Joe Morgan is the president of Square Deal Machining Inc. which began as a one-room machine shop in Upstate NY and has grown into a 300,000 square-foot facility that offers full-service fabrication, machining, and welding capabilities. Skilled in AutoCAD, CNC Operation, Computer Numerical Control (CNC), Bending, and Laser Cutting, Morgan has worked in the machinery industry for over 20 years.
What are the most significant changes the manufacturing industry is facing currently? How can manufacturers respond and adapt to these changes?
JM: The biggest challenge we are facing is keeping the workforce trained to be able to use the latest technology and finding an unskilled workforce that is willing to be trained to use the latest technology. The technology is growing faster than the workforce is. Manufacturers need to continue to promote themselves as offering career opportunities that will allow people to advance both at the workplace as well as socially, economically and personally. Educating people about the opportunities in the trades and getting people excited about work in the trades is paramount. Also, schools are behind the times in technology so they are teaching students in ways that are not conducive to today's manufacturing technologies. They are coming out of schooling behind where the market currently stands.
How can manufacturers respond to large-scale changes like fluctuations in labor costs, increasing automation and a greater focus on renewable energy?
JM: This is a challenge for every industry, regardless if you are a manufacturer or not. Manufacturers need to make sure they understand their cost structures and continue to invest in technologies to help them lower or combat the increasing costs that are occurring across the world. Technology has to be used to complement the increasing labor costs as it needs to have more output to pay for both the technology and that person. However, technology also enables employees to make more money because companies can produce more, so they can afford to pay them more if they are utilizing the technology appropriately.
What are today’s customers looking for in a manufacturer?
JM: They are looking for parts delivered on time with perfect quality, the lowest landed cost and the ability to rapidly adjust to demand and schedule changes.
What types of new technologies are revolutionizing the manufacturing industry? How are these technologies improving efficiency, operations, etc.?
JM: The advancements in lasers, robotics and machine tool speeds are the biggest revolutionary vehicles currently transforming the industry. Allowing the workforce to be more productive with every hour worked through better utilization of floor space lowers both overhead and labor costs to allow manufacturers to be more competitive.
How is SDMI positioning itself for growth? Which technologies and/or processes is the company adopting to stay ahead of the competition?
JM: We are positioning ourselves for success through workforce development and continuous education for our team members, as well as the acquisition of the latest technology and equipment