Please excuse our early closure on Friday, Dec. 15. We are open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please come to make your purchases or look around prior to 3 p.m. since we will be closing at that time so that our employees can be rewarded for their hard work and enjoy our annual holiday party with Santa Claus and a pretty rowdy White Elephant gift exchange!
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
The Crew at HGR Industrial Surplus
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jared Donnelly, one of HGR’s inside sales reps)
This time of year, finding the exactly perfect thing you’re looking for is a challenge that we all face as we descend upon retailers trying to cross things and people off of our shopping lists. For manufacturing and industry, this holds true, as well, as buyers search to try to fill gaps in their arsenal of machinery, or look for one specific part to take their production to the next level.
Searching for industrial surplus is, undoubtedly, easier now than ever with dealers nationwide, networking, and, of course, the Internet. Just like anything else, however, you need to know not only what you’re looking for but the best way to look for it. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips to guide you through searching for just what you need on hgrinc.com.
- Could you be a bit more vague? Typically, it is important to be specific in your search. However, on hgrinc.com, it will actually make it easier to find what you’re looking for if you search broadly and generically. Instead of searching for the make, model, or specific type of bandsaw, just search “bandsaw.” Sometimes, we get equipment in without any sort of real information. Maybe the manufacturer’s plate came off or was removed. Maybe the previous owner painted over or removed any branding. We may well have the bandsaw that you’re looking for. Searching broadly will generate a result for any and all bandsaws in our inventory. From there, find one you like, jot down the inventory number, and give us a call.
- A Machine by Any Other Name. How many different names can you think of for things you use every day? Industrial surplus is no different. You may refer to an item as a recycler; someone else may call it a shredder; and still someone else may have a different name for it altogether. IF your first search doesn’t yield the result you’re looking for, try searching for it by an alternative name. Again, it is important to search broadly, then drill down from there to find exactly what you’re looking for.
- How Much Does It Cost? If you know you’re searching for an item that might only cost $25, sifting through a list of items ranging from $5 to $25,000 doesn’t make much sense. As with most online shopping sites, hgrinc.com gives you an option to sort by price. For instance, if you’re looking for a transformer and you search “transformer” on the website, you’re going to get a wide array of items and prices. If you know that the one you want is a small unit that shouldn’t cost much, sort by price, low to high, and once you hit a price that’s higher than it ought to be for your item, you know you’ve reached the end of your search.
- Ricky, Don’t Lose That Number. Once you find an item, jot down the inventory number for it and remember what it is. This is going to make it much easier to repeat your search without having to try to recall the exact term you used, which one it was, or what page it was on. Instead, you’ll go to the website, type in the 11-digit inventory number, and your item, assuming it is still available, will be right there. Plus, when you call in to talk to a salesperson, the first thing he or she will ask is, ”Do you have an inventory number for me?”
- Frequent Flyer. The website updates in real time and on a daily basis. So keep refreshing, keep looking, and remember to sort by new arrivals. as well. As soon as something is inventoried and photographed, it goes on the website, oftentimes before it even hits the showroom floor. Keeping an eye on this gives you an advantage over in-store shoppers who might not have seen the item on the website or on the floor. As soon as an item is sold, it is removed from the website; so, if you can’t find it anymore, it’s no longer available.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Ned Hill, A One-Handed Economist and professor of public administration and city & regional planning at The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs, powered by The MPI Group)
Honda has always been known for its precise management style; in fact, you could say they literally do everything by the numbers: The 3 Joys, the 3 Fundamental Beliefs, the 5 Management Policies, and the 5 Components of Racing Spirit, to mention just a few. Let’s see how Honda’s obsession with metrics is reflected in an effective mission statement and how superior performance is the result.
Honda’s official name is Honda Motor Car Company, which honors its roots and largest product group. But that moniker doesn’t really describe the company; Honda is a global manufacturing organization that produces and sells far more than automobiles:
- The company’s motorcycles and scooters are globally competitive, with more than a quarter billion sold since 1948.
- Honda Jet in North Carolina delivered its first plane in late 2015 using an engine developed with GE Aviation.
