Member Spotlight - Andrew Bader

February 2015

Each month, the PMA Member Spotlight features an outstanding member sharing his/her insights into the latest industry trends and technologies.

Andrew Bader
PMA is pleased to introduce third-generation metalformer Andrew Bader, manager marketing and sales for OGS Industries, Akron, OH. Andrew’s grandfather started OGS in 1959 as a small shop to service the local industry. More than 50 years later, the company has expanded in size and capacity to become a national leader in high-precision metal stampings, gaskets, shims, metal fabrication, brackets, and military and export packaging.

Hear Andrew’s thoughts about the challenges of finding skilled workers, how he incorporates social media into his company’s marketing strategy, what’s on his wish list for his plant in 2015 and much more!

Q: Which job classifications are the most challenging to find skilled workers?
A: I think most people in the manufacturing industry and even people outside of our industry are well aware of the so-called skill gap. I believe it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better; however, it’s going to be largely dependent on marketing manufacturing careers to Millennials as a career that can be highly creative and rewarding as to take part in help bringing manufacturing back to America.

While there are trade schools and community colleges that offer a manufacturing curriculum, we need to also look at incorporating the curriculum into the more mainstream education sectors (high school, universities). This is probably going to take some major PR efforts. I feel companies might also be looking to create their own internal training or co-op departments in the future, as I know some companies who have already done so.

But to answer the question...probably some of your more skilled technical workers, such as laser/CNC programmers and operators. Also, Tool & Die Makers; this can be a highly skilled job, and unfortunately young adults these days are more interested in working on computers and not so much with their hands. Again, with today’s technology you can get a great mix of working on computers AND with your hands. If you don’t want a typical 9-5 and sit in a cube all day long, get into manufacturing—you can design and create something on a computer program, but you get the satisfaction of then setting up it in a machine and watching your creation come to life!

From a front office perspective, probably Cost Estimators. This is also a highly skilled job as it can take a creative and engineering mindset to be effective at it.

As of late, we’ve been extremely fortunate to find people I mentioned above for 2014 when we did a round of hiring. Good search talent firms help tremendously with this too .

Q: What is the biggest technology challenge metalformers face today?
A: As a whole, I know the manufacturing industry lags behind in the internet marketing realm, whether it’s adopting social media, creating videos, or sometimes as simple as having an effective, modern looking website.

From a production perspective, again CNC Programming, learning CAD, etc. That is all technology that we need young people to learn. Machines are getting more and more sophisticated and some are being operated exclusively from a computer screen, so we need highly competent and technically skilled workers.

Q: What is on your wish list for your shop in 2015 (i.e., a new piece of equipment)?
A: This is big. We are looking at separating our metal fabrication department from our metal stamping department and relocating it into another building. Operationally speaking, metal stampings and metal fab have their differences in the way they are managed and scheduled. Separating them out with give us much better control over each service and will improve our bottom line. That being said, we are looking to purchase a brand new fiber laser in 2015 and possibly looking into a new press brake as well!

Q: What is the best conference or seminar you or your employees attended in the past year and why?
A: As I live in the Marketing and Sales world, Content Marketing World in Cleveland was fantastic! They even had a day dedicated to certain industries and there was a manufacturing one I attended. Can’t say enough good things about it!

Also, Design2Part in our hometown always produces some great leads, as well as FABTECH. We go to FABTECH once a year and do a couple Design2Parts. Some are better than the others, but in general, they do fairly well for us.

Q: What are the advantages/disadvantages of being a next-generation metalformer?
A: I think one of the main advantages of being a next-gen metalformer is opportunity! If you are in your twenties and you want to take the initiative to learn CAD or CNC programming, you got a job, and a good job!

Also, I think this is an exciting time for manufacturing; we’re starting to see some things being reshored in the states, China’s labor rates are increasing, quality from Mexico isn’t always up to par, the quality in the U.S. has always been second to none and companies are now realizing that. I believe there is a bright future in manufacturing and I’m excited to be a part of it!

Q: How does social media work within your company’s marketing strategy?
A: Social Media is always an interesting topic. A lot of people feel like they need and should have it, yet don’t really know why. As a contract manufacturer working in B2B, we use it more for creating top of mind awareness. B2C generally uses SM as a great way to engage and interact with their customers by creating another level of customer service that is easy and very accessible. In the B2B world, you have to be a little more strategic and tactful; learning to sell, without selling yourself. Providing the right kind of content that buyers, purchasing agents and engineers want to consume and learning where to place that content is crucial. For now at OGS, Social Media has been a great way to get ourselves out in front and ahead of our competition. For 2015, we are launching a new content marketing strategy that will allow us to use social media more effectively and use it as a tool to deliver the right kind of content to the right people.

Q: What are the top three songs on your play list right now?
A: One of my favorite bands, Red Wanting Blue, is from Columbus, Ohio and started in the late 90’s at my alma mater, Ohio University. They are a band that is constantly on my top playlists. Also love my hometown rockers, The Black Keys! I’ve recently dived head first into country music after years of avoiding it and I’m actually really enjoying it

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