Friday, May 1, 2015

Build Your Supervisory Skills at our May Workshop

This 4-hour workshop provides an introduction to three simple methods that build supervisory skills. Managers, Supervisors, and Team Leaders have many needs but most critical to the company’s success are their skills at:
•  Good Job Relations  •  Instructing Employees  •  Making Job Improvements

Using training materials originally developed in the 1940’s by the Training-Within-Industry (TWI) Service, but updated for a 21st century work environment, attendees discover simple methods that could be practiced in their workplace. Sample tools used in each method are provided at the workshop that help attendees immediately start building their supervisory skills.

Are You?
• New to the supervisor role?
• Having trouble supervising others?
• Not getting the most from your employees?

This Workshop Focuses on How to:
• Effectively lead employees,
• Create more productive employees, and
• Improve troublesome processes.

Learn Supervisory Skills Such as:
• Making decisions and taking action based on facts
• Breaking down a job into important steps & key points
• Instructing employees on important steps & key points
• Analyzing a job to uncover waste
• Identifying ways to improve a job

What will be covered?
• Job relations
• Job instruction
• Job method improvement

Who Should Attend?
Anyone with direct reports, or anyone who directs the work of others, whether new to the position or in need of a refresher.

Date:       Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Time:       8:00 am to 12:00 pm
                sign-in and continental breakfast at 7:30
Location:   Holiday Inn Express,
                  Horseheads, NY
Cost:       $125 ($75 for AM&T Associates)
Instructor: Lloyd Johnson (for more info, call Lloyd at 607-227-6229)

Register on-line at or contact Kathy Peacock at 607-774-0022 x308

See this and other newsletter articles at May 2015 Newsletter

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Manufacturing Day Host Toolkit

Host Toolkit

The Manufacturing Day Host Toolkit is designed to help manufacturers plan successful MFG DAY events from start to finish. While specific to event hosts with manufacturing facilities, the Host Toolkit answers common questions and outlines steps that every MFG DAY host will find useful.
Download the Host Toolkit from:

Topics covered in the Host Toolkit include:

Event FormatsThe first step in the event planning process is to decide on what to show visitors and how to share it with them. The Host Toolkit covers some common options, including:
• Facility Tour — the classic plant tour modified for MFG DAY audiences
• Presentation — a live presentation, demonstration, or video followed by a question-and-answer session
• Roundtable — an open discussion about a designated topic

AudiencesOne of the goals of Manufacturing Day is to give hosts a chance to show visitors what present-day manufacturing looks like. The Host Toolkit offers some suggestions for reaching out to the following audiences:
• Friends & Family —invite the children, spouses, and other relations of company employees, as well as close friends
• Politicians — connect directly with elected officials at the local, state, and national level
• Current and Prospective Customers and Suppliers — make business connections
• Press — gain event and company publicity
• Students — inspire the next generation of skilled workers

Tips for SuccessThe Host Toolkit also offers a number of suggestions for making events memorable, as well as reminders about the little things that can really make a difference. Some tips include:
• Directions & Signage — make it easy for guests to get to the event
• Scripting — create presentations and handouts for guests
• Displays — determine what capabilities to demonstrate and how

The Host Toolkit also includes a useful checklist to help hosts keep track of their planning process, as well as links to templates for writing letters to community leaders and press contacts.

Download a copy today to start planning your MFG DAY event from:

If you have any questions or plan on holding a MFG DAY event contact us at 607-774-0022 x304
MFG DAY is October 2, 2015

See this and other newsletter articles at May 2015 Newsletter

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Made in the Southern Tier - an Online Directory

Increase Your Exposure

AM&T has launched Made in the Southern Tier - an online directory that showcases our region’s companies and the vast array of products that are manufactured here.

Inclusion in the directory is free to all Southern Tier manufacturers. Benefits include:
• Enhanced exposure to top-level search engines such as Google
• Greater likelihood that world-wide customers can find you
• Ease of finding regional suppliers and partners for your production needs
• One source for regional companies to find manufacturing suppliers

In addition to descriptive text and contact information, the company profiles include logos, product images, videos, and more – a comprehensive yet compact showcase.

