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A Manufacturer’s Most Valuable Resource

Keeping people happy and engaged requires more than just showing that they’re appreciated. Their voices need to be heard as well.

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Mark Kite (left) and Frank Bock (right), co-owners of Dura Mold, say adopting a more collaborative approach to manufacturing has improved efficiency by better leveraging employees’ skills, improving communication and flexibility, and instilling a sense of teamwork that keeps everyone on-track and focused on the big picture.

A few weeks back, MMS Senior Editor Peter Zelinksi blogged about the importance of a positive shop culture and asked readers if they knew of any manufacturers that made this a priority. I know of quite a few, and they all have one thing in common: They’re all plastic injection mold makers.

That makes sense, given that I’ve only recently come aboard MMS after a 2-year stint at our sister publication, MoldMaking Technology. Still, it’s interesting that no matter what moldmaking topic I was writing about, the vast majority of shop leaders touched on the importance of people in some way, shape or form.

In fact, I cited a few examples in a recent blog post, including a shop that’s invested $1 million in workout rooms, break rooms and other such upgrades, as well as a shop with an interesting approach to showing employees they’re appreciated. However, that post left out something that’s just as critical as instituting a comfortable work environment and making people feel valued. The moldmakers I know—including the ones mentioned above—also emphasize the importance of giving employees a real say in the operation, a chance to potentially shape their own activities and those of the broader company.

One of the first articles I wrote for MMT focused exclusively on this subject. At Dura Mold, moving from a top-down management structure to a more collaborative approach has led to better use of human resources, improved communication and teamwork, a more flexible process and greater accountability. Learn more.