3 Overlooked Elements of Building a Great Culture

Posted by Courtney Underwood

Jul 21, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes 

This week, Fusion OEM celebrated being among the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in Chicago for the fifth year in a row. Additionally, we also won an Elite Award for our work in Employee Achievement and Recognition. Earning these awards reflects our sound culture of employee engagement, which allows us to retain top talent and reap the benefits of a loyal workforce committed to the future success of our business.

To win these awards, we were assessed by an independent research firm which reviewed a number of key measurements related to: compensation, benefits and employee solutions; employee enrichment, engagement and retention; employee education and development; recruitment, selection and orientation; employee achievement and recognition; communication and shared vision; diversity and inclusion; work-life balance; community initiatives; and strategic company performance.

At the awards ceremony, I was surrounded by like-minded colleagues who all care deeply about their teams. It was rewarding to learn from companies in a variety of industries on what works for them and where they may be an opportunity for improvement. Here are three lessons that resonated with me:

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Topics: employee engagement, culture

10 Things I've Learned from My Father and His Business

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Jul 14, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 4 Minutes 

Growing up, I had the privilege of working for my father’s engineering company, where I learned a great deal about the art of business and design engineering. His company, Century Design, engineered items ranging from household appliances for Sunbeam Corporation to assembly equipment for Motorola, and working there directly influenced my entrepreneurial journey. In high school, I started work as a detail draftsman on the drawing board (yes – the drawing board), then project engineer, then sales engineer. Over the 15 years I worked for him throughout high school, college, and later full time, I watched my father navigate business challenges in various economies, develop incredible relationships with his clients, and become a leader that all his employees admired. I was fortunate enough to receive very valuable lessons along the way on everything from business operations to machine design engineering, and those same lessons still resonate with me today. Below are 10 tips that, even today, I still follow:

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Topics: small business

The Total Cost of Ownership

Posted by Mark D'Amico

Jul 7, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds

In today’s dynamic manufacturing industry, OEM leaders are focused on developing a competitive strategy to improve product quality, agility and increased client demands. One key component of this approach is partnering with a contract manufacturer (CM) for effective supply chain management. For manufacturing leaders, results include lower costs, increased flexibility and refined focus on core aspects of the business – all critical to supporting growth in a competitive industry. Here are four ways your manufacturing company can benefit from vendor consolidation:

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Topics: supply chain management

5 Questions to Ask Before Outsourcing Your IT Management

Posted by Steve Milchuck

Jun 30, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds 

As an original equipment manufacturer, you’re focused on getting quality products to your customers on time - with competitive pricing. As a result, devoting resources to managing IT tasks can prove inefficient. Partnering with the right IT company can relieve the burden of managing the day to day network tasks such as user support, software issues, equipment and software updates, monitoring network and data security, and performing and verifying backups.

Of course, picking the right partner should be done cautiously. Although basic hardware components can be similar, the specific IT needs of a manufacturing company are quite different than a typical corporate office. To narrow down your selection, consider asking these five questions:

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Topics: lean office

Choosing the Right NEMA Enclosure

Posted by Mitch Szafran

Jun 16, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes 

NEMA ratings can often be confusing. All too often, enclosures are specified with the wrong NEMA rating, which can mean wasted revenue if the chosen rating is too high, or premature failure and the potential for safety risks if the rating is too low. Choosing the correct enclosure for your needs helps reduce costs and ensures that your components are adequately defended.

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Topics: contract manufacturer, nema, control panel

6 Essential Factors of a Great Small Business

Posted by Craig Zoberis

May 26, 2017 6:01:00 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes 

I and the Fusion team are thrilled to announce that we made the 2017 list of Forbes Small Giants, a recognition awarded to 25 small businesses that “value greatness over growth, have been acknowledged as outstanding by others in their field and are engaged in initiatives from which any business can gain insights”. This one-time award places Fusion in the company of local esteemed companies such as Integrated Project Management, Basecamp, Tasty Catering, ABT Electronics, and Radio Flyer. Based on the best-selling book by Bo Burlingham, companies receiving this award have mastered six factors:

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Topics: Awesome Place To Work, employee engagement, small business, culture

3 Benefits of Continuous Employee Training

Posted by Mitch Szafran

Feb 10, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes  

In an age when manufacturers are striving to accomplish more work with fewer workers, anything that helps to motivate and retain a skilled workforce is worth the investment. At Fusion OEM, one of our key investments is employee training.  A thorough, well-designed manufacturing training program offers a wide variety of benefits for manufacturers, including reduced costs, increased employee engagement, and product quality improvements.

This week, Fusion partnered with Best Inc., to provide our Panel Shop and Production team members IPC Certification Soldering Training (J-STD-001 Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronics Assemblies). Best visited our facility with their Mobile Training Center, the only self-contained solder training center on wheels. It had all of the conveniences of a modern electronics work bench including stereo microscopes, ESD protection and professional hand tools. The two-day training was a resounding success for Fusion, our employees and our customers. Below find three ways we all benefit:

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Topics: employee training

9 Reasons You Need a Vendor Managed Inventory System

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Feb 3, 2017 6:22:53 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes 

Your inventory is the backbone of your business, and not having components and finished goods at the correct place and time can put your manufacturing company at risk. Yet, many OEMs don’t manage their inventory in the most cost efficient way possible.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for making sure your inventory doesn’t arrive too late (or too early) to your factory floor: a vendor managed inventory (VMI) strategy. VMI reduces your storage and downtime costs by receiving parts exactly (and only) when they are needed.

Here are 9 reasons your OEM needs a VMI system:

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Topics: VMI

Manager, Not a Leader, Creating a Positive Culture

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Jan 27, 2017 6:11:38 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds 

Forward thinking companies like Fusion OEM are implementing innovative solutions that enhance our recruitment and retention initiatives. A healthy work environment has kept us competitive and prepared for scaling the business according to customer demand. This environment is cultivated by our dedicated Management Team – they are the decisive factor in winning the hearts and minds of our employees. As the global demand for talented manufacturing employees becomes stronger than ever, this commitment and more necessary than ever.

We talked to our Machine Shop Manager, Davin, to learn more about the best practices for manufacturing managers. Below please find four tips for Department Managers to create an engaged team:

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Topics: culture

3 Tips in Offering Manufacturing Bonuses

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Jan 20, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds

A plaque, catered lunch, gift certificates – when it comes to employee recognition, many traditional programs have high cost but little cultural impact. One distinctive solution Fusion employs with regard to compensation is the practice of merit pay. Like some companies, Fusion bases employee annual increases on performance or merit. However, Fusion’s approach to merit pay does not stop with annual increases. In addition to annual merit based increases, Fusion supports on-the-spot bonus rewards when employees perform above and beyond expectations. Employees are not limited to a once-a-year increase in pay based on merit. On-the-spot compensation may occur repeatedly throughout the year. This contributes to a culture of confidence that breaths accountability in a natural, unforced way.

Below please find three tips on implementing a successful spot bonus program for your manufacturing team:

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Topics: employee engagement, culture