- The power-equipment group produces general-purpose engines, generators, boat engines, lawnmowers, and yard equipment. This division also is moving into household natural-gas-powered cogeneration, and the company as a whole is a leader in fuel cells.
- Honda also is developing a presence in industrial and mobility robotics.
All in all, it’s worth asking, as we consider mission and values: Is there something that ties this company together, or is it just another industrial conglomerate linked by shared financials? More philosophically: How does Honda identify value propositions for customers and owners across its broad platform of products? What is the firm’s corporate connective tissue and source of competitive advantage?
I’d suggest that two competencies unite Honda:
- The first competency is technical and product-oriented: Common to all of Honda’s products and divisions are engines and propulsion systems. These are present in each of its product lines and serve as technical sources of competitive advantage.
- The second competency and source of competitive advantage is the company’s culture.
The Seven Tests of Mission Relevance and Effectiveness
For any company, seven statements provide guiderails to its current operations and a path to its future:
- Statement of purpose explaining why a company exists.
- Statement of the company’s competitive advantage and core competencies.
- Value proposition for customers.
- Value proposition for owners.
- Vision statement that frames the company’s future direction.
- Values and ethics statement that defines the company’s culture, describes the organization as a place to work, and is directed at employees.
- Strategy proposition, founded upon the value propositions, which ties together the vision of the future with sources of competitive advantage and the values of the workplace.
I’ll rate each component of Honda’s culture-setting statements with a ranking from 1 (low) to 5 (high) of the company’s white coveralls (all associates wear them, for anti-utilitarian (dirt shows easily, emphasizing a clean work environment) and egalitarian (everybody looks equal) purposes).
Let’s go through them step by step.
Test One: The Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose should explain the reason why a company exists. To find Honda’s statement of purpose, we have to draw from three of its cultural documents.
First of all, the foundation of Honda’s culture is its statement of philosophy:
“Driven by its dreams and reflecting its values, Honda will continue taking on challenges to share joys and excitement with customers and communities around the world to strive to become a company society wants to exist.”
Honda’s overarching philosophy recognizes that its survival depends on customers who value its products and communities that value its locations and associated jobs. The philosophy is not tactical, was not developed by marketing, and is timeless. As such, it is partially a statement of purpose.
The company’s mission statement is global, reflecting the realities of the company’s footprint, and focuses on providing value to its customers:
“Maintaining a global viewpoint, we are dedicated to supplying products of the highest quality, yet at a reasonable price for worldwide customer satisfaction.”
APPLAUSE! This mission statement is a value proposition for customers.
Last, the outward-facing messages of Honda’s philosophy and mission are implemented by The Three Joys. The Three Joys of buying, selling, and creating are corporate norms; all are part of the company’s value proposition to its customers.
- The joy of buying is “achieved through providing products and services that exceed the needs and expectations of each customer.”
- The joy of selling is the reward from selling and servicing products and from developing “relationships with a customer based on mutual trust.” In Honda’s vision, selling links the company’s employees, dealers, and distributors together with their shared customers.
- The joy of creating occurs when Honda’s associates and suppliers are involved in the design, development, engineering and manufacturing of Honda products that “exceed expectations [of the customer].” Then “we experience pride in a job well done.”
APPLAUSE again! The Three Joys provide a set of norms that implement Honda’s mission statement and recognize that the corporation’s future is rooted in business practices. No social workers or frustrated marketers were involved in the mission’s creation.
Honda’s philosophy — combined with its mission statement and operationalized by the Three Joys — satisfies the first and third of the seven statements of purpose and value propositions. Give them four pairs of Honda white coveralls for my first criterion on the purpose of the company.
Test Two: The Statement of Competitive Advantage
My second criterion is a statement of competitive advantage, and you cannot find an explicit statement. Perhaps making such a statement is too bold and boastful for the company. Instead, the company’s source of competitive advantage is evident in its product lines and dependence on applied research. Honda’s competitive advantage rests in its research expertise in engine and propulsion systems and the development of products around its research.
