Business Operations

At a time when breaking news and shifting policy environments move faster than ever, our members benefit from innovative programs that keep them at the forefront of the manufacturing industry and support their bottom line.

Business Operations

VP Pence Thanks Manufacturers for COVID-19 Response

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Vice President Mike Pence recently joined 3,000 manufacturing leaders on a call hosted by the National Association of Manufacturers and the NAM’s Manufacturing Leadership Council regarding the COVID-19 response. He provided an update on the administration’s efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19, detailed the NAM’s work with the administration to coordinate the industry’s response and thanked manufacturers for the work they have done across the country to provide and produce vital supplies.

“The efforts of so many of you have truly been inspiring, and at times, at great cost,” said Pence. “It is clear to the president, it is clear to his vice president, and clear, I know, to the American people that American business is putting America’s health first.”

Pence specifically mentioned ASO LLC, a consumer medical supplies manufacturer in Sarasota, Florida, that stepped forward to produce 1.2 million medical gloves for health care workers. He also mentioned other ways manufacturers are stepping up, including by donating millions of N95 masks to health care workers in impacted areas.

Pence urged manufacturers to examine their inventories for equipment that could be donated to local hospitals, to communicate the White House’s health and safety guidelines to employees and to continue working with the NAM as it helps mobilize the industry to deliver and produce urgently needed supplies. The NAM has been in close contact with the White House’s Office of Emergency Supply Production, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services and other key federal agencies.

“So many of you play a critical role in the life of this nation and critical infrastructure industry,” said Vice President Pence. “We want to work with you to find a way to continue to move forward, to continue to produce and continue to operate.”

In addition to the vice president’s remarks, Todd Niemeier of the CDC’s COVID-19 Response-Health Systems and Worker Safety Task Force provided manufacturing-focused guidance, and The Hershey Company’s Vice President of Engineering Will Bonifant and Senior Director of Manufacturing, Global Supply Chain Tim Hinegardner shared steps the manufacturer is taking to protect their employees and the public.

“As manufacturers have throughout our history, we are going to be part of the solution,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “We are responding, we are mobilizing and we are leading the country.”

The NAM is continuing to provide coronavirus resources for manufacturers, connecting businesses with guidance from appropriate government officials and agencies and providing updates on the state of the manufacturing industry.

For more information, including best practices, CDC resources and more, go to nam.org/coronavirus.

Press Releases

Business Roundtable, NAM Combine COVID-19 Response Efforts to Address Critical Shortages

Partnership Brings Together Full Strength of U.S. Business and Manufacturing Communities

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers and Business Roundtable are joining forces to strengthen the business community’s response to the critical supplies shortage facing the nation’s medical community due to COVID-19. The partnership brings together the full strength of the U.S. business and manufacturing communities to help those on the front lines of the pandemic. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and Business Roundtable President & CEO Joshua Bolten will serve as co-chairs of this effort.

The NAM and Business Roundtable will help consolidate efforts across industry sectors in the United States and report the data to the federal government. The NAM and Business Roundtable are encouraging their members to share information on medical supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment and test kits, through a co-developed online survey. The data will capture existing supplies as well as where new manufacturing capacity can be tapped to address shortages nationwide.

Upon announcement of this partnership, Vice President Mike Pence offered the following statement:

“Our nation’s job creators have embraced President Trump’s ‘whole-of-America’ response to the coronavirus outbreak and have quickly mobilized to find innovative solutions for the challenges ahead of us,” said Vice President Mike Pence. “From coast to coast, America’s businesses have brought a truly extraordinary response to this moment, and they should be commended for answering the call and being part of the solution.”

Upon announcement of this partnership, Bolten and Timmons released the following statements:

“Only through a concerted effort can this country address the current shortages of critical medical supplies and equipment,” said Bolten. “Working with our members to identify excess inventories as well as additional manufacturing bandwidth is one way we can help those on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. Our goal is to keep all Americans healthier and safer.”

