Reorganization & Recognition

Precision Plus

It’s hard to believe we are now into December, and before we know it, 2017 will be behind us. This year has flown by at a blistering pace, likely because we have been very busy helping our customers grow their businesses through the efforts of a great team of Precision Plus problem solvers. In my last “note” from November 10th when I recapped the previous month’s activity, I also hinted of our internal efforts to realign our org chart, work on our strategic planning, and the recognition of our outstanding team members. I can tell you that much has been done in these areas to better position us for even greater success as we head full steam into 2018.

Happy Thanksgiving

Precision Plus

As the big day draws near, many of us are scrambling to cram five days of work into three, while preparing for Thanksgiving Day. I’ve always enjoyed this holiday that focuses on three of my favorite things: family, food and fun times together. At Precision Plus, no other holiday allows for two days off right before a weekend, giving us a whopping four days in a row to relax and unwind! We are grateful for that, especially knowing that other industries and organizations do not always have that luxury. I encourage people to focus on quality time together when they have the chance to make the time.

Manufacturing Month Wrap-Up

Precision Plus

For the past several years, October has been proclaimed Manufacturing Month by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). To help promote their mission to change the outdated perceptions of American Manufacturing, NAM has encouraged manufactures all over the country to open their doors, hosting tours and events for community members of all ages. While it is targeted as the first Friday in October, we like to say, “Every day is Manufacturing Day for Precision Plus.”

GTC and Precision Plus at AACC Briefing in Washington, D.C.

Precision Plus

It’s been a busy month as we recognize Manufacturing Month during October. Last week’s theme for Manufacturing Month was High-Tech Manufacturing. Our high-tech industry has changed – and is still changing – by leaps and bounds in the last 20 to 40 years. Still, business owners find the demand for skilled workers in our industry is on the rise. We also continue to fight that outdated perception of the dark, dirty factory. While we modernize our facilities, discover innovative processes, and create new positions, we also depend on our partnerships with local educators to help us find and instruct the talent that will become the next generation of manufacturers.

Celebrating Our Workers on Labor Day 2017

Precision Plus

Summer – where has it gone, and how did I miss it?

It seems to me like we just celebrated Memorial Day, honoring our service men and woman. Now we are staring down at Labor Day, which confirms summer is officially over where I come from. Our interns have either left already, depending upon where they go to school, or will depart by the end of this week. We are sad to see them go after a great few months, but we wish them the best. Summer seems to go by in a blink of the eye. I hope you took the time during the warmer months to rest and relax and enjoy some fun with your loved ones. As we know all too well in the Midwest, WINTER IS COMING. While winter was fun as a kid, I do not enjoy it nearly as much in my adult years. Let’s hope fall sticks around long enough in between.

Labor Day is our holiday to celebrate all the working folks that contribute to the strength and well-being of our country. It’s even more important these days to not take these workers for granted, as the challenge grows for our industry to find enough skilled machinists, machine tool operators, or quality personnel. Perhaps this is partly due to our industry needing much more exciting and inspiring job titles. Applications Engineer and Production Technician sound so much better. We will continue in our journey to inspire the next generation and change the perception of what it really means to be part of advanced manufacturing.

The news of the possible locating of the much sought after Foxconn Technology Group $10 billion investment here in Southeastern Wisconsin and the approximately 13,000 jobs to be filled only sends shivers down my spine. Where will all these skilled and semi-skilled workers come from? Surely, Gateway Technical College and the team there will be working aggressively to train the prospective candidates, but where again will they come from? And what will this do for all the manufacturing businesses competing for the limited supply of employable candidates? The answer, my friends, is this: it will be a very competitive market for talent. This is simple Economics 101. Refer to the Supply and Demand curves below. The additional workforce/labor demands will shift D1 to D2 and drive wage inflation, giving the typical worker something to celebrate.


Parents, now is the time to talk with your children about career choices, as well as the costs to acquire the necessary education/skills and the benefits/rewards each career choice offers. I would be fairly certain that most trades offer some of the best ROI scenarios out there, and it will be that way for years to come. Look at all the unfilled positions in manufacturing, and then add in the unfilled positions in the construction trades such as electricians, carpenters, plumbers, HVAC, concrete finishers and so on. The skills gap can be felt in all those trades, and you can guess what happens when Foxconn ramps up. The same is true for auto mechanics. This vocational field also suffers from a lack of interested candidates, and this will only drive up wages there, as well. What will it take to inspire this next generation to explore and pursue the trades?

