FAQ – How To Be An Advocate For Your Industry

PMG provides labor solutions to American manufacturers. That’s what we do in a nutshell and we take the “solution” part of that equation seriously. As a result, all of us here end up asking a lot of questions to make sure we find the right way to solve the real problem. But, during that process, we end up getting asked a fair amount of questions ourselves. This blog will provide answers to the things PMG employees get asked the most.

How do you advocate for the skilled trades and technical education?

Glad you asked! PMG takes advocating for technical education, the skilled trades, and careers in manufacturing seriously. We believe it’s a responsibility for all of us within these industries to do our best to promote them as well as we can. But why should we? How can you do so as an individual?

An advocate is a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. The key to advocacy is publicly. You need to make your thoughts, feelings and opinions (your SUPPORT) known generally. This means the real question is how do you do THAT?

Do Your Homework

Make sure you don’t just know the topic, but also go deeper into the details. Make sure you truly understand key issues affecting things as a whole. What are the strengths, challenges, and opportunities for the industry? How can they be influenced? Is the skills gap the problem or just a symptom of the problem? Doing the digging necessary to have real opinions on these questions and others will help you cover a lot of ground in your journey to advocacy.

Think Big

You’re not just representing yourself or your company when you speak or act as an advocate. Therefore, you should consider what influences are affecting every individual and business in your industry. Make sure you understand the challenges and innovations thoroughly and then develop ideas that benefit all those associated. A sincere devotion to improving the situation of someone else will pay dividends to your solution. The more people behind you, the farther and faster you (and your industry) will move.

Build Partnerships

Industries are big entities made up of large numbers of people. Not all of them will be passionate about the same thing. If you can find people in the same industry advocating for different things, then you’ve found potential partners. Take the time to meet with them to discuss ways you can work together to everyone’s benefit. This could help you save time, effort, and resources. Key individuals with solid influence (people who have the power to make changes in their company or sector) are always great finds, but anyone can be a potential partner. As long as an individual is willing to listen to ideas and volunteer suggestions, you know you’ve found a good industry advocate.

Plan for Potholes

The path to progress is long, winding, and sometimes rough. Advocates need to be prepared for a bumpy ride before they ever start the journey. If status quo is causing stagnation, don’t be afraid of being labeled a disruptor. If someone or something is blocking innovation, be brave enough to speak up. It’s the job of an advocate to position growth and success for everyone in an industry. Those who may suppress that positive change for their own benefit should not be allowed to impair improvement for everybody else. What is good for one must be good for all or it’s not truly a solution in the first place.

More Resources For Becoming an Advocate

If you’re looking for more information on advocating for technical education, the skilled trades, or the manufacturing sector, please check out the mikeroweWORKS Foundation or the Titans of CNC Academy.

If you don’t even know whether or not your company is considered part of manufacturing, feel free to view our webinar on how the sector breaks down (it’s free and playable on demand).

Lastly, if you have your own question for PMG, we have an answer and we’d love to share it. Send them to writingteam@pmgservices.com to be answered in future FAQs.

 

About the Author

Head shot of Josh Erickson

Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate

NDT Inspector Spotlight

PMG Employee Spotlight with Shane W.

NDT Inspector Shane W.

Shane is a Level II NDT Inspector and the Field Services Manager for PMG Energy.

About me

I grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado and my family got into racing dirt bikes pretty seriously. I even went to Grand Nationals in 1998. I did that into my early 20s and then had a serious wreck where I broke my back for the second time. I decided it was time to get into something a little safer after that. Then I got into construction and eventually ended up at a motorcycle service department. That led to oil and gas work and then NDT (Non-Destructive Testing).

What are your main responsibilities as an NDT Inspector?

NDT stands for non-destructive testing. It means you can test a part or component for inspection without ruining or deteriorating that piece. Our main focus with PMG Energy is UT (ultra-sonic testing) inspection, so we actually test the part with sound, right in place. We find flaws and non-conformities and determine what to do with those parts to keep people safe and equipment or systems operating properly.

How did you get into NDT work?

