What’s Bothering You?

A look at the industry’s pain points.

With the help of the American Mold Builders Association, we surveyed a portion of their membership and our readership to gauge the issues and challenges mold manufacturers across North American are currently enduring when it comes to the moldmaking industry overall, individual mold manufacturing businesses and moldmaking operations. Here are the top 10 findings:

1.  Lack of credit. Lenders are reluctant to fund progress construction using the work in progress or even receivables as collateral, particularly for automotive.

2.  Engineers are no longer responsible for placing orders; purchasing agents who know nothing about manufacturing processes and/or tooling are making the decisions. The engineering capacity of our customers is too low.

3.  Payment terms and conditions. Collecting progress payments during construction and collecting automotive project payments until 60 to 90 days after PPAP approval. The trend is to put the part-to-print liability on the tool shops without additional costing.

4.  Quoting. Going over quoted hours on jobs, most notably in design and CNC programming. Out of control mold and part inspection and certifications.

5.  Trade laws. Offshore sourcing of tools. China. Mexico.

6.  Tax burden. Healthcare costs.

7.  Finding financing options for more efficient equipment and keeping up with technology. Grants for new equipment.

8.  Balancing our workforce to match our lack of sales.

9.  Morale in a negative business environment.

10.  Distance to market.

With all of these challenges on the plates of mold manufacturers across North America, we will focus our efforts on delivering you appropriate content—via print, online and live events—to arm you with what you need to face them head on.

One such live event is amerimold: The Event for Moldmaking and Tooling, Design and Product Development (April 12-14, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, IL). This event marks the evolution of the MoldMaking Expo through its incorporation of product development. Mark your calendars as details will be unfolding (amerimoldexpo.com).

So if you have a story to tell, advice to give, lessons to pass on, technology solutions to promote or business management strategies to share, contact me, so we can continue to help each other move this industry forward.