“Manufacturers in America are reigniting the ‘arsenal of democracy’ and mobilizing to help our nation overcome this historic crisis, and it is inspiring to see thousands of manufacturers stepping up to join the fight over just the past two weeks,” said Timmons. “By combining the NAM’s nationwide efforts with the work of Business Roundtable, we will be even more effective in our vital work. We are coordinating directly with the administration and manufacturing leaders to identify existing equipment and ramp up production of urgently needed health supplies. America’s creators will respond to this challenge, just as we have throughout history. We are all in this together as we fight to keep our country healthy and strong.”

-NAM-

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 $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

-BRT-

Business Roundtable CEO members lead companies with more than 15 million employees and $7.5 trillion in revenues. The combined market capitalization of Business Roundtable member companies is the equivalent of over 27 percent of total U.S. stock market capitalization, and Business Roundtable members invest nearly $147 billion in research and development – equal to over 40 percent of total U.S. private R&D spending. Our companies pay $296 billion in dividends to shareholders and generate $488 billion in revenues for small and medium-sized businesses. Business Roundtable companies also make more than $8 billion in charitable contributions.

Business Operations

Manufacturer Racks Up New Product in COVID-19 Response

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Marlin Steel Wire Products team member creates newly designed test-tube racks critical to COVID-19 testing efforts in the U.S.
Marlin Steel Wire Products team member James Branch creates newly designed test-tube racks critical to COVID-19 testing efforts in the U.S.

At 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Marlin Steel Wire Products, a Baltimore-based wire and sheet metal fabricator, received an urgent order. A client conducting coronavirus testing needed a large set of test-tube racks by Monday morning to continue work. Marlin had never designed test-tube racks before, but the company sprang into action.

It was a race against time. During a week when employees had already worked 40 to 60 hours—and on a day when some had begun at 6:00 a.m.—a group volunteered to work through the weekend. After working until 10:30 p.m. on Friday, they started again at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, working until 10:00 p.m. that evening and resuming early Sunday morning. At 1:40 p.m. on Sunday—just 43 hours from the moment they received the request—the racks were ready to ship.

Still, the work continued. The client asked Marlin to send the racks by plane—but when Marlin’s staff arrived at the airport, their flight was canceled. Undeterred, Marlin loaded the racks into a truck with two drivers to cover the 1,100-mile journey. By Monday morning, they were unloading the racks—fewer than 65 hours after receiving the order.

“This team is extraordinary. They’re manufacturing heroes,” said Drew Greenblatt, Marlin’s president and owner and a member of the National Association of Manufacturers Executive Committee. “Despite working 40 to 60 hours during the week, they dropped everything, pulled together and used an extra 30 hours to get things done. This is Rosie the Riveter stuff.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, the company is taking extra measures to protect employees; keeping workers at least six feet apart, sanitizing workstations and door handles frequently, and ensuring that employees able to work from home can do so. Greenblatt emphasized manufacturers’ importance to the effort against COVID-19 and the need for factories to stay open.

“That lab cannot determine if COVID-19 is in that test tube unless they have that wire rack, and I can’t manufacture that wire rack if I don’t have my steel suppliers in Illinois or my cardboard box manufacturer in Maryland or my employees in our facility,” said Greenblatt. “We’re doing this so they can accomplish their mission. We need to keep factories open because we’re making the goods that keep our world functioning.”

The NAM, working with state association partners, has asked governors and municipal leaders nationwide to declare manufacturing facilities “essential” so that businesses like Marlin Steel can continue their lifesaving work.

“Manufacturers in America are mobilizing to help our nation overcome this historic crisis,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “America’s creators will respond to this challenge, as we have throughout history. We’re in this together as we fight to keep our country healthy and strong.”

“Small manufacturers can help defeat COVID-19,” said Greenblatt. “Many make products that help labs or hospitals. Let the NAM know and let your governor know: your products and team can play a critical role to save lives.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers Call for $1.4 Trillion COVID-19 Resiliency Fund

Includes Desperately Needed Liquidity for Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Association of Manufacturers is calling for additional aggressive actions from the federal government to help the industry respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies.

