A Grand Old Time in Grand Rapids

 Not only was the AMBA convention a great learning and sharing opportunity, it was a blast ... with both old and new industry friends!

 

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Not only was the AMBA convention a great learning and sharing opportunity, it was a blast ... with both old and new industry friends! The three days were a blend of forecasts, data, analysis, benchmarking, Q&A, touring, dining, honoring, thanking, and yes dancing--at Mojo's!

A highlight of the event was Ralph Oswald taking home the Mold Builder of the Year Award, and the Chicago Chapter taking the 2012 Chapter of the Year title.

Hot topics included Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing who discussed the positive outlook for manufactuirng and how we can effect change if we change our attitudes; Laurie Harbour of Harbour Results shared an overview of the qualities of both the laggards and leaders from her benchmarking survey--in management, sales & marketing, quality, operations and materials; and, a workforce development roundtable of moldmakers including Liberty Mold, Do Rite, Met Plastics, Richmond Tooling, Industrial Mold & Machine and Expert Technical Training helped come up with one immediate, short-term soltuion to our labor shortage--creating a program with AMBA and iWarriors that would help connect our 28,000 returning military personnel with moldmaking employment. The top three work characteristics AMBA members are looking for today are loyalty, dedication and work ethic--and I believe that fits perfectly with our Armed Forces!

The final full day ended with shops tours (Commercial Tool & Die, Byrne Tool, Die Tech and CS Tool) that let us inside to see the good, the bad and the ugly. However, the majority of feedback shared in the discussions that followed the tours was positive ... any criticism was constructive and welcome.

When all was said and done, I returned to my office with new relationships, fresh advisory board leads, content for future articles and a long list of issues to cover ... as well as a lot of memories, and aching feet ... most of you know what I'm talking about.

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