Gen Z and metal fabrication: a perfect match

DAN DAVIS| May 22, 2019
GEN Z AND METAL FABRICATION: A PERFECT MATCH
As I was chatting with a metal fabricator about the number of engineers it has on staff, I asked if it were hard to find engineering talent that wanted to work in the world of metal fabricating. The question was timely, as he proceeded to share the tale of a young engineer that gave the company a call out of the blue. She had been working for a consultancy, preparing reports and advising clients, but she was looking for something more.

Spotlight

STEINERT US

STEINERT US is the global leader in magnet and sensor-sorting equipment for the scrap, waste, recycling and mining industries. Our separation technologies result in higher accuracy and purity in sorting materials, resulting in a better quality end-product that demands a pricing premium. STEINERT spends more than $2 million per year on research and development of new technologies, our North American Lab tested 196 tons of customer material in 2014, and our equipment is designed to last a minimum of 10 years.

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Real-Time Data Collection in Manufacturing: Benefits and Techniques

Article | January 12, 2022

Real-time manufacturing analytics enables the manufacturing base to increase its efficiency and overall productivity in a variety of ways. Production data is an effective means of determining the factory's efficiency and identifying areas where it might be more productive. “Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.” – Geoffrey Moore, an American Management Consultant and Author Creating a product-specific data collection may assist you in determining and visualizing what needs to be improved and what is doing well. In this article, we'll look at why manufacturing data collection is vital for your organization and how it may help you improve your operations. Why is Manufacturing Data Collection so Critical? Visibility is the key benefit that every manufacturer gets from manufacturing data collection. By collecting real-time data, or what we refer to as "shop floor data," manufacturers better understand how to assess, comprehend, and improve their plant operations. Manufacturers can make informed decisions based on detailed shop floor data. This is why having precise, real-time production data is critical. “According to Allied Market Research, the worldwide manufacturing analytics market was worth $5,950 million in 2018 and is expected to reach $28,443.7 million by 2026, rising at a 16.5% compound annual growth rate between 2019 and 2026.” For modern manufacturers, the advantages of data collection in manufacturing are numerous. The manufacturing industry benefits from production data and data-driven strategy in the following ways. Substantial reduction in downtime by identifying and addressing the root causes of downtime. It increases manufacturing efficiency and productivity by minimizing production bottlenecks. A more robust maintenance routine that is based on real-time alerts and machine circumstances. Improvements in demand forecasting, supplier scoring, waste reduction, and warehouse optimization reduce supply chain costs. Higher-quality goods that are more in line with customers' wishes and demands depending on how they are utilized in the current world. So, after looking at some of the significant benefits of real-time manufacturing analytics, let’s see what type of data is collected from production data tracking. What Sorts of Data May Be Collected for Production Tracking? Downtime: Operators can record or track downtime for jams, cleaning, minor slowdowns, and stoppages, among other causes, with production tracking software. In the latter scenario, downtime accuracy is optimized by removing rounding, human error, and forgotten downtime occurrences. The software also lets you categorize different types of stops. Changeovers: Changeovers can also be manually recorded. However, changeovers tracked by monitoring software provide valuable data points for analysis, considerably reducing the time required for new configurations. Maintenance Failures: Similar to downtime classification, the program assists in tracking the types of maintenance breakdowns and service orders and their possible causes. This may result in cost savings and enable businesses to implement predictive or prescriptive maintenance strategies based on reliable real-time data. Items of Good Quality: This is a fundamental component of production management. Companies can't fulfill requests for delivery on schedule unless they know what's created first quality. Real-time data collection guarantees that these numbers are accurate and orders are filled efficiently. Scrap: For manufacturers, waste is a significant challenge. However, conventional techniques are prone to overlooking scrap parts or documenting them wrong. The production tracking system can record the number and type of errors, allowing for analysis and improvement. Additionally, it can capture rework, rework time, and associated activities. WIP Inventory: Accurate inventory management is critical in production, yet a significant quantity of material may become "invisible" once it is distributed to the floor. Collecting data on the movement and state of work in progress is critical for determining overall efficiency. Production Schedule: Accurate data collection is essential to managing manufacturing orders and assessing operational progress. Customers' requests may not be fulfilled within the specified lead time if out of stock. Shop floor data gathering provides accurate production histories and helps managers fulfill delivery deadlines. Which Real-time Data Collection Techniques Do Manufacturers Employ? Manufacturers frequently employ a wide range of data collection techniques due to the abundance of data sources. Manual data collection and automated data collection are two of the most common data collection methods. Here are a few examples from both methods: IoT: To provide the appropriate information to the right people at the right time with the correct shop floor insight, IoT (Internet of Things) sensor integration is employed. PLC: The integration of PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) is used to measure and regulate manufacturing operations. HMI: It can provide human context to data by integrating line HMI (Human Machine Interface) systems (such as individual shop terminals like touch screens located on factory floor equipment). SCADA: Overarching management of activities with SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems. CNC and Other Machines: Integrating CNC and other machines (both new and older types) to keep tabs on production efficiency and machine well-being is a must these days. Final Words One of the most challenging aspects of shop floor management is determining what to measure and what to overlook. The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently conducted a study on assisting manufacturing operations in determining which data to collect from the shop floor.Additionally, you may utilize the manufacturing data set described above to obtain information from your manufacturing facility and use it strategically to improve operations, productivity, efficiency, and total business revenue in the long term. FAQ What is manufacturing analytics? Manufacturing analytics uses operations and event data and technology in the manufacturing business to assure quality, improve performance and yield, lower costs, and optimize supply chains. How is data collected in manufacturing? Data collection from a manufacturing process can be done through manual methods, paperwork, or a production/process management software system.