An example comes from one of the company’s newest product lines, Honda Aircraft Company. This business unit is the outcome of a 30-year effort to create a disruptive light passenger jet, and it demonstrates the connection between the company’s guiding philosophy and its product development. Michimasa Fujino, an engineer who was part of the original research team in the mid-1980s, is now the president and CEO of the business unit. He helped the investment survive technical and economic setbacks by tying the project to the company’s efforts to rekindle innovation, or to dream. The division exists because of the initiative and skill of Fujino, and it survives because of the strategic support of the company, especially through the Great Recession and the crash of the private aircraft market. “A company has to have longevity,” he says of his strategic mandate. “We look at 20 years or even 50 years of Honda’s growth in the long term. In order to have that kind of longevity, we have to invest [in] our future.”
Honda earns five coveralls for meeting the second criterion through its actions and investments, not through its words.
Test Three: The Value Proposition for Customers
Couple the mission statement with the Three Joys and a clear value proposition is made to customers: Providing products and services that exceed the needs and expectations of each customer at reasonable prices that generate worldwide customer satisfaction.
Five white coveralls on Honda’s ability to present a value proposition to its customers, which is the third test.
Test Four: The Value Proposition for Owners
There is no explicit statement about the value proposition that Honda offers to its owners. This is left to its direct communications with shareholders. However, the awarding of coveralls comes later because Honda hints at that value proposition in its statements.
What is the company’s vision for its future? It is not a specific list of products, technologies or investments. Instead, it is timeless guidance for management and investors in its five Management Policies, which are a mix of Eastern and Western value statements:
- Proceed always with ambition and youthfulness.
- Respect sound theory, develop fresh ideas, and make the most effective use of time.
- Enjoy work and encourage open communications.
- Strive constantly for a harmonious flow of work.
- Be mindful of the value of research and endeavor.
The management policies are a mixture of guidance on how to perform today’s job by supporting open communications and promoting a harmonious flow of work, and of paying attention to tomorrow’s job. Tomorrow’s job is to be approached with “ambition and youthfulness” and based on research, development, and risk-taking: “Respect sound theory, develop fresh ideas” and “Be mindful of the value of research and endeavor.” The emphasis on tomorrow’s job is reinforced by the joy of creating.
While the Management Policies’ language is not familiar to a North American, its intent is pitch-perfect. It addresses the accomplishment of today’s job in the third and fourth precepts—encouraging a harmonious workplace based on open communications. This is part of a values and ethics promise to Honda’s employees.
The other management policies are about tomorrow’s job: Be ambitious and develop new ideas that rest on research and risk-taking. Honda expects itself to be an innovation company. I award three coveralls on the fourth criterion of making a value proposition to ownership because Honda only hints that it is a company built for the long run; it is not solely focused on next quarter’s return.
Test Five: The Vision Statement
The fifth test is explicitly about the future orientation of a company. In Honda’s case, the foundation comes from three of the Management Policies and the tactics come from a set of principles closely associated what the company’s founder, Mr. Soichiro Honda, called The Racing Spirit.
The Racing Spirit is directly connected to Mr. Honda’s early experience in motorcycle racing. He observed that passion is part of every competitive racing team, and he wanted that same passion to be at the heart of his company. There are five components to the Racing Spirit:
- Seek the challenge: Seeking competition improves the performance of both individuals and the company.
- Be ready on time: All races have a starting time—be ready before the gun goes off.
- Teamwork: Races are won by teams, not just the driver. Honda defines this as togetherness: the driver, staff, and machine are all vitally important.
- Quick response: Be ready to solve unpredictable problems at all times.
- Winner takes all: The only goal is winning.
The future orientation of the company begins with seeking the Racing Spirit’s challenge, followed by the Management Policies of ambition, respecting sound theory and fresh ideas, coupled with respect for research. All of this is powered by the dreams that are mentioned in the company’s overarching philosophy. Five overalls for the fifth criterion.
Test Six: The Values and Ethics Statement
The sixth test focuses on the company’s workplace values and business ethics. Honda’s Fundamental Beliefs add to the company’s Management Policies that relate to its workforce. The Beliefs are a trinity of statements about the company’s relationships with its employees. Honda states that these three norms sum to respect for individuals:
- Initiative to act is encouraged, along with taking responsibility for the results of those actions.
