Working in U.S. manufacturing has a lot to recommend it. The work can be exciting and fulfilling, and daily, meaningful challenges are commonplace. Knowing you’re part of the backbone of the American economy provides a nice ego boost, too.
Still, it’s hard not to engage in some handwringing. Global economic indicators showsluggish growth and fierce competition is likely to continue over the coming years. Even U.S. automakers are poised to apply the brakes on six years of record-setting production and sales — a reality that, if it happens, will reverberate far and wide, potentially taking a lot of jobs and innovation with it.
Given that so much in the industry is affected by outside forces — Will China’s wages keep rising? Will the TPP go through? What will the next president really do to help or hinder U.S. manufacturing? — it can be tough to maintain a calm and positive outlook. Here are a handful of tips for pursuing peace of mind while working amidst the tumultuous realities of U.S. manufacturing.
Don't Cut Corners
In uncertain times, it can be tempting to cut corners and pursue the lowest cost at the expense of quality. Keeping your path free of worry, however, requires staying a course of quality, customer service and brand protection.
For example, affordable materials are a must, but only if they’re good enough to also meet your standards. Likewise, treat whatever promises you’ve made to your customers like they’re legally binding. Move heaven and earth to deliver products on time and at quality by working with vendors who do the same — even if those vendors cost a little more. You don’t need trouble cropping up six months from now because you decided to cut corners today.
What keeps you up at night? Is it the multitude of projects and people you’re managing? The potential for failure across an increasingly spread out and brittle supply chain? The jobs report? That RFQ you just sent back?
Get stress out of your head. Whether you sell your soul to a personal task management software product or you cover your office wall in Post-it® notes, putting your problems outside your body and brain where you can see them will remind you they are not you. That separation will work wonders for your peace of mind. It’s likely to make you more productive as well.
Streamline, Streamline, Streamline
Of course, the only surefire way to experience peace of mind is to get streamlined. For U.S. manufacturers, a U.S.-based supply chain will almost always be easier to manage and track than one scattered across the globe. Put that supply chain online and let a trusted partner handle everything from material procurement to supplier vetting to logistics, and it gets easier still. Add real-time order tracking to that scenario, and nirvana — or the U.S. manufacturing equivalent — won’t be far off.
Your happiest customers never worry about whether or not they’re going to get what they want from you, and you shouldn’t either. Get CNC machined parts fast. Scale your suppliers’ capabilities at the push of a button. See exactly where your parts are when they’re out on the truck for delivery. Know your supply chain is effective, affordable and efficient.
Breathe deep. Breathe deep. Breathe deep.
U.S. manufacturing doesn’t have to be an inherently stressful place. You just need to pursue the paths to peace of mind that are available.
Find out how MakeTime can streamline your supply chain, get you your CNC machined parts and ease your stress at the same time.