May, 2013

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Kapstone Container
DSI
Randstad USA
Arete Enterprising
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Visuel LLC
Gordon Bentley
Patrick Knight
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Plymouth Ind
Nystrom Inc
Le Sueur Inc
Quali Tech, Inc
Starkey Labs
Baxter-Synovis
Hearth & Home
EAC
Engineered Pro
Flexmation Inc
Horton Inc
Donnelly Mfg Co
Precision Punch
Priority Envelope
Smartrac Technology
Alerus Financial
Virtus Law, Pllc
Teleflex Medical
Lifeworks Services
Anderson-KM Builders
Cenveo
The Bernard Group
Trend Enterprises
American Rotomolding
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Miller Mfg Co
FMS Corporation
Uponor
Japs-Olson Co
Johnson Screens
Zero Zone
La Machine Shop
Pentair Technical
Lexington Brainerd
Orange Tree Employment
Metro Mold & Design
Nortech Systems
Braun Intertec
Donatelle Plastics
E & O Tool & Plastics
Ceramic Industrial
SPX Corporation
E J Ajax & Sons
Clean Air Products
Remmele Engineering
Elk River Machine Co
JEM Technical
Nordson Micromedics
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CDI Inc.
TSI Inc
Mate Precision
Donaldson
Juno Inc



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Article Index

Top Three Tips for Hiring Manufacturing Talent
Article by: Marni Hockenberg

A top issue facing manufacturing companies today is the tight labor market. Companies are vying for top talent at all levels. In my role as a recruiter for the manufacturing industry, I’ve noticed that top candidates are evaluating jobs opportunities differently that they did 5 years ago.


Lean Leader of the Month: Gary Olson
Article by: Gary Olson

Gary Olson is the director of Operations Excellence at JunoPacific located in Anoka, MN and Soquel, CA. JunoPacific specializes in thermoplastic and thermoset plastic molding with capabilities including; part design, prototyping, micro-molding, multi-shot injection molding with spin-stack tooling, complete product assembly, and validated sterile packaging. 


MN Economic Outlook
Article by: Dr. Ernest Goss

For a fifth straight month, Minnesota’s Business Conditions Index moved above growth neutral. The index from a monthly survey of supply managers in the state rose to 55.7 from 55.2 in March.


DEED Unemployment Update
Article by: Manufacturers Alliance

According to DEED, the Department of Employment and Economic Development for the state of Minnesota, the state’s unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 5.3 percent in April. 


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Top Three Tips for Hiring Manufacturing Talent

A top issue facing manufacturing companies today is the tight labor market. Companies are vying for top talent at all levels. In my role as a recruiter for the manufacturing industry, I’ve noticed that top candidates are evaluating jobs opportunities differently that they did 5 years ago.

It is no longer a ‘buyers’ market’ with companies in the driver’s seat. A-list talent have choices, and hiring managers would do well to to put on their ‘sales & marketing hat’ during the interview process to court them.

Consider incorporating these 3 talent attraction tips into your recruitment and interview strategy to effectively hire the manufacturing candidate of your choice:

  1.  Provide plenty of data about your company to candidates during the interview process. Manufacturing talent tends to evaluate and make business decisions based on metrics and measureable results, and making a critical career decision is no exception. For example, if you tell candidates that your products are superior to your competition, your market share is up, and your company is growing, be prepared to back up your claims with supporting data. Remember, recruiting is essentially a sales and marketing function. Your candidates are a customer and they are making a purchasing decision –to come to work for you. Understand how this type of customer makes a buying decision and make your ‘sales pitch’ accordingly for optimal hiring results.

  2. Top manufacturing performers are not looking for a job… they are seeking a career opportunity. They want to work on interesting projects and products, be surrounded by colleagues who set the bar high for optimal performance, and become incrementally better at their craft every year they work for you.  For currently employed candidates, the interview is the place to show them why or how your opportunity is better than the job they currently hold. During the interview, ask candidates what they are seeking in their next job, and then clearly demonstrate how the job at your company will help them attain their career goals. In sales this is called ‘consultative selling’ where the salesperson asks questions to learn what’s important to their prospect, and then demonstrates how their service/product will be the solution to their specific business challenges. When A-game talent pulls out of your company parking lot after the interview, make sure they have a clear and accurate picture of how your job will help them advance their career goals. Let others on the interview team know what is important to the candidate so that you are all on the same page during the entire process. When it comes time to extend a job offer, revisit how your company will help the candidate achieve their career goals.  This will help ‘seal the deal’.

  3. Make the interview process a priority on your schedule. Top candidates are receiving multiple offers. If you can, schedule the first and second interviews close together. This is not 2009 when companies had hundreds of qualified candidates vying for jobs the opposite is now the case. I’ve seen many companies lose out on their top choice of a candidate because they weren’t prepared to move fast and make an offer. If your hiring managers are going to be traveling extensively, take advantage of technology and schedule Skype or video-conferencing interviews. If you like an A-game candidate, surely your competition will also find the candidate attractive for the same reasons, and they may be prepared to move quickly. Don’t lose your top candidate just because of scheduling issues.

Candidates are customers and the way that they make buying decisions change with market conditions.  Based on my recruiting experience, these three tips are just a few ways that you can increase the chances of hiring your top manufacturing candidate. Happy Hiring!  