- Equality is defined as recognizing and respecting individual differences and rights to opportunity.
- Trust is action-based: “helping out where others are deficient, accepting help where we are deficient, sharing our knowledge, and making a sincere effort to fulfill our responsibilities.”
Honda values initiative, ambition, equality, and trust in a harmonious workplace built around open communications. Five coveralls awarded for meeting the sixth criterion on values and ethics.
Test Seven: The Strategy Proposition
A cornerstone of Honda’s corporate culture is a commitment to continuous improvement and lean operations. Yet, this is not directly reflected in the company’s philosophical statements. The Management Policy supports a “harmonious flow of work,” making effective use of time, along with a fundamental belief in each associate taking responsibility for their actions. These are all elements of lean production.
How well does Honda do in building a useful strategy proposition that is supported by a strong set of management values? Honda’s Philosophy, The Three Joys, the Fundamental Beliefs and The Racing Spirit are guiding principles that are closely associated with Mr. Honda. They are critical components of what could be called the company’s origin story or foundation myth and have been used when the company appeared to have lost its way. Mr. Honda built his company around an enduring strategy proposition—the racing spirit. It is only fitting to drape this criterion with four and a half pairs of Honda’s enduring white coveralls. After all, there is always room for improvement.
OK, But Why the White Coveralls?
Why the white coveralls? They are part of the company’s culture and derive from its fundamental beliefs about equality. Honda does not have reserved parking, its employees are called associates, and all workers — even its CEO, research and development associates, and its accountants — wear white coveralls with covered buttons. This was a shock to U.S. workers when Honda Americas Manufacturing started production.
Honda offers three explanations for the tradition:
- White jumpsuits make physical statements about the work environment, modern manufacturing, and the quality of the finished product. White uniforms stain and easily show dirt. They serve as a check on Honda’s belief that “good products come from clean workplaces.”
- They are symbols about the manufacturing work environment at Honda. The covered buttons prevent scratches on the finish of the products — and highlight the importance of detail in quality.
- Finally, the uniform is a statement about equality and team. Honda states that the white outfit symbolizes the equality of all at Honda in pursuit of the company’s goals.
When Honda opened its U.S. manufacturing operations in Marysville, Ohio, in the 1980s, the jumpsuit and lack of managerial perks made one other statement to potential workers: Honda was not the same as a U.S.-headquartered car company. At the time, this was a very good thing — though others have since learned from Honda’s example.
Head to our Facebook page to guess what piece of equipment or machinery is pictured. To participate you MUST meet the following three criteria: like our Facebook page, share the post, and add your guess in the comments section. Those who guess correctly and meet these criteria will be entered into a random drawing to receive a free HGR T-shirt or other cool items.
Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.
HGR Industrial Surplus is partnering with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers to host an in-person and online auction of assets from the former Allison Conveyor Engineering at 120 Mine St., Allison, Penn. This auction includes bridge mills, plasma tables, fabricating and welding equipment, CNC machining, and toolroom and support equipment.
Click here for further details and to register.
Did you know that most people use i.e. when they want to say “for example” when they should be using e.g.?
Let’s find out what they actually mean so that we can use them properly. “e.g.” is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase “exempli gratia,” which means “for example.” “i.e.” is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase “id est,” which means “namely,” “that is” or “in other words.” So, just think “example” with an “e” needs to use “e.g.” with an “e.” And, “in other words” with an “i” needs to use “i.e.” with an “i.”
Let’s look at some examples:
- I enjoy outdoor activities, e.g., hiking and horseback riding. (I am giving a few examples of activities that I enjoy. There are others.)
- I enjoy outdoor activities, i.e., hiking and horseback riding. (I am stating that the only activities that I like, in other words, are these two.)
Two more examples:
- Her daughter loves watching superhero cartoons (e.g., Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). (two examples of cartoons that she likes)
- Her daughter loves watching her favorite cartoon heroes (i.e., the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). (specific/namely/in other words because this cartoon is her favorite not an example of cartoons that she likes watching)
Note: In American English, we also include the periods and a comma after these abbreviations when we use them in a sentence.