Among the additional actions in the NAM’s updated and expanded “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations,” the NAM is requesting the federal government create the “Manufacturing Resiliency Fund,” which would include $1.4 trillion in loans to provide desperately needed liquidity to manufacturers and small businesses, protecting the nearly 13 million men and women working within the industry and ensuring their financial security. Manufacturers are also calling on the government to adopt a federal designation that deems the manufacturing supply chain “essential” to help mitigate any interruptions in providing the supplies that are critical to the health and safety of America.

“As manufacturers mobilize to protect the health and well being of our communities and country, the NAM is releasing an expanded set of ‘Policy Action Plan Recommendations’ for Congress and federal agencies,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Our leaders have already acted on many of our original proposals, and if they continue to move swiftly and boldly, manufacturers will be able to rise to this challenge and keep our country healthy, all while ensuring the resilience of our workers, our industry and our economy. This is a crisis unlike anything we’ve seen, and it demands a response of historic proportion.”

The NAM’s updated and expanded “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations” identifies five key policy areas where legislative and administrative action would help combat COVID-19 and future public health emergencies:

  • Recognize Manufacturers’ Critical Role in the COVID-19 Response
  • Protect Manufacturers from Insolvency
  • Ensure Economic Security for Manufacturing Workers
  • Reduce Regulatory Burdens
  • Set the Stage for Economic Growth

The NAM released its original action plan on March 9.

-NAM-

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 $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Business Operations

Food Manufacturer Details Measures to Combat COVID-19

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To protect the health of workers and customers, food manufacturers in the United States are strict about sanitation every day. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made the issue even more critical as our country works to contain this crisis, and food manufacturers in America are demonstrating how effective workplaces can adjust during emergencies.

New Jersey-based Premio Foods is a maker of specialty Italian sausage products with about 1,000 employees. In addition to continuing its regular rigorous sanitation practices, the manufacturer has stepped up its efforts to sanitize operations and maintain hygienic conditions by increasing the use of protective clothing and ensuring maximum face coverage.

“We’ve stepped up expectations about changing out protective clothing and gloves, so that people cycle through them more quickly,” said Premio Foods Senior Vice President of Operations Eric Fidoten, who is also a member of the Board of Governors of the National Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Leadership Council. “We have our employees sanitize their hands, then sanitize the glove itself—and do all this more frequently than usual. We instructed people to cover their entire head except eyes and forehead. Where we don’t mandate safety glasses, we now encourage our associates to use them.”

The company has held meetings to demonstrate proper procedures and conducted “audits” throughout the day to check that employees are thoroughly protected. It has also instituted rotating breaks and lunches to reduce large gatherings at its facilities and is ensuring high-use surfaces in breakrooms and lunch areas are frequently sanitized.

“Manufacturers across the country are committed to the highest standards of safety and sanitation,” said David R. Brousell, Vice President and Executive Director of the NAM’s Manufacturing Leadership Council. “Businesses like Premio Foods are a great example of the way manufacturers lead during times of need, implementing critical measures to keep workers and communities safe and healthy. As we grapple with this global health challenge, that example is more important than ever.”

In addition to leading by example, Premio Foods has recommended that other businesses and organizations work to step up their responses as well. They can do so by taking steps such as contacting a sanitation consulting company for a tailored sanitation plan, restricting vendors and other visitors from entering the facility and offering a brief how-to on sanitation procedures to any necessary visitors.

Of course, the standard measures are the most important—and achievable by anyone: wash your hands frequently, eliminate physical contact at work and observe social distancing, sanitize frequently-used surfaces and rooms and ensure that anyone who shows signs of illness stays home.

For more information, including best practices, CDC resources and more, go to nam.org/coronavirus.

