber threats compared to 2018, when the MLC last conducted the same survey.
Who’s prepared: Nearly 62% of manufacturing companies say they have a formal cybersecurity plan in place, according to the survey.
- That’s up from 2018, when barely 33% of manufacturers indicated they had devised and adopted formal cybersecurity plans that encompassed their plant floors.
- Nearly 40% of respondents said they had a high level of confidence in their internal cyber expertise, compared with just 25% who expressed such certainty in 2018.
More attacks expected: Yet even as better cybersecurity strategies are put in place, nearly 79% of survey respondents said they expect more attacks in the next year.
- That figure is up from 64% in 2018.
- The most frequently cited reasons for this prediction are increased levels of cyber crime and cyber terrorism and greater connectivity in manufacturers’ operations.
The effects on digital transformation: More than half the survey respondents expressed concern that cybersecurity issues could affect the speed and scope of digital transformation.
- 14% said cybersecurity could be a major obstacle in the next five years, with another 40% describing it as “an issue of concern.”
- Close to half—43%—said they consider cyber a part of doing business in a digitally transformed world.
Proactive measures: More manufacturers are taking advantage of publicly available safeguards, such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, to underpin their strategies.
- Nearly 58% of respondents said they have adopted the NIST framework, up from 48% in 2018.
- 45% said they have cyber insurance, compared to the 18% that said they had it in 2018.
The coming challenge: In the past four years, manufacturers have made significant strides to combat the growing problem of cyber attacks against the industry.
- However, manufacturers will need to stay a step ahead of cyber criminals as the number and sophistication of attacks increases.
See the survey: Review the survey findings for an in-depth look at how manufacturing leaders are thinking about cybersecurity in manufacturing’s digital era.
Get help: NAM Cyber Cover was designed specifically to provide enhanced risk mitigation and protection for manufacturers and their supply chains. Find out more at www.namcybercover.com.
Safeguarding intellectual property is possible even when patents are not stringently enforced, according to James Nebus, associate professor and chair of the business department at Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Business. He discussed the topic at this year’s annual Innovation Research Interchange conference back in June. The IRI is a division of the NAM dedicated to advancing innovation management and creating best practices in the industry.
Protecting IP: In his keynote speech, Nebus outlined several actions taken by well-known companies to defend against patent infringement in “weak-enforcement countries.”
Raise barriers: One of the most successful strategies was raising the barrier to imitation, Nebus said. Companies that have used this method to guard against what Nebus called “product knowledge leakage” include DuPont and Dow. They have taken the following steps:
- Installed information technology defensive shields.
- Appointed trade secret managers.
- Conducted employee IP training.
Try a different barrier: Another way that companies have kept imitators at bay is to “bundle imitable products with complementary inimitable products,” according to Nebus.
- This is a strategy IBM began to employ many years ago. “When computer hardware first became a commodity, IBM … transformed themselves from a computer hardware company to a solutions and services company,” Nebus said.
- “And by doing that, they changed the parameters of the customer ‘buy decision’ from the price of the hardware to the value of the solution to their business.”
Advanced manufacturing: Another way to raise the “barrier to commercialization,” as Nebus calls it, is to use advanced manufacturing techniques that are not easily copied.
- Apple Inc. did this well in 2008, when it came out with its ultra-light, ultra-thin MacBook Air to compete with lower-cost Asian PC vendors, Nebus said.
- “The packaging technology that enabled that design … started with CNC, computer numerically controlled milling process, which at that time was really used for low-volume prototypes. They invested in manufacturing R&D to transform that process … to high-volume production,” he explained.
- “The imitators really couldn’t make that big investment, so Apple separated themselves.”
Parting thoughts: Nebus ended his talk with three takeaways for the audience.
- First, “an effective strategy consists of implementing the protection mechanisms necessary to raise one of the barriers above the abilities of the imitator.”
- Second, companies may require different strategies for different countries, especially if some are developed and others are developing.
- Finally, companies should decide where to locate headquarters not just “on economic factors. [Remember] to take IP risks into consideration.”
Learn more: Head on over to the IRI website to check out more of its programs and events.
San Diego, California – For their work to attract and maintain the manufacturing workforce, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association won the 2022 Leadership Award from the Conference of State Manufacturers Associations. COSMA members also serve as the NAM’s official state partners and drive manufacturers’ priorities on state issues, mobilize local communities and help move federal policy from the ground up in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
“I am so pleased to present the inaugural COSMA Leadership Award to the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association,” said Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business and chair of COSMA. “These are challenging times, but manufacturers in America have demonstrated once again, as they have throughout our nation’s history, that they are equal to the challenge. All manufacturers should be proud of the role they have played in navigating the pandemic, and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association should be especially proud of the innovative ways it has helped its members address the workforce challenges we have all faced. Congratulations to my friend Mark Denzler and his talented team.”
The association’s recent achievements included its $7 million Manufacturing Jobs Campaign aimed at attracting students, veterans, communities of color, women, ex-offenders and other individuals to the manufacturing sector. They were also asked by Governor JB Pritzker to co-chair the state’s Equipment Task Force during the pandemic and appointed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to lead the B2B Recovery Group that included manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, construction and utilities companies in the state.