A way around this decision if you can’t remember which to use is to substitute the words for the abbreviation:
- I enjoy outdoor activities, for example, hiking and horseback riding.
- I enjoy certain outdoor activities, in other words, hiking and horseback riding.
- Her daughter loves watching superhero cartoons, for example, Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- Her daughter loves watching her favorite cartoon heroes, in other words, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Manufacturing overhead, including factory supplies, depreciation on equipment, and replacement parts, can take a toll on a company’s wallet. Then, when they need to add equipment or replace aging systems, they’re faced with the complication of choosing among options to buy used, buy new or lease. When replacing equipment, a manufacturer needs to sell the old equipment in order to free up floor space and capital.
That’s where HGR Industrial Surplus comes into the manufacturing pipeline to assist a business’ growth and investment recovery by providing used equipment for sale or lease and by buying used equipment to help companies turn surplus assets into cash that will help pay for the upgrade or replacement.
Since scrap prices are at an all-time low, most companies can probably can do better by putting the equipment back into service through resale, which also is environmentally responsible. And, someone else will be able to save capital by buying it used or may even use the equipment for parts in the repair of another piece of equipment. Reselling to HGR also saves the seller the time and frustration incurred in finding potential buyers or in spending money to place ads in industry publications or resale websites then monitoring and responding to inquiries.
If a company is looking for a piece of equipment to replace one being taken out of service or to expand its line, it either can buy the used piece of equipment or lease it through HGR. If they choose to buy it, we have a 30-day, money-back guarantee that mitigates risk, and we are a Machinery Dealers National Association member, which means that we abide by their stringent code of ethics.
Should a company choose to lease a piece of equipment, we have a relationship with a finance source that, essentially, will buy it from us and lease it to the company. Once purchased or leased, our Shipping Department can set up transportation. Then, from the date that the item is purchased, a customer has 30 days to pay and 45 days to remove it from our showroom.
SHOPPING HINT: As soon as the item is received, our Buy Department prices and photographs it then posts it online. Some items never make it to the showroom floor because they are purchased as soon as they are listed. So, it’s important to have a relationship with one of our salespeople who can keep a customer in the loop if something comes in, or a customer can check our website or our eBay auction for the most recent arrivals.
And, though we sell used equipment, we sell tons of other stuff, including shop supplies, fans, fixtures, laptop bags and printer ink cartridges. You never know what you will find. We get 300-400 new items each day in many equipment categories, including welding, machining and fabrication, supply chain/distribution, plastics, chemical processing, electrical, furniture and finishes, hardware, motors, robotics, shop equipment and woodworking. There’s something here for everyone. Many makers and hobbyists shop at HGR and upcycle equipment pieces and parts into other useable objects.
(Courtesy of Guest Bloggers Joseph N. Gross, partner, and Cheryl Donahue, associate, with Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP)
Although many manufacturers are upbeat about the changes in leadership that will be coming at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and having a full complement of commissioners at the OSHA Review Commission, new OSHA standards could mean a few non-compliance surprises.
Recordkeeping: Who, what, and when
OSHA revised its recordkeeping requirements for tracking work-based injuries and illnesses, now requiring many employers to submit their records electronically. This new electronic recordkeeping rule affects all employers with 250 or more employees that were previously required to keep OSHA injury and illness records and employers with 20-249 employees that are classified in any of 67 specific industries, including manufacturing, which, according to OSHA, historically have had high injury and illness rates. To be compliant, affected employers must submit their 300A Forms by December 1, 2017, per OSHA’s latest notice of proposed rulemaking. Forms are to be submitted to OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application. After the forms are collected, OSHA will post each employers’ specific illness and injury data on its website, to, as one of OSHA’s announcements explains, nudge employers to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.
Recordkeeping in 2018
In 2018, the electronic recordkeeping requirements change again. Employers with 250 or more employees are required to electronically submit all of their required 2017 forms (Forms 300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018. Employers in the specified high-risk industries, including manufacturing, with 20-249 employees are required to submit their 2017 Forms 300A by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019, the submission deadlines change from July 1 to March 2 each year.