Demystifying Data

How Coronavirus is Affecting Manufacturers

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Manufacturers across the country are working to keep their teams and communities safe and healthy and also contending with the full range of effects—to the economy, to their supply chains, to their operations and more—of the COVID-19 outbreak. A newly released survey of manufacturing leaders conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers reveals the state of the industry as the situation unfolds.

In the survey, which was in the field from Feb. 28 to March 9, 78.3% of respondents say that the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to have a financial impact on their businesses; 53.1% of manufacturers are anticipating a change in their operations in the coming months; and 35.5% say that they are already facing supply chain disruptions.

When asked about resources that they need, survey respondents cite reliable information, including nonpolitical and non-sensationalized facts; clear and timely updates on new restrictions and health advisories; information about how other companies are reacting; clear guidelines from expert agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health; and early detection resources to help stop the spread of the virus.

The survey findings helped inform the NAM’s “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations,” released earlier this week, with policy proposals for lawmakers to help contain the spread of coronavirus and ensure economic resilience.

“Already, manufacturers are grappling with disruptions to their businesses due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with many anticipating financial and operational consequences—even before some of the developments of this week,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The federal government can take steps to further equip manufacturers to deal with COVID-19 by implementing the NAM’s ‘COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations.’ Across the country, manufacturers are stepping up to keep their employees and their communities safe and healthy, and working closely with elected officials, we can ensure the resilience not only of our companies but also our country.”

Within a day of the plan’s release, leading members of Congress began pushing for one of its key elements, tariff relief, and both the administration and members of Congress voiced their support for key legal protections for manufacturers of protective N95 masks.

As policymakers address these issues, the NAM is continuing to convene coronavirus resources for manufacturers, connecting these businesses with guidance from appropriate government officials and agencies and providing updates on the state of the manufacturing industry.

For more information, including best practices, CDC resources and more, go to nam.org/coronavirus.

Policy and Legal

In Uncertain Times, The Manufacturing Sector Leads

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NAM CEO Jay Timmons Speaks at the 2020 CMA Winter Conference

At the Council of Manufacturing Associations Winter Leadership Conference last week, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons discussed the industry’s extraordinary achievements during uncertain economic and political times and the need for continued strong industry leadership in 2020.

In his remarks, Timmons described how 2019 was defined by major manufacturing achievements, including many that were considered unlikely.

Timmons also made the case that, while not all of the manufacturing industry’s victories were widely covered in mass media, they were numerous and necessary.

Timmons made note of the ongoing 2020 election and cast the manufacturing industry as a leader in complicated political environments. In the midst of the escalating campaign, Timmons laid out manufacturers’ vital role.

As manufacturers look to the future, Timmons discussed the need for new skilled workers and an engaged workforce that can help drive modern manufacturing and promote America’s manufacturing strength. He spoke about the Creators Wanted campaign—a unique and unprecedented effort from the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute to inspire a new generation to pursue careers in the industry.

Timmons closed by stating that manufacturers’ leadership will determine not only the achievements of this coming year, but also what the United States looks like and represents for years to come—and he called on manufacturing leaders to seize that opportunity.

Get more information about our Creators Wanted campaign.

Business Operations

General Mills Digs Into Greenhouse Gas Reduction Efforts

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General Mills volunteers sort potatoes for distribution at a food bank.

To advance its efforts as a leader in sustainability, General Mills set a goal to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions across its full value chain by 28 percent by 2025. To achieve this, the global food company identified three key opportunity areas: implementing sustainable agricultural processes, streamlining production operations and optimizing the consumer experience.

First, the company is addressing sustainability at its roots. General Mills’ work to reduce emissions across their full value chain starts at the farm level. The company works with suppliers and farmers to implement practices like regenerative agriculture, dairy management and reforestation.

Second, it is optimizing production operations—processes like mixing, cooking, toasting, freezing and packaging—that generate the bulk of production-related greenhouse gas emissions. The supply chain team significantly reduced this impact by consolidating some production operations and reducing the average emissions intensity of electricity the company purchased.