Learn more at Click on “About the Directory” or “View Manufacturers”.

To qualify for inclusion in the directory, a company must be a manufacturer, with a NAICS code between 311-Food Manufacturing and 339-Miscellaneous Manufacturing. Also, the company must be located in one of the following New York counties: Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins.

See this and other newsletter articles at May 2015 Newsletter

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Bridge to Success Loan Program

The Purpose
Empire State Development (ESD) will expand access to short-term Loans for New York State Certified Minority and Women-Owned firms doing business with New York State.

The “Bridge To Success” Loan Program will invest at least $20 million to expand access to short term bridge loans for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs).

NYS MWBE Resource Line - 855-373-4692

Participating Lenders
New York Business Development Corp - 518-694-8552
SEFCU - 866-733-2880 x6005
Tompkins Mahopac Bank - 845-278-1027
Carver Federal Savings Bank - 718-230-2900

See this and other newsletter articles at May 2015 Newsletter

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Export Business Plan Seminar

Learn the essential elements of an Export Business Plan.

Creating an international business plan, i.e., export plan, is important for defining your company’s present status, internal goals and commitment. Preparing the plan in advance of making export loan requests from your bank can save time and money.


Date:     May 20, 2015

Time:     3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Location: Center of Excellence
               727 E Washington St, Syracuse, NY

Cost:     $25 CNYIBA Members
             $35 Non-CNYIBA Members

Contact:  315-470-1800 |

See this and other newsletter articles at May 2015 Newsletter

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The Fool & The Thinker

By: Doug Hall

The Fool believes that by doing the same thing they can get different results. The Thinker knows that change is the only certainty – they embrace it, ignite it and encourage it.

The Fool believes that if it’s not broke don’t fix it. The Thinker knows that when you find out it’s broke it’s too late – to the proactive go the rewards.

The Fool believes that CONTROL creates smarter creativity. The Thinker knows that creativity comes from ENABLING employees, and that part of enabling is giving strategic direction to What ideas are needed, Why they are needed, and being transparent about constraints.

The Fool overrates the value of expertise. He believes that qualitative conversation are statistically reliable. The Thinker knows that the ONLY way to reduce risk is with data – quantitative data statistically analyzed. Anything else is gambling.

The Fool believes that the mission of the company is to make money. The Thinker knows that making money is a consequence of a mission that is meaningful – meaningful to the customer, the company, and most important of all, to the employees who make the mission happen.

The Fool believes that employees are motivated by financial bribes. The Thinker knows that the only true motivation is when people are doing “Cool Stuff that Matters!”

See this and other newsletter articles at May 2015 Newsletter

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Five Rules for Selecting the Best Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

By: Jason Piatt

There’s no question that KPIs are needed to help drive operational improvements. KPIs are absolutely essential for organizations to present performance information for all levels of the organization. The key to success is selecting KPIs that will deliver long-term value to the organization.
It’s problematic that the terms KPI and metric are used interchangeably within manufacturing operations. A KPI is always a metric, but a metric may well not be a KPI. Key to the concept of KPI is that it must be a metric that will drive strategic competitive advantage (and in turn value) for the organization. A metric can be a measurement of any business-related activity.

