Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore, spoke on labor needs for manufacturing at the “Reinvesting In American Manufacturing” conference in Houston today.
The two-day conference focused on ways American companies can accelerate “reshoring” of manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. from overseas.
“We’re not going to beat China because we’re cheaper than them,” Greenblatt said. “We’re going to win with better and more unique approaches to solving problems for customers. And that happens as a result of an emphasis on innovations, superior technology and worker training.” Continue reading
Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt was on the Greta Van Susteren show last night to discuss the impact of health care insurance costs on small business after testifying on the topic earlier in the day before a Senate committee on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers. Click here for the video link.
Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt
U.S. Senator Cory Booker
At a hearing this morning on health care before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, at which Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt testified, we appreciated the stream-of-consciousness comments (1:48:23 – 1:53:00) of the newest U.S. senator, Cory Booker of New Jersey, who proclaimed Mr. Greenblatt an honorary “Jersey boy.”:
“Mr. Greenblatt, first of all, I appreciate your Jersey connection (as) a guy who vacations in Jersey. You have some Jersey-boy-aura to you and I want to say there’s a geologist saying “You rock” and you rock not because of your Jersey connection, but because I feel a kinship to you. We both came down to Washington. You get to go home, I think, and I’m gonna stick it out here and battle it out. You deal with the pragmatism that I deal with. I had to cut 25 percent of my employees as a mayor and one of the reason I had to cut so much is because health costs were going up so much, my taxpayers couldn’t afford it. I had to balance a budget every year. So do you. And the challenge that you have and that I’ve seen from working with global manufacturers in my city that I wanted to expand — and you said you export products to China, right? You’re competing globally, right? I like you a lot — and when you compete globally you’re competing against companies in Europe and Asia and across the globe, right?, and many of those countries have different health care systems and most of our competitor nations have much lower health care costs, right?”
When Marlin Steel’s president also pointed out large tax inequities that make it difficult to compete globally, such as against Canada, Senator Booker responded, “I want to compete with Canada in every way, expect for Toronto. Their mayor is having challenges there ….” Continue reading
Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire Products, spoke on Value Stream Management today before an international conference on lean manufacturing held by the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) in Toronto.
His presentation, titled “From Bagels to Brainpower,” described value stream and lean manufacturing methods Marlin Steel used to grow into a leading manufacturer of custom material handling containers.
By adding skilled mechanical engineers and $3.5 million invested in automation, the company pivoted from building commodity bagel baskets exclusively to a different product line — fabricating customized containers for a wide variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace and pharmaceuticals. Marlin ships steel wire baskets, sheet metal enclosures, wire forms and other products to 36 countries. The engineers’ ability to probe fit, form and function helped Marlin Steel attract and serve new clients seeking innovative precision handling solutions. The company also retrained its production staff from reliance on largely labor-heavy, low-tech methods to practices based in automation, innovation and lean principles.
Founded in 1985, AME is a non-profit group that promotes lean manufacturing practices such as kaizen and value stream mapping. It operates in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia with more than 5,000 members. This week’s conference at the Sheraton Centre Toronto drew “lean” thought leaders John Shook, Dan Jones, Mike Rother and Jim Womack. Continue reading
Came across some good photos online that oozed some of the precision and energy behind the making of wire baskets, wire forms and brackets at Marlin Steel. The photos were on the website of Washington, DC photographer Melissa Golden, who took images for this summer’s riveting Fast Company magazine profile of Marlin Steel.
“We went on a factory floor tour of the company’s facility in Baltimore, MD for this genuinely interesting story which you should read,” she wrote on her blog. She also wrote that “she shoots the kinds of things you’re not supposed to talk about at the dinner table like politics, religion, sex, and money.”
Fortunately, we could find a category that suits us.
Click image to download free guide to stress testing for material handling
Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt greets Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of the board of Toyota Motor Corp.
Photo Credit: David Bohrer / National Association of Manufacturers
From Drew Greenblatt’s latest column on Inc.com on wisdom from the “father of the Prius”:
I had the honor Monday of thanking Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of the board of Toyota Motor Corp. and the ‘”father of the Prius,” for all the business that his company has given to my wire basket and sheet metal fabrication plant over the years.
Uchiyamada is not any business leader. He is chairman of one of the world’s largest automakers. Toyota employs more than 300,000 people worldwide and more than 30,000 in the U.S. at 10 domestic plants; Marlin Steel supplies four of them. Mr. Uchiyamada — the creator of the Prius, the powerhouse hybrid electric car of which more than 3 million have been sold — has earned himself a seat at the pantheon of great business leaders of our era. He shared some powerful insights before a small audience at the Economic Club of Washington D.C.
My operation is a lot smaller than his, clearly — and probably so is yours. But the lessons he shared could help anyone grow his or her business, no matter the size, in challenging times. Continue reading