In addition to the electronic submission requirements, the new recordkeeping rule prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report their work-related injuries and illnesses. The rule also requires employers to inform employees of their right to report their injuries and illnesses free from retaliation. Employers’ reporting procedures must be reasonable and cannot discourage or deter employees from reporting. Although OSHA did not go so far as making safety incentive programs unlawful, OSHA made clear that rewarding employees for having a good safety record is not permissible.
The dead Volks Rule
In April 2017, President Trump signed a resolution that killed the Volks rule. The Volks rule permitted OSHA to issue citations for certain recordkeeping up to five years after the noncompliant conduct. OSHA’s authority is back to six months. Changes to other rules and policies, including the electronic recordkeeping rule, are probably one to two years away, so stay tuned.
New compliance standards: beryllium & silica
On May 20, 2017, OSHA’s new beryllium standard became effective. Beryllium is a strong, lightweight metal used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, defense, and nuclear energy. The new standard reduces the permissible exposure limit for beryllium to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour day. The new standard also requires employers to use practices such as ventilation or enclosure to limit employee exposure to beryllium and to provide respirators when exposure cannot be limited.
On October 23, 2017, OSHA’s silica standard began limiting employee exposure of silica dust to 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour day. Silica exposure occurs when employees cut, grind, or drill silica-containing materials such as concrete, rock, tile, or masonry. The standard now requires employers to limit employees’ access to high exposure areas, to provide medical care to employees who have been exposed, and to train employees about silica-related hazards.
Walking and working surfaces and ladders
OSHA’s new fall-protection standards became effective earlier this year, but manufacturers will not get the full impact until they have to buy new ladders. They are changing. In 20 years, employers will have to replace all cages and wells used as fall protection on ladders of more than 24 feet with more effective systems. But, starting November 2018, employers purchasing new fixed ladders over 24 feet will not be able to use cages and wells for fall protection.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Joan Milligan, Euclid Art Association program director)
How do you start an art movement? By making connections! During a planning meeting in June for the second-annual Euclid Art Walk, the Euclid Art Association brought up the idea that an art walk should have an art show for the students of the city. That was how the All-Student September Art Show was born.
The goal of the student art show was to connect the community to the local schools to promote the arts. Art is an important, but often limited, part of curriculum. Art teaches students be creative and to look for and recognize designs and patterns all around them. By developing this ability, students can be led to careers not only in art, but also in computer science, graphic design, architecture, engineering and more. Because of limitations in school budgets or family resources, many talented students don’t have access to quality art supplies. We realized the art show could serve another purpose – create a forum to display and recognize budding talent and award that talent with access to good supplies for various media.
Once the seed was planted, the show began to grow! A local landlord offered a vacant storefront to use as a gallery. Businesses, including HGR Industrial Surplus, made donations so that good-quality art supplies could be awarded as prizes to the students and classrooms. The prizes presented to the winners included:
- Large and small tabletop easels
- Pastel sets
- Framing certificates to Driftwood Gallery
- Drawing tablets
- Paint sets
- Paint brushes
- Gift certificates to Dodd Camera
- Photo paper
- Art books
Additionally, the Cleveland Museum of Art sent its mobile art truck complete with hands-on art projects for children, and even a troupe of stilt walkers!
The Euclid Art Walk was held on Friday, Sept. 22, from 6:00-11:00 p.m. The Student Art Show was held from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the donated storefront. We created a mini-gallery-feel in the store with art racks and tables from the Euclid Art Association. Live painting opportunities for both adults and children were available in front of the store.
This inaugural art show had 46 entries from elementary through high-school students ranging. There were enough entries at the high-school level that we were able to designate two judging categories: Photography and Fine Arts.
We will be open our normal hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Wednesday and Friday, but we are closed on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the holiday with our families.
Remember to give thanks for all you have. We are grateful for our wonderful customers!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from the crew at HGR Industrial Surplus.
MAGNET: Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network is inviting manufacturers to impact the future of manufacturing in Northeast Ohio through its second-annual Northeast Ohio Regional Manufacturers Survey. To thank you for your time, you’ll be able to pick one of 10 different business books – and they’ll send it to you for free! They’ll also make a donation of $5 to Harvest for Hunger in your honor.
