It may be fall in a tumultuous 2020, but it’s still a season for business. How are manufacturers and others in industry using this time? While some businesses are conducting seasonal hiring and internships or preparing for holiday rushes, others are working on new products and services or efficiency plans for 2021 and beyond. Kirsten Austin and her team at DCSC Inc., developer of DCWarehouse, a WMS shipping and supply chain solution, host a light Fall Manufacturing Business Hour for this week’s #USAMfgHour chat on Twitter.
Opening the chat, the group began talking about current business plans, staying on track, and how they plan to finish the year strong.
“Let’s talk business,” said Austin. “Our goal is to earn two new WMS Customers and formally launch a new product. What are your plans for this last quarter in 2020?”
“Continue to grow our clientele,” said Crescent Software. “We love meeting new clients and have great relationships with each of them. Our staff does such a great job making sure each customer is receiving the best service possible. We also hope to establish more of a social media presence.”
“We have a ton of projects that are out there,” said Chenango Valley Technologies. “We'd like to close a couple of them and continue to build relationships with other new customers for the future.”
“We have existed most of our 90 years without a proper mission statement (can you believe it???) We're finalizing that as a company,” said DSI/Dynamatic.
“We're hoping to work almost exclusively for a new client who would help expand business greatly,” said White Bear Plumbing. “Looking forward to new growth and hopefully hiring a couple of hardworking plumbers.”
“It's not how you start, it's how you finish so we're hoping to have a strong finish as we wrap up the last quarter,” said Cleveland Deburring. “Acquiring new clients and getting some new people trained.”
“Increase in Social Media, we have blog, we hired a guest blogger, blog 2X month. create more videos,” said DuraTech. “Do more face time/video blogging, added 2 webinars this year, and want to do more.”
“The fall has been fantastic so far, so we're working to keep it strong,” said Aviate Creative. “We'll continue to grow our networks and our manufacturing communities. We also want to continue to establish our brand, @aviatecreative as the experts in manufacturing branding and creative.”
“We’re always helping manufacturers with various 5S and safety projects, for example we helped outfit a new chemical processing facility in the U.S. We have free help anytime and lots of resources,” said Graphic Products. “We’re also working on some new things for 2021. Our website is also improving to make shopping quicker and easier than ever.”
“You may prolly know that I redesigned my website,” said Social Marketing Success. “I need to revisit all the landing pages, optimize it for search and for visitors. So, some restructuring & optimization have to be done. Got quality leads so that was an on-point change.”
“I have witnessed such dedication to customers and introducing new, quality products,” said Advanced Superabrasives. “My goal is to definitely grow our social media presence!”
Work Hard, Play Hard
The chat weaved in some fun questions, asking the group to share their plans for the season, what brings them motivation, and person projects.
“My relationships that I have built here on twitter and LinkedIn,” said Chenango Valley Technologies. “It's been a roller coaster ride the last couple of months. Not to mention being in sales. We all need a pick me up here and there and you all provide that when I need it.”
“(What motivates me) hands down, the people around me,” said Advanced Superabrasives. “We have a small team but we are very mighty. We all wear multiple hats and there is nothing more motivating than working with a team who honestly cares.”
“Crossing something off my "to do" list and new ideas! Making the best better!” said Obsidian Manufacturing.
“I currently rent so I get to watch other people do the projects! Yea! But I have a personal goal of giving COVID back the 30Lbs it added to my scale. That’s something like a project,” said Nick Rivers.
“Caffeine. Lots and lots of caffeine ... And seeing how the people I work with keep pushing to build the business and maintain positivity. It's fun to watch,” said Cleveland Deburring.
This year has been extremely challenging for businesses and their staff. What have businesses learned this year?
“That if you build a community and focus on relationships, they'll be there for you when the chips are down. Oh, and to trust my gut. If something feels off, then it probably is,” said Jen Wegman.
“Great question! COVID taught me that I don't need what I thought I needed before,” said DSI/Dynamic. “Life can be lived *with* and *on* less. It's a freeing concept!”
“To keep pushing,” said Chenango Valley Technologies. “There is no time to sit and wallow in a pandemic or anything. There are always bridges to be built and things to be done. Be proactive.”
“Our company is very strong,” said DuraTech. “We found ways to continue to stay open & support our community, our country, our team members who needed to be home, to support our customers in different ways.”
“I've learned the power of routine. With all schools, gyms, public spaces closed it's hard to be able to keep that same work ethic from home,” said Crescent Software. “Getting into a routine is key to stay on top of goals while working from home, because most times I lose motivation w/o one.”
“I learned it long ago but have needed it more this year than in a long time and that is to stay hopeful for the future, don't stress or overthink anything that may happen past midnight today, and live in the moment,” said Cleveland Deburring.
“To keep busy and never underestimate human stupidity, but also their resilience,” said White Bear Plumbing.
“There's not enough characters for all the things (Weary face). I'll go with my #1 - value the people in your life. I always say love the ones you love and make sure they know it,” said Obsidian Manufacturing.
“I've learned ... how to wash my hands. LOL noo. I have learned to accept outcomes that are out of my control and routine + self-motivation is a top priority,” said Advanced Superabrasives. “Personally, I have learned that I love drawing and I am so happy that I dove back into it!”
“We have found ways to stay on top of our game and to be helpful to all during this time. Working together is always a priority,” said Graphic Products.
“Results are often not immediate,” said Northeast Demand.
“I have learned that I have not been spending precious time on my business because I was busily spending time in the business delivering projects, speaking and networking,” said Felix Nater of Nater Associates. “I have since learned how to find time for myself during the COVID-19 Shelter at Home.”
The group then was asked about other #USAMfgHour topics they would be interested in learning more about or perhaps even hosting. Some of the topics included recycling programs, supply chain solutions, B2B marketing tips, using LinkedIn for lead gains, and more.
The chat then led into: What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?
“We’re really proud of our employees for helping make this time easier for our customers and for our company. Without our team, we wouldn’t be what we are today,” said Graphic Products. “It says something when people can step up for their workplace during a stressful time and strive to do what they can each day successfully.”
“I closed a really big deal and aside from that, I’m able to bring some of our work to a great guy @CvtPlastics Dan who takes good care of us,” said Extreme Molding. “After all that’s what this group is for ... #USAMfgHour #MADEinUSA #createjobs.”
“Honestly, we took a big hit in 2019 and early 2020. I'm really proud of sticking with it, pushing through and now back to growing,” said Aviate Creative.
“This may sound trivial. I felt extremely accomplished when a saying I helped create made it on a company t-shirt and stickers - keep in mind that we do surface grinding. ‘Talk Less, Grind More’ just brings a smile to my face!” said Rivers.
“We had very minimal social media & website presence before I came aboard. It has increased tenfold! I don't think businesses can survive very well without them these days,” said DSI/Dynamatic.
Anyone who champions U.S. manufacturing can join in on a new conversation each week on Twitter using the hashtag #USAMfgHour. The chat starts at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time/2 p.m. Eastern. Share positive blog posts, helpful articles, news, important information, accomplishments, events, and more with other manufacturers and supporters from throughout the country.
Are you interested in hosting a #USAMfgHour chat? Contact organizers @CVTPlastics, @DCSCinc, and @SocialSMktg.