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How Can Manufacturers Redefine Marketing Strategies in the Age of COVID?

Article | April 27, 2021

What do you need to create a killer B2B marketing plan or scale it to support a new marketing business in the age of COVID-19? Many manufacturing companies struggled when the coronavirus started. Some of them paused all marketing activities, waited for the lockdown to end, and then made up for potential losses. Looking at this situation, where does your business stand when it comes to marketing planning in 2021? Simply copying and pasting the old calendar, changing dates and campaign names will be far from being sufficient for the years ahead. Instead, establishing steady and tangible SMART B2B manufacturing marketing goals, which are specific, measurable, relevant, time-bound, and flexible, is crucial for marketers. And such goals should be made every quarter and bucketed under a planned manufacturing marketing strategy. Aren't you sure what to include in your B2B manufacturing marketing plan? Read on the following ideas that will help you do marketing in the age of COVID-19. Redefine your Budget Season As marketers in industrial manufacturing face planning failures such as inevitable spreadsheets, board meetings, sales, and client handling that accompany for an entire year, they're also facing dwindling budgets. So, redefining your manufacturing marketing budget in 2021 will be one of the most important aspects of marketing for manufacturers. Digital Marketing AMA's latest CMO Survey found that manufacturing marketers anticipate an 8.4% rise in digital marketing spending throughout 2021. What is your digital marketing goal in 2021? Generate double-digit leads for products and services? Promote or launch a new product or service? Expanding reach by ranking in Google's first search engine result page (SERP)? Creating a proper digital marketing plan will leverage to know beyond its tip of the ice. The digital platform will keep your marketing activities on track and in one place, and you will see what's working and what doesn't. This way, you can create a solid budget to implement digital marketing in your marketing business. Customer Experience A survey found that customer experience expenditure surged 10% from past years after companies started marketing budgeting. This prominently included A CRM (customer relationship management) platform. So, including a CRM will benefit your business to track and manage contacts present in your marketing pipeline. Social Media Platforms Interestingly, social media expenditure has soared by 74% since February 2021, and the investment by other manufacturers has paid off. Manufacturers report that social media has contributed to the company's performance 24% more after the pandemic. In general, 62% of marketers report that the importance of social media marketing for manufacturing has grown during the pandemic due to its critical role in reaching customers digitally. It's clear that companies that already implemented digital marketing see the value of budgeting for social media, which increased the positive results of marketing. So, when you set up a new budget, include social media to grow your business. 5 Things to Consider while Marketing your Business A Lead Scoring Model One of the most important aspects of marketing in manufacturing is implementing a lead scoring model. Investing in it will allow you to see through the valuable metric of your leads that will make you determine which ones are qualified. Metrics include your ideal customer's demographics such as company size, revenue, industry, and main pain points. Also, these have a number of website visits, specific page views, content downloads, contact forms, emails unlocked, engagement with social posts, and more. Regularly evaluate your lead scoring model and update to ensure your metrics are closely related to your ideal prospect. It would lead both sales and marketing for manufacturers to identify valuable leads in your database easily. Invest in A Video Marketing Strategy Video Marketing is a great deal. As per Cisco's research, by 2021, videos will account for 80% of all internet traffic. In addition, being one of the internet’s traffic sources, it’s practical and reasonable. Video marketing for manufacturers has been profitable by 83%. From creating more leads per year to a rise in sales, 80% say that video marketing has aided their business significantly. If you haven't invested in video marketing yet, or if you've only dipped your toes in the water, 2021 is the year to dive in completely. As per HubSpot's 2020 State of Marketing report, video beats content forms like blogging, email, and infographics. Also, video is the most-used marketing content type for manufacturers. So, there are many tools and resources that make it easy to get started with video marketing. Videos help to sell industrial manufacturing products and create a brand story. So, think about it and include this when budgeting your marketing plan. Move Beyond Basic Marketing Analytics Through digital marketing, manufacturing marketers have been trying to determine the ROI of their efforts. But do you know that most of them have been doing a lousy job? That's because they, and the tools they use, tend to focus on things that don't matter. These include views, clicks, etc. More than 600 manufacturers and industrial companies in the U.S. have learned that their marketing and sales are going wrong. Out of which, 35% of manufacturers are not using an analytics tool like Google Analytics. So, it is advisable to move beyond basic marketing analytics to track how much traffic is coming to your website. The latest tools can identify companies visiting and allow salespeople to engage them in their research phase. It will result in creating and maintaining promising relationships with clients. Content Isn't Optional A rock-hard content marketing plan is the core of your online business's success. Keep in mind; a few blogs are not sufficient to get accurate results! Creating content helps (by answering) your potential buyer's queries in their research process and throughout their buying journey. A survey found an online search or a blog acts as a key source for finding answers to questions. As most sales are happening online now, Hubspot suggests that manufacturing businesses' sales will surge incredibly in 2021. An average B2B