Gathering Highlights Automotive Vendor Tooling Concerns

The upcoming Detroit event builds on momentum generated by the OESA Tooling Forum and the 2013 OESA and HRI Automotive Vendor Tooling Study.


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If you’re a supplier of automotive vendor tooling, consider booking a trip to the Detroit area right now before prices get any higher. If you’re already located there, consider clearing your schedule for the afternoon of October 30th. Chances are you won’t regret it.

On that date, the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) and Harbour Results Inc. (HRI) will conduct a group discussion about critical concerns for the automotive vendor tooling industry. Scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. at the Sheraton Detroit Novi Hotel, the discussion will be driven in large part by the findings of the 2013 Automotive Vendor Tooling Study, conducted jointly by the two organizations, as well as the work of the OESA Tooling Forum, a group of independent vendor tool suppliers that gather regularly to discuss common problems and share best practices. Specific topics include the projected tooling capacity gap, the cause and effect of OEM launch delays, and the skilled worker shortage. Click here for registration and other information.

I can confidently say this event will be worth your while because of my familiarity with both organizations. I’ve seen Laurie Harbour, president of HRI, speak a number of times, and the response has always been extremely positive. In my view, that’s a credit to not only her no-nonsense attitude, but also the information she has to offer. Of late, most of that information involves how North American manufacturers can step up to address the nearly $6 billion tooling capacity shortage identified in the 2013 Automotive Vendor Tooling study. Harbour covered that capacity gap extensively in an article she wrote for MoldMaking Technology last December.

A month later, in the January issue, I dove into the workings of the OESA Tooling Forum, without which that study never would have happened in the first place. As I’ve written before, I think peer groups like this can go a long way toward ensuring a competitive North American manufacturing industry in decades to come. Read that article to learn more about the forum’s goals, structure and advantages for member shops.