“Mark is more than an inspirational colleague and true friend. He is an amazing representative for Illinois’ manufacturing workers on the national stage,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “At a time when there are more than 800,000 open jobs in our industry, we need the efforts of groups like the IMA to help us find that next generation of talent and strengthen manufacturing competitiveness so that we can continue to lead our economy and our country toward a better future.”
In this inaugural year, the COSMA Leadership Award drew many extraordinary applications, each demonstrating how manufacturing associations across the country are rising to meet workforce and supply chain challenges in new and innovative ways.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.
Manufacturers flocked to Florida this summer to discuss the cultures, skills and technologies necessary for digital transformation at the 2022 Rethink Summit, the signature event of the NAM’s Manufacturing Leadership Council. The MLC is the world’s first member-driven, global business leadership network dedicated to senior executives in the manufacturing industry.
The big event: The first in-person Rethink since 2019, this year’s summit drew the largest crowd since the annual event began 18 years ago.
- The conference in Marco Island, Florida, hosted some of the most innovative leaders and teams in the industry, from companies such as Pfizer, Intel, Dow, Saint-Gobain and many more.
- Participants learned about real-world advances and shared best practices in supply chain resilience, effective business cultures, machine learning, business ecosystems and more—as explained by industry experts who put these innovations into practice themselves.
The panels: Here is a quick sample from the array of manufacturing expertise on offer.
- A Pfizer case study: Pfizer Vice President of Digital Manufacturing Mike Tomasco explained how Pfizer Global Supply transformed itself from a digitally siloed operation to a world-class digital powerhouse.
- Bridging the digital divide: A panel of leaders—including Graphicast President Val Zanchuk, BTE Technologies President and NAM SMM Board Chair Chuck Wetherington and Intel Senior Director of Industrial Innovation Irene Petrick—discussed how small and medium-sized manufacturers can keep up with the digital transformation occurring throughout the industry.
- Reaching the next generation: A panel of young manufacturing leaders from Dow, Cooley Group and Saint-Gobain North America discussed what young people are looking for in manufacturing jobs, including interdisciplinary teams and lots of communications up and down the organization levels.
A week of manufacturing: The Rethink Summit was only one highlight of a week of manufacturing events put on by the MLC. The roster of events also included the MLC’s Council Day and the ML Awards Gala.
- Council Day offers MLC members the opportunity to chart the agenda for the MLC’s next year, thus influencing how the whole industry thinks about and plans for digital innovation.
- The Awards Gala spotlights companies and individuals doing incredible work to advance M4.0. The black-tie event honored leaders and companies in 11 project categories, plus the Manufacturers of the Year and Manufacturing Leader of the Year.
- This year, the MLC named Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla the Manufacturing Leader of the Year, for Pfizer’s extraordinary and ongoing contributions in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The last word: “[T]he fundamental shift in our economy to doing business digitally in all industries, including manufacturing, not only continues but is gaining greater speed and urgency,” said MLC Co-Founder David R. Brousell during an address at Rethink.
Join us next year: Keep up to date with the MLC by visiting the website and stay tuned for Rethink 2023!
Why is inflation happening now? What can we do about it? And how should manufacturers factor it into their plans for the future? The NAM’s Leading Edge program partnered with management consultant company Bain on a recent webinar that answered these questions and more. Here’s a quick recap.
Why it’s happening: According to Karen Harris, managing director of the Macro Trends Group at Bain, inflationary potential was building prior to the pandemic because of declining workforce growth around the world, underinvestment in energy and production and the concentration of supply chains with very few buffers in place.
- Today’s inflation, Harris said, is the result of that “inflationary potential” meeting a series of triggers, including the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine—both of which have destabilized global markets and supply chains.
What it means: Jason Heinrich, a senior partner in Bain’s Chicago office, discussed the challenges that inflation poses to business owners.
- Among these are declining gross margins as costs of goods skyrocket; rapidly increasing labor, energy and input costs; difficult cash allocation decisions; lost sales if product availability decreases; and erosion of customer perception if price increases are too aggressive.
Strategies for success: Bain has analyzed thousands of companies over the past two decades to identify several successful strategies for accelerating performance during periods of disruption and providing future-proof against inflation.
- These strategies include expanding the CFO role to support the C-suite in navigating turbulent times; enhancing growth through customer engagement efforts; being strategic about price increases; building resilient and growth-focused supply chain operations; scaling and doubling down on automation as wages increase; and investing in building the best workplace to attract top talent in a difficult labor market.
- “The research that we’ve done over a couple of decades suggests that the firms and businesses that are on their front foot and playing offense in these periods of disruption outperform their peers over a long period of time,” said Heinrich. “These are moments of truths and moments of opportunity.”
Questions to ask: According to Harris and Heinrich, there are a few critical questions businesses should be asking in the current moment to help manage inflation challenges effectively, including the following:
- How robust is customer demand, and what changes do you anticipate in the next 12–24 months?
- How do you anticipate inflation will impact your business, and what actions can you take this quarter or over the next four quarters?
- How are you assessing resilience, and to what extent should you trade off efficiency for resilience?
- How can you evolve your strategic-planning process to be more dynamic?
Learn more: For more information, check out the full webinar here.
How the NAM can help: If you’re looking for resources to achieve time and cost savings, guard against inflation and help your business solve other current challenges, the NAM’s Inflation Resource Bundle for Manufacturers can help. Click here to find out how.