manufacturing marketing has involved 68% of stakeholders. Prospects are now making more decisions by reaching out to a company than ever before because they want your website and social channels to educate them completely. If they can't find the information on your owned channels, they might turn to your competitor's website instead. This makes content the most important aspect of marketing. When it comes to steady and consistent lead generation for b2b manufacturers, content is at the front and center of all the B2B manufacturing marketing trends. So, take content seriously instead of keeping it just as an alternative. What's Important for 2021? Plan in quarters Many companies create full-year planning calendars in November and December. The pandemic in 2020 has taught us that to plan too ahead in advance can get your business to flow in the wrong direction. Because who knows whether those plans or events would fall digitally or be back to in-person. Will your target audience be as approachable as to emails and webinars or not? So, plan your marketing things quarterly from annual to ensure your business leads in the right way. Audit Constantly It's not advisable to keep an eye on one particular marketing metric, for example, tracking traffic to your website. Instead, it's the whole picture that matters. 2021 is the year to evaluate every goal, every channel, and every message related to your business. With this, think about creating a big picture as well—company positioning and values, competitive research, and even business goals. Here are some standard audit actions recommended: 1. Conversion rates Visitors converting to leads Leads converting to customers 2. Email engagement Number of sent emails Deliverability metrics Subscriptions/unsubscribing 3. Revenue attribution audits How much revenue can be credited to marketing campaigns? 4. Campaign success How did all of the individual elements of your campaign perform? That includes: The site and landing pages Email marketing Paid ads and PPC Social messages How did the campaign perform against other campaigns? 5. Social media audit Engagement by channel Overall reach and growth 6. Funnel audit How effectively contacts are moving through the funnel In addition, conduct an audit and analysis vertical to ensure all the automation is taking place or running appropriately. Doing it will help your marketing team keep a constant check on all the processes and cater to you with exact marketing activities. Keep this activity active throughout the year. Continue Shifting Budgets—Don't Be Afraid Much of 2020 has been experimental in marketing for manufacturers. Many manufacturing companies moved away from in-person events to a webinar, shifted expensive prospect meetings to internet meetings, trade events to PPC, website, and content creation. In these cases, you might have to shift your budgeting when needed. Consider revising the budget to create advertorials, creative virtual events, and strategic lead generation tools if you plan in quarters. Along with these, 2021 brought a good time to invest even in intent data, ABM, SEO, and other automated technologically advanced digital initiatives. According to a recent study, manufacturing companies are now 21% more likely to invest in automation and technology. As they are now inclined towards the use of webinars & virtual events (20%), search & social media (14%), and website (12%). All of these increased in light of COVID-19. So, start planning for what's sure to have a better year ahead with your marketing strategies. Frequently Asked Questions What is the role of marketing in the manufacturing industry? Marketing plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing industry. Through marketing, customers are well informed about products or services a company offers. Also, marketing helps in building the brand name, awareness, and visibility of a company. How to use social media marketing in manufacturing? Social media marketing in manufacturing can be ideally used in these ways: Choose right platform Share useful content Create advertisements Create creative posts Connect with in-market participants Encourage engagement Create videos and share Address problems and provide solutions through content What are the important aspects of marketing for the manufacturing industry? Being the crucial part of any company in the manufacturing industry, essential aspects of marketing are: Website Brand name Platform Promotion SEO Sales How can Email Marketing help to market in the manufacturing industry? Email marketing in the manufacturing industry can help by creating informational content. Start from offering subscription options to potential customers, clients, and visitors. Send updates, information, an overview of the company's services and products to aware the reader and convert them into loyal customers. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "WHAT IS THE ROLE OF MARKETING IN THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Marketing plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing industry. Through marketing, customers are well informed about products or services a company offers. Also, marketing helps in building the brand name, awareness, and visibility of a company." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN MANUFACTURING?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Social media marketing in manufacturing can be ideally used in these ways: Choose right platform Share useful content Create advertisements Create creative posts Connect with in-market participants Encourage engagement Create videos and share Address problems and provide solutions through content" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF MARKETING FOR THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Being the crucial part of any company in the manufacturing industry, essential aspects of marketing are: Website Brand name Platform Promotion SEO Sales" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "HOW CAN EMAIL MARKETING HELP TO MARKET IN THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Email marketing in the manufacturing industry can help by creating informational content. Start from offering subscription options to potential customers, clients, and visitors. Send updates, information, an overview of the company's services and products to aware the reader and convert them into loyal customers." } }] }