It will take less than 15 minutes to answer the 40 questions. Your response this year will shape legislative policies and regulations, better align the workforce development system, and much more. In late January, you will get real results on how your company stacks up against other companies in your region, and in your industry, in critical areas like workforce, operations, and growth. The survey questions revolve around workforce, operations, perspectives on growth in 2018.
Feel free to forward this to whomever in your organization that you think is the most appropriate person to fill out the survey, and feel free to share it with other manufacturing companies, as well. The more the merrier!
The final results will be shared widely, and you’ll receive an email as soon as the results are released.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Matt Williams, HGR’s chief marketing officer)
What does your department do?
The Marketing Department at HGR Industrial Surplus is responsible for all inbound and outbound marketing. Core responsibilities of the department include: e-mail marketing, social media, events and tradeshows, graphic design, videography, blogging, public relations, and community relations.
Over the past two years the marketing team at HGR has focused intently on content marketing (hence all these great blog posts!) in the company’s efforts to learn more about its customers, vendors, and community and to serve as a connector in the manufacturing sector.
How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?
The Marketing Department currently has three full-time employees and one part-time employee and also relies upon the expertise of several contractors and consultants. Gina Tabasso is our marketing communications specialist and is responsible for developing content, interviewing customers and other stakeholders in the community, and managing a variety of different departmental functions integral to the team’s success. Joe Powell is our graphic designer and videographer. Joe designs fliers, website landing pages, internal communications, and a variety of other internal and external communications pieces used throughout the organization. He is also an FAA-licensed drone pilot. Paula Maggio is our social media specialist. She manages our Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts. She is also a skilled public relations professional and drafts and distributes press releases for HGR. Matt Williams is the chief marketing officer at HGR and is responsible for managing the marketing team. Matt also has principal ownership of the website and e-mail marketing and manages the activities of several contractors.
What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?
The Marketing Department receives daily requests from various departments at HGR. Organization to make sure that deadlines are met is critically important. It’s also important that team members are able to bring creative ideas to the table and to synthesize the ideas of other stakeholders in the company to help bring those ideas to life.
What do you like most about your department?
The Marketing Department at HGR has the latitude to pursue creative and innovative ideas to drive engagement. This has been evidenced recently through the F*SHO modern furniture show that was hosted at HGR and which drew somewhere around 5,000 visitors during a five-hour period on a Friday evening in mid-September.
What challenges has your department faced, and how have you overcome them?
Working on the website was very difficult just two years ago. The website was developed by a South Korean firm. While the firm is very technically sound and capable, the language barrier required the use of a translator for e-mail and phone calls. Additionally, the difference in time zones slowed things down. The Marketing Department worked with a local Web-development firm to redevelop the company’s website on the WordPress platform, which makes it much easier to publish posts just like this one. It has become the foundation for our content marketing efforts.
What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?
The Marketing Department at HGR was retooled in 2015. All of its current employees were hired in 2015. This created an opportunity to take the company’s marketing efforts in a different direction, and the feedback from other employees and stakeholders has been very strong. One of the biggest changes has been the launch of a new website in 2016.
What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?
Gina Tabasso has been interviewing customers for the past several months and has conducted more than 100 interviews. These interviews will be used to develop a customer satisfaction survey that will be sent out in the first quarter of 2018 to gauge opportunities to improve how we do things.
What’s HGR’s overall environment like?
HGR is a relaxed work environment where people care about one another. It’s a fun place to work. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we’re serious about the work that we do.
What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?
HGR helps customers to extract the last measure of life out of older capital equipment. Our company serves a role in the manufacturing ecosystem where we help entrepreneurs, startups, and high-growth companies to preserve capital for growth by putting equipment that might otherwise have been scrapped back into service. We also help to validate end-of-lifecycle of capital equipment. If no one buys a piece of equipment from us, it has probably met the end of its useful life and will be recycled. Finally, we are seeing an uptick in interest in industrial elements (e.g., machine legs) that are upcycled into other products, such as modern or steampunk-style furniture.