Here are five rules for selecting the best KPIs for your manufacturing organization:
  1. Focus on the critical few, not the trivial many: If you measure too many things, you’re really not measuring anything. Managers have a habit of adding KPIs but never “rightsizing” the list to drive strategic intent. This causes confusion as to what is really important.
  2. Ensure that selected KPIs drive toward your strategic intent: KPIs should not just measure performance. They should measure performance toward the strategic objectives that you’ve laid out as part of your operations strategic plan. It is absolutely critical that these KPIs measure the most important factors in achieving your success.
  3. Ensure that KPIs are relatable on all levels of the organization: It is very easy to measure performance purely in terms of financial factors. It’s important to remember that members of your production staff at all levels should be able to relate to the metrics. KPIs such as overhead absorption percentages are common, but they are not particularly effective for production personnel. Instead, metrics such as units shipped per hours worked will give a meaningful KPI (if your objective is to increase production and/or reduce hours per unit).
  4. Ensure the data for KPIs are valid: Much like any Six Sigma project, before seeking process improvement, we should ensure that our measuring system is valid. This means validating the repeatability and reproducibility of our measuring system. Will the system yield data that are meaningful, timely and reliable for sound management decision-making?
  5. Ensure controllable KPIs are selected: When someone is placed in charge of KPIs for their portion of the organization, is it really something they can control? Is the individual empowered to make necessary changes in order to drive performance of the KPI? This is an often-forgotten factor in successful operational strategy. What you measure is what you get ... but more importantly, what you measure must be controllable in order to obtain the strategic objectives you desire.
Finally, when selecting and implementing KPIs, please be certain to train your employees to work in a KPI-driven environment. All too often, manufacturers roll out the latest and greatest KPIs for their production environment with little or no plans to educate production personnel as to what it takes to be successful.

See this and other newsletter articles at May 2015 Newsletter

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Seven Lessons in Leadership and Innovation from Top Tech CEOs

By Matt Lush

How some of the world’s highest-profile leaders overcome defeat, stagnation, and uncertainty.
Mastering the art of leadership takes time, dedication, and a willingness to fail, and we all need some inspiration from time to time.

Here are some valuable leadership lessons from seven of today’s top CEOs.

1. Focus On People, Strategy, And Execution

“If you get those three right, the world is a great place,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a 2013 talk at his alma mater.

Excellent strategy and execution are the result of high-caliber people who believe in the pursuit of better.

Be your company’s Chief Inspiration Officer and remember that one of the most powerful skills in your leadership arsenal is your ability to focus. Do a few things well and run circles around those doing many things adequately.

2. Be Tough And Tell It Like It Is

Raised in the public housing projects on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Ursula Burns attributes climbing the ladder to CEO of Xerox to “leaning in” to difficult situations.

Burdened with leading Xerox to success in a world without Xeroxing, and as the first African-American woman to steer the Fortune 500 company through the treacherous waters of an economic tailspin, she knows a thing or two about being tough and shows us how to be confident, resilient in the face of uncertainty, honest with where you stand, and how to fight like hell to get to where you want to be.

3. Know When Your Team Needs A Confidence Boost

If humanizing Microsoft is the goal, CEO Satya Nadella is the man for the job. With a thoughtful panache, he’s changing the culture of a company that seemed perpetually stuck to one that excites his employees.

Nadella’s “women shouldn’t ask for raises” gaffe aside, his leadership style is people-centric and strategy-focused, which has garnered him an 83% approval rating on Glassdoor.

Bolster the confidence of the people you’re leading by mastering the art of knowing when to intervene and when to step back. If you get it right, they will do great things.

4. Move Fast, Adapt Quickly, And Be Bold

“What keeps me up at night is speed,” said IBM’s Ginni Rometty in a 2014 Fortune interview.

“Speed of transformation, [and] continuing to move to that future.”

As fast as you think you’re moving, odds are someone out there is moving faster. Be thoughtful and strategic, but at the same time, be bold and move fast. The need to adapt is constantly imminent—be fearless, try new things, and course-correct along the way.

5. Think About Reinventing Everything

Starting a meeting with 20 minutes of silence so everyone can read a memo isn’t the way most businesses operate, but Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is everything but orthodox.

He demands excellence from everyone around him, and constantly think about reinventing everything—even small things. Refuse to accept conventional wisdom, think big and be supremely uncomfortable with the status quo.

6. Press On With Fortitude And Ferocity

As the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk possesses incredible drive and tremendous self-confidence. He’s said to work 100-hour weeks and never be satisfied.

When the flight of the Falcon 1 rocket failed, Musk addressed his company with a motivating speech before addressing the press, quickly channeling despair and defeat into massive determination.

Rocket science or not, challenges will present themselves—press on and conquer.

