The start of the fourth quarter is the perfect time for a pep talk

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We are fourth and goal, and the mission is simple: finish the year strong, on budget, and, hopefully, with happy customers and employees. There is no magic equation for handling all that the power transmission industry has been through these past two years. However, there are some things to think about for the next couple of months that will help you close the year out strong and prepare your business for 2022.

Spend that extra budget wisely

Many manufacturers and suppliers have mentioned that because of the pandemic, they were more than conservative with their spending and cash flow. Due to great demand and a rise in bookings and shipments, many are left with a surplus that is left in the bucket of “use it or lose it.” Instead of missing out on all that money can do for you, invest it back into your company and your employees. Sign up for some much-needed classes and industry education to grow your talent. Boost your brand by trying out some advertising and marketing that you had been holding off on. Or, if you have always wanted to exhibit at a tradeshow, now is the time to try it – many shows, like M+PT Expo, are eager to introduce your solutions to their show floor attendees.

Circle back with your customers and new contacts

This is a great time of year to write those thank-you notes. Whether you have met new people at events or gained new customers from your online efforts, a quick hand-written note is a perfect way to let them know you appreciate their business/friendship. Our industry relies heavily on word-of-mouth reviews, and checking in on colleagues, peers, and clients can set the tone that you and your company care. It is a great way to contact them without needing something in return, but it also reminds people you are ready to continue business in the new year and that you can set up meetings early before your competition.

Check in with your employees

Most likely it has been a challenging year while navigating the ups and downs of the market and the manufacturing industry. Your team is probably ready for a break and, before the holidays hit, now is a great time to check in and hear how they are doing. Discuss what went right this past year; listen to suggestions for improvement, and work together to keep goals moving forward. This will let your workforce know you care about their well-being and they are part of the big picture of where your company is heading. It is difficult to find good talent; take care of what you have.

Re-visit your mission and website

Far too often, companies have shifted their focus to meet the new demands of the industry, and their actual mission has changed. When was the last time you checked on the “About Us” section of your website? I look through websites all the time, and what the company was once doing all the time is no longer their primary work. The end of the year is a perfect time to update your website to reflect your focus and new mission — along with making sure your contact information is easily available for future customers.

Lastly, make sure to do some self-care

Many people laugh at the idea of self-care. They picture someone at a spa or doing meditation. Although those are great ways to unwind, I am talking about taking your vacation time. It is easy to save up those days for a special occasion, but before you know it, you have two or three weeks left at the end of the year and are unable to actually take the time off you accrued. Don’t fall victim to being a workaholic — be an example of what work/life balance looks like and come ready to start the new year refreshed and ready to go.

As 2021 comes into the fourth quarter, try to use the next couple of months to your advantage. Business can slow down in the holiday season, but the work back home on the plant floor is just getting started. You have been so busy getting orders out, taking care of customers, and adjusting to the changing industry that now is the time to work on your own employees and the health of the organization. If you ever need some extra help, make sure to check out AGMA membership, where the members are in the drivers seat for the gear industry.

Upcoming Education

Operator Precision Gear Grinding
September 28-29 | 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Explore gear grinding processes, machine kinematics and set-up, pitfalls, failures, and expectations related to finish ground gearing. Learn definitions of gearing component features, process steps from blanking, through heat treatment to finished part ready to ship. Study aspects of quality assurance, inspection documentation, and corrective actions for measured non-conformances. Understand pre-heat treat, heat treatment, and post-heat treatment operations including the hows and whys to produce finished gears that conform and perform to end-user expectations.

This course is taught at Daley College. A shuttle bus is available each day to transport students to and from the hotel.

This course is IACET accredited and worth 1.3 CEUs.

Operator Hobbing & Shaper Cutting
October 13-14 | 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Learn and understand fundamentals of gear manufacturing. Acquire knowledge and understanding of gear nomenclature, hobbing and shaping of spur and helical gears, and splines. Learn and understand hobber and shaper machine set-up, as well as gear-tooth element inspection. Understand the manufacturing process before gear tooth cutting, as well as post cutting processes. Apply concepts to further finishing processes, i.e. heat treat, gear tooth shaving, and grinding and/or skiving. Gain knowledge to establish a solid foundation for all basic gear manufacturing.

This course is taught at Daley College. A shuttle bus is available each day to transport students to and from the hotel.

This course is IACET accredited and worth 1.3 CEUs.

Fall Technical Meeting Registration is OPEN!

November 1-3, Rosemont, Illinois

Take a deep dive into the gear industry at AGMA’s Fall Technical Meeting. This meeting brings together top researchers from across the globe who will provide the latest information on their peer-reviewed gear industry research. Network with the industry experts, academics, and engineers; ask your burning questions; and see what is in the future of this industry.

Sessions

1 – Gear Wear and Failure

2 – Application Design & Rating

3 – Efficiency, Lubrication, Noise, and Vibration

4 – Manufacturing, Inspection, and Quality Control

5 – Materials and Heat Treatment

Register online at 2021 Fall Technical Meeting (FTM) :: Events :: American Gear Manufacturers Association (agma.org)

Calendar of Events

September 14-16 — Motion + Power Technology Expo — St. Louis, Missouri

September 20-24 — Basic Training for Gear Manufacturing — Chicago, Illinois

September 21 — Lubrication Committee Meeting — WebEx

September 28 — Gear Grinding for Operators — Chicago, Illinois

September 30 — Metals & Metallurgy Committee Meeting — WebEx

September 30 — IIoT Committee Meeting — WebEx

October 7 — Market Intelligence Committee Meeting — WebEx

October 13 — Operator Hobbing and Shaping — Chicago, Illinois

October 19-21 — Gearbox System Design — Clearwater, Florida

October 22 — 3D Printing Committee Meeting — WebEx

October 26 — Robotics & Automation Committee Meeting — WebEx

November 1-3 — Fall Technical Meeting — Crowne Plaza, Chicago, Illinois

November 9-10 — Heat Treatment for Operators — Chicago, Illinois

November 16-17 — AGMA Board Meeting — Daley College

November 16-19 — Gear Failure Analysis — St. Louis, Missouri