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Lead Generation for Manufacturers: 5 Effective Techniques That Work

Article | January 4, 2022

Lead generation for manufacturers has always been tough due to a lack of knowledge about new technology and trends that can help them generate more business leads. There are still a lot of small and mid-sized manufacturing companies that rely on antiquated manufacturer lead generation methods. In this article, we'll discuss some proven methods for generating leads that can help you increase your company's sales and improve your overall return on investment. "Don’t think of your lead as "LEADS." Instead, think of them as people who are frustrated because understanding and buying your product is too hard. Your job is to make it easy for them to learn about your product and get started. " —Andy Pitre, VP of Product, HubSpot So let's get started. Factors That Must Be Aligned to Drive New Business Leads Landing Pages Landing pages are mini-websites embedded into your site. To deliver an experience that speaks directly to the user's intent, marketers use landing pages. Create unique landing pages for every industrial lead generation campaign. Calls-To-Action To generate quality leads, you need to have a strong call to action (CTA). CTAs are usually buttons that allow users to submit information, visit a landing page, or download an e-book or white paper. Your CTA must be compelling. Give your prospects a reason to click and remove any barriers to the click. CTAs should be bold, high-contrast, and easily identifiable. Forms Without forms, it is impossible to collect leads. Therefore, visitors will be asked to fill out forms that collect their contact information in exchange for an offer. Offers Every lead contains a transaction. A company provides a valuable service in exchange for a prospect's contact information. You won't get many leads unless you provide value to your potential customers. This offer comes in the form of an e-book, consultation, coupon code, or whitepaper. To generate more leads, make compelling offers. Website The above components can't exist if you don't have a website. If you want to emphasize your business, you need to generate quality leads. Why? Because most of today's B2B buyers are millennials, who are highly tech-savvy and increasingly conduct their supplier research online. How to Generate Manufacturing Leads: 5 Effective Techniques Create a Website That Converts "The lead generation process starts by finding out where our target market ‘lives’ on the web." – Wayne Davis Your website should be a trusted source of quality leads. Unfortunately, many companies lose sight of this and develop websites that are cumbersome and difficult to browse, causing a rift between you and your potential customers. Don't expect people to behave if your site doesn't encourage them to act. Your website should have clear "call to action" buttons and lead capture options that allow visitors to contact you in a simple and pleasant way. Additionally, there are website optimization tools available, including PageSpeed Insights, Hotjar, Google Optimize, and WAVE. All of the above-mentioned website optimization tools provide complimentary services. So, this is the most accessible and most reliable approach to generating web leads. Make Descriptive Infographics Infographics are a great way to provide prospects with helpful information while motivating them to contact you. Most importantly, infographics establish your company as a thought leader and unconsciously identify you with industry authority. According to recent surveys, Nearly 41% of respondents indicated that infographics and illustrations are the most effective solutions for achieving their business objectives. On social media, infographics receive three times the number of shares as other types of content. Articles that included infographics received 72% more views than standard articles. A great infographic has a great design. If your organization lacks an in-house graphics team, you can simply locate a freelance designer to create a stunning infographic for you. Your infographics are ageless pieces of material that can be reused for smart marketing and lead generation manufacturing. Here's an example of an infographic from Digital Marketing Philippines from 2019 that received over 1,600 shares and is jam-packed with data and text. In this way, you can see how the company may have gotten its leads from these 1600 shares, each of which is a potential customer. Host an Event According to Bizzabo, 86% of senior management (Senior Managers, Executives, and Board Members) believe that in-person events are critical to the success of their company. The majority of B2B marketers (97%) believe in-person events have a significant impact on achieving business goals. According to Marketing Charts, 68% of B2B marketers agree that in-person events aid in lead generation for manufacturers, while case studies help with lead conversion and acceleration. Improve manufacturing lead generation through events that can occur both online and offline. Organize any kind of event to attract your target market while collecting contact information. Use live events to interact with consumers in real-time, answering questions, addressing objections, learning about your audience, and guiding prospects through the sales funnel. Consider webinars, workshops, seminars, meetups, and conferences. Create a Value-Packed Newsletter "Content is the fuel for your lead generation efforts." – Dayna Rothman According to the Content Marketing Institute, 31% of B2B marketers believe email newsletters are the most effective way to nurture leads. 81% of B2B marketers report that email newsletters are their most frequently used form of content marketing. Create a must-read newsletter that invites interested prospects to engage and remain connected with your company. This enables you to stay top-of-mind with consumers and promote your products and services to move prospects along the sales funnel. The newsletter can have new blog entries, product or service updates, special deals, upcoming events, and recommended reading from other thought leaders. Incorporate SEO into Your Marketing Plan According to Intergrowth, 61% of B2B marketers say SEO and organic traffic generate more leads than any other type of marketing. Search engine leads convert at a rate of 14.6%, while outbound leads (cold calling, direct mail, etc.) convert at a rate of 1.7%. Manufacturers are no exception when it comes to the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). As a result, you may generate many leads with the correct marketing approach and a profound grasp of SEO for manufacturers. Final Words When we consider the statistics explained earlier in this article, we can see the benefits of all of the techniques mentioned and how they can help you increase your lead generation and, as a result, your overall business ROI. Thus, we can refer to the above-mentioned lead generation techniques as sales-driven strategies that will assist you at every lead generation and conversion stage. Improved lead generation for manufacturers enables businesses to reach a vast customer base and generate more high-quality leads. FAQ What is a high-quality lead in manufacturing? Leads of high quality have an increased propensity to convert into paying consumers. The more qualified your leads are, the more likely they will buy your product or service. What are the lead generation challenges? Making accurate data, shaping conversations, and converting qualified leads into sales are some of the significant challenges in manufacturing lead generation.