Here is what I do know.  There are many educational opportunities through area high schools, technical colleges, and even some universities, but even the best programs are suffering from lack of interest and enrollment. I have seen this firsthand, and I hear more of the same across other parts of the state. It is unfortunate that so many have labored to develop programs as the investments may fall victim to a lack of interest. The demand for talent is so high, and we really need for these programs to work. How do we ensure that success?

Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 7th as the Precision Plus team will again be hosting our Manufacturing Day Open House from 9:00am to 1:00pm. All are welcome, especially students, parents, and our educators. We would also like to encourage our elected officials to attend, so they can see what today’s advanced manufacturing looks like in Southeast Wisconsin. We had a great turn out last year, but we want to make it so much better. This year we have added the Job Fair and an opportunity to talk one on one with our team about what a manufacturing career could look like for you. Also back by popular demand will be the fun car collection, as we celebrate all things mechanical and the rewards that come from a manufacturing career. There will be food and refreshments, so this is a program the entire family can enjoy.

As we celebrate over the three-day weekend, make a point of thanking a machinist, a welder, and the other trades men and women for all the great things they make for us every day. Without them, we have no cars, airplanes, or oh my gosh, cell phones. (Note: I think they all come from overseas, but here too is an industry we need to reestablish in America once again). Let me start by thanking our entire team here at Precision Plus that help our customer/partners make some of the coolest stuff on the planet. Without you and your efforts and dedication, we could not make it happen. Spend Monday with family and friends, enjoy the good weather before it fades away, and I look forward to seeing you all next Tuesday.



Mike Reader, President

Precision Plus

P.S. Be sure to stop in at the Walworth County Fair. It is a great way to celebrate our agricultural heritage and all the good that comes from it.


Invest in Your Greatest Asset: Your People

Precision Plus

Last week, Precision Plus sent 14 team members to Columbus, Ohio, to attend the PMPA National Technical Conference (NTC) and the Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS). The NTC featured keynote speaker Titan Gilroy of Titan America sharing his passion for American Manufacturing. The conference focused on technical skills, problem solving, and management training for the frontline team members who make it happen every day. We pulled some pretty important folks away from the production floor for a few days, but the opportunity to learn and compare notes with industry peers was just too valuable to pass up. 

Looking Ahead at Precision Plus

Precision Plus


As we put Q1 of 2017 in the rearview mirror, what does Q2 look like going forward?


More advanced machine tools, more talented people, and better results for our customers.

Let me first look back to the last quarter of 2016. Buyers leaned out their inventory as the world held its breath, watching the U.S. elections unfold. I can only characterize that time as one of overcapacity and uncertainty. This lethargic environment changed rapidly as we entered the new year, like a dragster coming off the line when the lights turn green.

Update from the Production Floor

Precision Plus

Last week, we were excited to present a time-lapse video to show the moving out of six of our oldest Swiss machines, as we got ready to move in the new ones. Well, the cool new stuff has arrived! There is even more enthusiasm around the shop floor now, after the installation of three new Tsugami S205 Swiss-type CNC lathes.

Happy Holidays from Precision Plus!

Precision Plus

Time flies when you’re having fun. 2016 has passed so quickly, and here we are, getting ready to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. As we prepare for family gatherings this coming weekend, still trying to find that perfect gift or preparing food for an army of relatives, take time to enjoy a deeper meaning behind the holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving From Precision Plus

Precision Plus

It is hard to believe that we have just celebrated Veterans Day, and we now have Thanksgiving in our sights this week. This is one of my favorite holidays, for it brings back wonderful memories of my childhood. The cool crisp air outside, working up an appetite by splitting firewood for the day, and the smells emanating from the kitchen which fueled the anticipation of another masterpiece meal from Mom. It has always been far more about that meal itself; it was the comfort of being together with those closest in an unhurried, warm, and safe environment. Oh, those were the days. Yes, we were young, but it was also a different time, without the inundation of 24 hour news filled with terrible things occurring around the world. Ignorance is bliss – there is no truer statement. 

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