7. Embrace Your Crazy Ideas

“When no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition,” Google’s Larry Page said in a 2005 commencement speech. “Have confidence, fail often, [and] have a healthy disregard for the impossible.”

The pursuit of excellence is a never-ending one. Be audacious, believe in audacious ideas, and set audacious goals.

See this and other newsletter articles at May 2015 Newsletter

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Associates’ Corner - Silicon Carbide Products

Silicon Carbide Products, Inc. (SCP) is located in the Airport Corporate Park in Horseheads where its 30 employees manufacture abrasion-resistant products used in the power generation, mining, hydro-fracking and molten metal contact industries.

SCP was founded in September 1994 by Martin Metzger and Mark Witmer, and in 2010 and 2015 was named to the list of Best Companies to Work for in New York, specifically as one of the top 25 companies in the category of 15-249 employees. The company also received the SBA’s 2011 Small Business Excellence Award.

The company casts its custom products from a variety of grades of silicon carbide, a synthetic material known for its hardness and strength, and its resistance to high temperature and corrosion by other materials. There are several grades of silicon carbide, each with unique physical characteristics. Metzger, the company’s  President, explained that the combination of high-performing materials and industry-leading customer service has led to the company’s on-going success.

One key to consistency and quality is that the company designs, develops, and manufactures its own family of silicon carbide formulations used to cast SCP’s products. SCP’s competitive advantages include in-house pattern making, close monitoring of process controls, and proprietary furnace controls that optimize firing consistency and material performance.

The company expanded its rapid prototyping capabilities by acquiring two 3-D printers that can create ABS plastic molds from specifications provided by the customer or internally developed. They have also added a portable coordinate measuring machine that enables precise field inspection and reverse engineering.

SCP products include power plant burner liners and flue gas spray nozzles; mining components; liners for natural gas industry including frac sand handling; petroleum industry components; material handling liners; molten metal pump sleeves; hydro cyclone apexes; crucibles; bearings and similar wear components; centrifuge port liners; and other abrasive environment applications. More than 2,400 unique components have been produced and installed in over 17 countries.

With assistance from AM&T, SCP has completed ISO 9001:2008 Certification, conducted Strategic Planning and Sales Training, and implemented Lean Manufacturing including 5S programs.

For information, contact: Martin Metzger at 607-562-8599 or visit

See this and other newsletter articles at May 2015 Newsletter

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Associates’ Corner - MPL

MPL has been a contract manufacturer of printed circuit board assemblies in Ithaca, NY since 1990. In 2000 MPL moved into a new 8000 sq. ft. building in the Warren Road Business Park in Ithaca, NY. In 2006, MPL completed a 7,000 sq. ft. addition and now occupies a 15,000 sq. ft. facility.

MPL can handle a variety of assembly needs. Their surface mount department features four DEK® surface mount screen printers, three manual printers, four prototype assembly lines with paste and adhesive dispensing capabilities, eight Samsung® full vision pick and place machines, two of which have a 40mm camera specifically for placing fine pitch components and micro BGAs, and four Heller® 1800 model reflow ovens. Complimented by ten through hole work stations, a through hole insertion push line and an Electrovert Econopac one wave solder machine, along with selective solder systems and in-house X-ray inspection capabilities.

MPL provides surface mount, thru-hole, and mixed technologies, consignment and turnkey options, labor intensive hand and automated PCB assembly, and box build capabilities.
MPL’s customers include start-ups to Fortune 500 companies in the fields of networking, telecommunications, computers and peripherals, medical electronics, instrumentation, and consumer electronics. The company’s manufacturing capabilities include quick-turn prototyping, pre-production, and low to high volume production assembly, functional, in-circuit testing, and manufacturability recommendations. In addition, MPL provides board rework, repair, upgrade service and conformal coating.

MPL works under the IPC-A-610 Class II and Class III, Workmanship Standards and is working toward ISO compliance. In addition, they meet all the EPA requirements and are ITAR registered.

For more information, contact: Shane French at 607-266-0480 or visit:

See this and other newsletter articles at May 2014 Newsletter

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