Three years after the initial pandemic-prompted shut-downs, manufacturers throughout the US are once again inviting customers to visit their shops, attending conferences, and meeting in person with their NTMA chapters.
Well, most of us are, anyway.
Forced downtime wasn’t so bad for many CNC machine businesses. We needed a mental break from calendar obligations and business travel. There were certainly some positive outcomes, like spending more time with our families.
But mask mandates are long over. Kids are back in their classrooms, and workplaces have largely resumed their tried-and-true business practices.
So why are so many machine shop organizations still stuck in a COVID-19 safety bubble?
Be Honest: Have You Been Isolating?
Maybe you’re just in a rut. So much has changed since early 2020 that you’ve forgotten what it’s like to register for conferences and plan face-to-face meetings.
Or maybe you’re still processing the chaos of the past three years. We know many of you lost loved ones, lost employees, lost customers. Did you also, perhaps, lose some perspective?
It’s time to get back into the game
Sometimes we need to get benched—to sit out a game or a season. But that bench isn’t meant to become your permanent home.
Today’s machine shop owners and leaders need to roll up their sleeves and re-enter the proverbial arena—two of them, in fact:
1. Conferences and industry events offer exceptional opportunities to grow professionally and connect with your peers (and industry heroes!)
Though our pandemic-era calendars may have looked empty, the manufacturing industry has rapidly changed over the past three years. Manufacturing jobs are reshoring to North America, Industry 4.0 is our generation’s Industrial Revolution, and new technologies are paving the way for increased efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
Industry events are the number-one way to stay attuned to the latest manufacturing trends, policies, and advancements. In this fast-adapting economy, being the last to know can be a death sentence for CNC machine businesses and others in the field.
2. Customer visits are the ultimate form of engagement. In-person conversations will always prove more effective than emails or phone calls—and if you’re the only shop in town that isn’t hosting customer events, you should prepare to lose valuable POs to your competition.
Along with opening your own doors for tours and face-to-face meetings, you (or a representative from your team) should be reaching out to your customers to schedule visits to their places of business. Just as you’ve grown accustomed to insulating your shop against the outside world, your customers have also gotten used to a level of isolation.
Be the supplier who breaks the isolation streak. Because if you don’t, someone else will.
We’re Taking Our Own Advice to Heart
Here at NTMA, we’re moving full steam ahead, planning events as far in advance as 2025!
The MFG 2023 Meeting: April 26-28, Phoenix, AZ
Collaboratively hosted by NTMA and AMT, The MFG Meeting is a peer-to-peer conference open to anyone in manufacturing. Surrounded by manufacturing technology’s greatest influencers, you’ll forge lifelong friendships while learning the latest best practices for meeting demand and preparing for the future.
International Tech Tour: May 7-12, Germany and Switzerland
For NTMA members ONLY, the International Tech Tour provides progressive manufacturers with the opportunity to observe and learn the global best practices shaping today’s machine shops. Attending NTMA members will benefit from a strategic tour schedule highlighting some of Europe’s most successful manufacturers.
Engage 2023: October 18-21, Indianapolis, IN
NTMA’s signature conference packs three incredible days with networking, advocacy, and learning opportunities. Hear from nationally acclaimed experts, participate in roundtable discussions, attend social networking events, and get inspired in growth-focused breakout sessions.
Keep Calm and Carry On into a Bright Future
What brought you success pre-pandemic is going to be what carries you post-pandemic.
That’s right: The lessons and experiences that served you well in the past will continue to serve you as you learn, grow, and innovate—this year, next year, and all the years after.
So shake off the cobwebs of isolation, and connect once more with the thriving community of manufacturing owners and experts. We’re right here waiting for you.