Marni Hockenberg is Principal of Hockenberg Search, a Twin Cities search firm that specializes in managerial recruitment for Midwest manufacturing companies. Contact Marni at marni@hockenbergsearch.com; 952-500-9542; www.hockenbergsearch.com.

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Lean Leader of the Month: Gary Olson

Gary Olson is the director of Operations Excellence at JunoPacific located in Anoka, MN and Soquel, CA. JunoPacific specializes in thermoplastic and thermoset plastic molding with capabilities including; part design, prototyping, micro-molding, multi-shot injection molding with spin-stack tooling, complete product assembly, and validated sterile packaging. 

Where in mfg did you receive your Lean training/experience?
I received my Lean Certification through the University of Kentucky.  My experience came from lots of hands on experience at Andersen Corporation, Renewal by Andersen, rms, and currently, JunoPacific Inc.

How, when, and why did you get introduced to lean and what fuels the passion for Continuous Improvement?
In 2000, I was introduced to Lean when I was re-deployed into a Lean Leader role as part of our Lean re-organization at Andersen Windows.  My experience, training, and education since then, has heightened my awareness of waste in every type of business.  I enjoy working with people and have developed a passion in helping others see waste and learn how to use and apply the lean principles and tools.  Looking back, I believe the re-depolyment of my position back in 2000 was the new beginning of my career.

What are your current Lean oriented activities? 
I currently support two plants in which the knowledge and experience in Lean varies significantly among all the employees.  I am working with them on learning the principles and tools of lean and more importantly, using them as part of a Lean Management System. 

What were the lessons learned (any hurdles you overcame) in leading or training your team on a Lean project? 
Even though I have read it in books, I have now personally experienced that learning the lean tools is the easy part.  Using them as part of a management system and changing the culture to one that embraces continuous improvement as an absolute requirement is easy to agree to but very challenging to implement and sustain.

What are the next steps in the Lean journey for your company?
We will be focusing on improving our Lean Management System and improving employee engagement.  This will allow us to develop JunoPacific into a World Class supplier to the medical device industry.

How would you describe peer-to-peer education & training to your colleague?
I see it as a critical component of learning Lean and peer-to-peer is a great way to learn.  It creates a safe environment in which one can share and discuss successes and challenges openly with peers.  Much of what I have learned has been from others successes and failures as well as my own. 

Gary Olson is the Director of Operational Excellence at JunoPacific. Gary can be reached at golson@junopacific.com

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MN Economic Outlook

For a fifth straight month, Minnesota’s Business Conditions Index moved above growth neutral. The index from a monthly survey of supply managers in the state rose to 55.7 from 55.2 in March.

Components of the index from the April survey were new orders at 57.6, production or sales at 57.4, delivery lead time at 55.7, inventories at 51.4, and employment at 56.5. “Compared to its pre-recession level, Minnesota has regained all jobs lost during the recession. Over the past several months, durable goods producers are reporting healthier growth in business activity than nondurable goods manufacturers.  Our surveys over the past several months point to an expanding state economy in the months ahead with solid improvements in business activity,” said Goss.

Dr. Ernest Goss of Creighton University, used the same methodology as The National Association of Purchasing Management to compile this information. An index number greater than 50 percent indicates an expansionary economy, and an index under 50 percent forecast a sluggish economy, for the next three to six months.

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DEED Unemployment Update

According to DEED, the Department of Employment and Economic Development for the state of Minnesota, the state’s unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 5.3 percent in April. 

The agency said the jobless rate fell to its lowest point since May 2008 and remains well below the U.S. rate of 7.5 percent in April. 

State employers shed 11,400 jobs in April, while March figures were revised from 5,200 jobs lost to 3,300 jobs lost. Minnesota has gained 24,400 jobs over the past year, a growth rate of 1 percent, compared with a U.S. growth rate of 1.6 percent during that period.

"While we've seen mixed results in the labor market in recent months, the overall outlook for jobs in Minnesota remains positive," said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. "Eight of the state's 11 major industrial sectors have gained jobs in the past year, and the unemployment rate is at a five-year low."

Information, along with education and health care led all sectors last month, each gaining 600 jobs. Logging and mining held steady.

Job losses occurred in trade, transportation and utilities (down 5,700), government (down 2,000), leisure and hospitality (down 1,900), manufacturing (down 1,100), other services (down 900), professional and business services (down 500), financial activities (down 400) and construction (down 100). Art Sneen, President of the Manufacturers Alliance, said in response to the released data “Our Manufacturing members in the Twin Cites and metro area continue to report tepid expansion, despite an uncertain economy influenced by new government regulations and policy.”

Over the past year, the following sectors have gained jobs: education and health services (up 10,500), professional and business services (up 8,600), trade, transportation and utilities (up 6,800), information (up 2,200), leisure and hospitality (up 800), financial activities (up 600), other services (up 600), and logging and mining (up 200).

Job losses occurred in the past year in government (down 2,100), construction (down 1,500) and manufacturing (down 200).

In the state Metropolitan Statistical Areas, job gains occurred in the past 12 months in the Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 1.5 percent), Rochester MSA (up 0.9 percent), Duluth-Superior MSA (up 0.8 percent), Mankato MSA (up 0.7 percent) and St. Cloud MSA (up 0.2 percent).

The mission of the Manufacturers Alliance is to provide peer-to-peer training, education, and resources which inspire manufacturing companies to continuously grow, improve, and stay competitive.

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