As we close 2018, I can only say, what a year. The last 12 months were filled with many exciting events, some of them positive, and some of them left us scratching our heads. Here at Precision Plus, it has been a transformative year, as we on-boarded three new executive management team members, we overhauled our employee handbook along with many policies that were long outdated, and we pressed hard for better accountability top to bottom. With change comes anxiety for some, and we have been working through it all with increased communication. Feedback was welcomed from the team, and we clarified and explained our processes going forward. For those of you that have been through such procedures, you will appreciate what I am talking about. In the end it is about striving for better, so that we may continue to deliver the best value for our customer/partners.
A large part of being our best as a company means giving back to our community and taking good care of our planet. We have been working on being an even better steward of the environment, and I am proud to share with you our achievement of 2018 Green Master recognition. Becoming a Green Master is never an easy task, and this year the minimum score increased, making it even more difficult to earn the necessary points. Also, as one of our last acts of kindness for the year, our team members donated Christmas gifts and food pantry items for four families in our community who are not nearly as fortunate. Many thanks to those who stepped forward to help.
Entering 2019, we will continue to refine our processes, focusing on internal training efforts to elevate every team member’s game to drive productivity higher and costs lower. Through this, we hope to offset the continual cost increases we receive from our vendor/partners such as heat treating, plating, grinding and others. Medical insurance renewal for 2019 was NOT a fun thing, as we were faced with a 40% increase year over year. This forced us to dig deep into the cost saving options, and again, none of these come without sacrificing benefits. In the end, we offered three options to allow our team members to decide which would work best for them. We will continue to focus on our wellness efforts and, more importantly, healthy outcomes. Some of this comes with team member engagement, requiring them to be a better-informed consumer by asking questions about costs before the delivery of the service, as well as seeking out objective evidence for both cost and quality of outcomes. It may not sound fun, but this is the new age of healthcare.
In mid-December, we welcomed two new equipment acquisitions to help broaden our range of services and improve our accuracy even more. The installation of a Hardinge GT27 Super-Precision lathe for jobs requiring 10 millionths offset capability will be mostly used in second operation work. For a helpful demonstration, you can watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxoK4eVAd8Y . The second machine is a Brother R650X1 vertical milling machine with 4th axis trunnion and indexing tables. To witness the productivity of this machine, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdt3oc2W9EM. This will greatly expand our capabilities and offer our customers one-stop shopping for both lathe and mill work.
In addition to my work here at Precision Plus, I was elected by my industry peers to represent Precision Machine Products Association (PMPA), our trade association, as the current year president. This comes at a time when there is much work to be done, as we redefine our mission and value proposition for our membership.
I look forward to working with all of you to make 2019 an even better year, for our valued customers, suppliers, team members, community and environment. May 2019 bring all of you good health, happiness and continued prosperity. Let’s work together to make a difference.
Mike Reader, President