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Quality Digest Defines Enhanced Webinar Events

Article | May 18, 2021

For twenty years as an editorial contributor to Quality Digest magazine, I have had the pleasure of authoring or collaborating more than 80 articles for the publication. During this two-decade tenure, I have worked with Dirk Dusharme (pictured left), Editor in Chief of Quality Digest. Quality Digest’s website receives more than three million page views each year, which provide editorial content, live broadcasts, videos, and on-demand webinars presented by industry experts on international quality standards, leadership, manufacturing, metrology, statistical process control, training, and more. Quality Digest continues its important role as companies navigate a post-COVID reality with a critical role of safety, quality, efficiency, and resiliency. Quality elements are no longer an after-thought. It is essential when examining automation, lean manufacturing, and new paradigms for best practice. During COVID, all of us became more remote savvy and the demand for visionary content and information essential. According to Dusharme, “Since their debut almost a decade ago, Quality Digest's "enhanced" webinar events have raised the bar for the traditional webinar experience. Our audience has come to expect concise, informative, and engaging presentations with subject matter experts who know what they are talking about. Apart from the traditional quality topics, we delve into areas that broaden our audience’s knowledge. These topics range from cybersecurity, to supply chain management, to understanding and dealing with cognitive biases. Our goal is to provide up-to-date, actionable information that our audience can immediately put to use. Live video feeds of the presenters and the products, interactive Q&A sessions, surveys, and valuable downloads all make up our usual webinar experience, followed by next-day access to the on-demand recording and materials.” Enhanced Webinars from Quality Digest feature real-time streaming video of host, subject matter expert, and a case study in action. Users can email questions, chat, or download files in real-time. This modality is ideal for visual case studies/product demos, team or customer training, and new product/new service announcements.

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Spotlight

STEINERT US

STEINERT US is the global leader in magnet and sensor-sorting equipment for the scrap, waste, recycling and mining industries. Our separation technologies result in higher accuracy and purity in sorting materials, resulting in a better quality end-product that demands a pricing premium. STEINERT spends more than $2 million per year on research and development of new technologies, our North American Lab tested 196 tons of customer material in 2014, and our equipment is designed to last a minimum of 10 years.

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