More than 750 manufacturing executives attended the second edition of The MFG Meeting (Manufacturing for Growth), March 8-11, 2012, in Orlando, Florida. The event was organized by the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association (AMTDA), the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) and the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).
During the meeting, AMT and AMTDA announced the merger of the two associations. The Associations have integrated their products and services to better serve the members of both associations, calling the merger a logical evolution for the manufacturing technology industry. AMT leadership says, "We are uniting the entire manufacturing technology supply chain from engineering and building machines, to integrating automation and support, to distribution services, which will well serve the users of manufacturing technology for their future."
The hosts of The MFG Meeting comprise more than 4,000 small and medium-sized manufacturers and distributors from all 50 states that provide products for the aerospace, automotive, construction, energy, medical and many other industries in the United States and abroad. By sharing resources, The MFG Meeting provided an opportunity for attendees to exchange best practices as the manufacturing industry continues its resurgence in the U.S.
This second annual MFG Meeting got underway on Thursday with a record-breaking number of attendees listening to Joe Gibbs, Hall of Fame head coach of the Washington Redskins and owner and founder of Joe Gibbs Racing. Coach Gibbs brought into focus the three priorities of living a successful life, which are God, family, and job. By listening to his personal experiences in keeping with these priorities, the audience received a great deal of food for thought.
Following Coach Gibbs, attendees received sound advice from Brad Hams, president of Ownership Thinking, LLC. Hams discussed the importance of teaching employees to think and act like business owners and creating broad-based incentive plans that are self-funding and align employees' behavior to the organization's business and financial objectives.
On Friday, the General Assembly Session centered on an industry and economic update from the President of The Institute for Trend Research, Alan Beaulieu, and Adrian Cooper, CEO, Oxford Economics. While both economists believe that the industry may experience a modest slowdown in 2013, they also predict that the business cycle trend will continue to strengthen through 2017. Since it is not often that two economists agree on a five-year forecast, their talks certainly renewed the confidence of the audience to move forward with production growth plans.
After the economic update, attendees had an opportunity to attend a variety of breakout sessions centered on current issues. Due to the interactive format of each session, participants were able to gather a wealth of information.
"Last year's successful inaugural MFG set the bar for very high expectations this year," said Brian Norris, vice president of marketing for Sandvik Coromant, the conference's Gold sponsor. "I can say without a doubt that the conference delivered even beyond last year. We hosted a mix of customers, machine tool partners and industry association leadership that was engaged and thoroughly committed to keeping manufacturing vibrant. I was impressed by the high quality speakers and thought-provoking topics, and most importantly, I had plenty of networking opportunities with other attendees."
"I believe that MFG accomplished exactly what it set out to do - bringing together a broad spectrum of the manufacturing industry for networking, collaboration and discussion," said AMT president Douglas K. Woods. "Coming together in this way energizes everyone involved and is essential to continuing the current momentum for the U.S. manufacturing industry. The feedback we received from our members was overwhelmingly positive, and the conference content was first-class. We look forward to being a part of this increasingly important event next year."
"The NTMA was excited to be a part of The 2012 MFG Meeting," noted Dave Tilstone, NTMA president. "To have these powerful industry associations come together to support manufacturing shows the positive effects of collaborating around a common goal. This event provided the perfect atmosphere to discuss the importance of increasing corporate competitiveness in our transforming industry"
William E. Gaskin, PMA president concluded, "PMA was pleased to co-host the 2012 MFG Meeting in Orlando with the other leading manufacturing industry associations representing metalforming, tooling and machining, machinery building and sales. Working together is critical in bringing new energy to the manufacturing sector. We will build on the success of the 2012 meeting by continuing to create new relationships in the metalworking supply chain to assure mutual success."
In 2013, the MFG Meeting will be held at the Hilton Waikaloa Village in Waikaloa, Hawaii, March 6-10.