Finally, it’s improving the customer experience. On the consumer end, activities like shopping, preparing, eating and disposing of food products also generate greenhouse gas emissions. General Mills’ portfolio has shifted to more products that do not require cooking or refrigeration, which cuts down on related consumption emissions. Recycling was also emphasized on pack.

“The biggest way General Mills can impact climate change is within our supply chain,” said General Mills Chief Supply Chain and Global Business Solutions Officer John Church. “By using our global scale, we work to create value and reduce our footprint for the benefit of consumers, supplier partners, communities and the planet.”

Understanding food waste in landfills creates greenhouse gas emissions, the food company provides philanthropic support to leading nonprofits that make it possible for food companies, grocers, restaurants, distributors, trucking companies and other organizations to donate surplus food so it can be distributed to people in need, while bettering the environment.

“Over the past year, our global investments in food recovery technology with our nonprofit partners have enabled the recovery and redistribution of more than 4 billion pounds of surplus food and our food donations enabled 29 million meals for food-insecure people around the world,” Church said.

“Manufacturers are taking meaningful steps to lead sustainability efforts across the nation,” said Laura Berkey-Ames, NAM’s director of energy and resources policy. “General Mills’ efforts are an excellent example of manufacturers putting sustainability plans into action that make an immediate difference in the lives and communities of their customers.”

Press Releases

The National Association of Manufacturers Announces Partnership with National Nonprofits SBP and Good360

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with national nonprofits SBP and Good360 that will offer disaster resiliency and recovery resources, support and training to the NAM’s 14,000 members nationwide.

Building on the broader philanthropic and community work NAM members have been doing regularly for many years, this partnership with two national disaster resiliency and recovery organizations expands the reach and effectiveness of the NAM’s efforts and positions NAM members to better understand and engage with disaster recovery needs in their own communities and across the country.

The partnership benefits NAM members by providing training, resources and tools to prepare for and respond to natural disasters, helping members reduce the risk of disasters and recover quickly should one strike. The partnership will also provide opportunities for purposeful and impactful giving and lending, allowing members to maximize the impact of their charitable giving to communities affected by disasters. Similar to the outpouring of resources to NAM members after recent events such as Hurricane Dorian and Tropical Storm Imelda, the NAM’s partnership with SBP and Good360 will provide ongoing support to affected members’ employees to simplify an overly complicated recovery space and increase predictability for survivors as they navigate their individual recovery.

Manufacturers and NAM members are tireless supporters of our communities and those in need,” said NAM Chief Operating Officer Todd Boppell. “We are excited about the opportunity to expand and extend our disaster resiliency work and to make that support more effective than ever.

The NAM announced the strategic partnership to members at its September board meeting in Washington, D.C.

By leveraging each other’s strengths and experiences, the NAM, SBP and Good360 look forward to many successful initiatives to help manufacturers become more resilient and active in their community’s disaster recovery.

-SBP and Good360-

SBP is a national nonprofit whose mission is to shrink the time between disaster and recovery by educating individuals, companies, nonprofits and government agencies about disaster preparedness before events occur and helping those affected by disasters to rebuild and recover. Good360, also a national nonprofit, is the global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving and partners with hundreds of socially responsible companies to source highly needed products and distribute them through a network of diverse nonprofits that support people in need, including survivors of disasters.

SBP and Good360 have partnered with the NAM to provide training, resources and tools to help manufacturers prepare for and respond to natural disasters.

-NAM-

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 $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Business Operations

BTE’s President on the Importance of Small Manufacturers

The NAM’s Makers Series is an exclusive interview series featuring creators, innovators and trailblazers in the industry sharing their insights and advice. Each month, we ask founders, executives and leaders of innovative firms what it takes to be a leader for manufacturers and makers in America.

Meet Chuck Wetherington, president of BTE and the NAM’s Small and Medium Manufacturers board chair. In this edition of NAM’s Makers Series, he explains why small- and medium-sized manufacturers are a cornerstone of America.

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