On Nov. 8, Joe Powell, HGR’s graphic designer/videographer, and I had the opportunity to attend a “reverse job fair” with Interactive Multimedia Technology (IMT) students at Auburn Career Center in Concord, Ohio.
These students are currently enrolled in a two-year Tech-Prep program that focuses on the various creative aspects of computer technology. Under the supervision and guidance of their instructor, Rodney Kozar, these students learn everything from Web design to design techniques (digital photography, graphic design, Adobe Photoshop), audio/video production and animation.
The focus of the job fair was to provide potential internship opportunities for Auburn Career Center’s students and manufacturing organizations who are currently members of the Alliance for Working Together, which puts on the annual RoboBots competition. Organizations had the opportunity to interview these students in order to consider hiring them for an eight-week program that would benefit both the organization and the student by working on a marketing project of the organization’s choosing.
When Rodney asked for suggestions prior the event about how to better match students to organizations, HGR suggested that the students set up booths and allow the organizations the opportunity to come around and view their work in a “reverse job fair.”
It worked out extremely well. Each student had his or her own booth featuring that student’s own work, which included large posters, short animation films, photos and even video productions. Hiring managers were able to visit each booth, see small demos, ask questions and then circle back to sign up for interviews. Each organization was allowed four interviews of 15 minutes each.
The 14 students were well prepared to speak about their work and answer various questions. With 11 organizations in attendance, student interviews were booking quickly; so, we had to make our decision fast so as not to lose out on the opportunity. With so much talent, narrowing it down to four was difficult.
During the interview process HGR’s Joe Powell was able to ask our candidates the technical questions: what software programs were they familiar with, camera angles, editing, sound booths and Photoshop. The flow of dialogue was smooth between them. I was able to get a good feel for how well our candidate managed his or her time, dealt with project deadlines, worked as a team and what he or she potentially could bring to the table. All four of the candidates that we interviewed were on their game.
Our goal at HGR is to bring on one intern in early 2018. We have it narrowed down to two candidates who we’ve invited out to interview us. Stay tuned.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Dale Kiefer, freelance journalist)
On Nov. 10, HGR welcomed members of the public to its headquarters to gain insights about important trends that are likely to affect Northeast Ohio manufacturers in the coming year. The third-annual State of Manufacturing event was organized by MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network whose mission is to help area companies grow and thereby contribute to the manufacturing renaissance in Northeast Ohio.
The morning event began with a networking breakfast that gave attendees a chance to connect with other industry professionals, including HGR associates and expert consultants from MAGNET. Ethan Karp, president and CEO of MAGNET, launched the formal part of the program with opening remarks. This was followed by an expression of thanks to HGR and all of the participants from Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail.
The first presenter was Joseph N. Gross, an OSBA certified specialist in labor and employment law who is also a partner at Benesch Attorneys at Law. He spoke about changes at OSHA and what manufacturers can expect when dealing with the agency in the coming year.
He was followed by Mark Wolk, the central region manager for Bank of America Leasing & Capital, who gave an overview of the equipment finance market. This included a lease versus loan benefit comparison for capital equipment.
The third and final speaker for the morning was Dr. Ned Hill who teaches economic development policy, public policy, and public finance at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. The focus of his presentation was Manufacturing 5.0, or the Fifth Industrial Revolution, which describes the most recent major shift in the economy’s structure. Under Manufacturing 5.0, all aspects of enterprises will see full digital integration. In this new economy, soft skills will be just as valuable and essential among the workforce as harder technical skills.
Following the presentations, the speakers opened the floor to questions. Thereafter, attendees were given a chance to take guided tours of HGR’s facility and learn more about the history of the company and the value that HGR itself provides to manufacturers. More than 40 attendees toured HGR’s 500,000-square-foot showroom and newly renovated offices.
The State of Manufacturing 2017 event was sponsored by MAGNET, The Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Benesch Attorneys at Law, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Head to our Facebook page to guess what piece of equipment or machinery is pictured. To participate you MUST meet the following three criteria: like our Facebook page, share the post, and add your guess in the comments section. Those who guess correctly and meet these criteria will be entered into a random drawing to receive a free HGR T-shirt or other cool items.
Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.