When I found my way into the Oil & Gas sector I worked for and energy services company. I started as a flowback operator and then I got into the inspection side of things in 2012 after 6 years and I never looked back. Flowback work could get kind of dangerous so I just pursued the inspection side looking for something different and found that I loved it. The travel, the work, the detail required, everything. I took a lot of pride in it and still do.

How did you learn about the opportunity with PMG Energy?

I started with PMG on a contract project at an aviation facility in Vermont as a Project Manager while Energy was getting off the ground. When that started to take off, I moved over to the Energy side full-time. We began our first project in the second half of 2017. I’ve been with them ever since. I guess you could say that PMG Energy and I started together.

What do you like most about your job?

I like always learning something new and the travel. You see something new every single day; you’re always going someplace different; you’re always learning, and you never get to think you know it all. I love all of that.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

For PMG Energy: My team. We’ve developed the best team, I think, that is out there. Our guys come from operator backgrounds originally and know the whole process, not just the inspection methods. They have good technical and technology backgrounds too. We always have the right person to fix the issue, no matter what it may be, and keep moving forward. I’m really proud of that.

For PMG generally: We’re fairly calculated and precise in how we run our projects. Non-stop help and assistance. The first PMG project I managed was in Vermont and I never lacked access to help or guidance. I also love how driven everyone is to run things smoothly. It’s always obvious how involved and tight the whole group is in all aspects; from recruiting to sales to accounting; everyone knows what’s going on, what to do, and what their role is supposed to be. That made it easy to transfer the same example over to the Energy side.

What advice would you give to a recent new hire at PMG Energy?

I don’t want to scare anyone off but expect the unexpected. You might have a job come up on short notice, it might require a long drive or you’ll be working in weird weather. So, if you’re always prepared for the unexpected, you never get caught off-guard. That makes it easier and actually makes it fun. We’ve done some pretty cool stuff in some pretty crazy conditions and those are fun stories to tell afterwards.

What do you miss most or wish you had with you on the road?

I’ve been doing this so long I’ve got it pretty dialed in by now. I don’t have anyone I’m leaving at home so when I go on the road, my dog and everything I need comes with me. I can be gone as long as I need to be and I can always deal with the long grass in the yard whenever I get back home.

What are some hobbies you do in your free time?

I just recently got back into riding pretty frequently again. I’m pretty into fitness. I like getting out on the Colorado River and floating the river. You’re never in a hurry once you’re on the river and I like that a lot.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

Probably when I go out east just because I’m not out there very often. Vermont if I have to pick a place. There’s no oilfield there so I’d never have been there if it hadn’t been for PMG. It’s pretty, different and always green. We were there six months so you got to see the full set of seasons. It’s a great state for sight-seeing.

What celebrity/inspirational person do you admire the most?

Either Tom Hardy or Mark Wahlberg. I like their movies and I like how they prepare for a role, whether it’s losing weight or gaining weight or whatever they need to do. I also just like them as individuals.

What did you want to be when growing up?

I wanted to be a dirt bike racer. I even brought my dirt bike in for show and tell.

You’re happiest when…

… I’m out with my dog. She’s a 6-year-old pit-bull mix. She’s always up for a ride in any kind of vehicle and she’s a great partner for adventures.

 

Want to know more about PMG Energy? Check out their website here.

 

PMG Spotlight with Dave J.

employee spotlight

Dave is Principal Partner, Owner, and Founder of PMG.

About me

After finishing my university undergraduate studies, law school and an MBA, I went to work as a consultant with Deloitte Consulting. I was able to get a lot of diverse experience in different areas of business from sales to finance to manufacturing and supply chain. I started my consulting career in Atlanta and after 5 years or so I moved to Minneapolis for a different job and started PMG shortly thereafter. That was almost 20 years ago. We’ve been a Minnesota-based company serving the national manufacturing industry ever since.

What are your main responsibilities as an Owner/Principal Partner?

As is the case with a lot of entrepreneurs and founders, starting and growing the business was something I was well-suited for but, as time went on, I realized there were other people better suited to running day to day operations, managing, organizing, and building culture. We have a great leadership team at PMG and I try to stay out of the way and let them do their jobs. Having that team in place has allowed me to focus on what I’m better suited for, and more interested in, which is exploring opportunities to grow/expand/develop the general business and it’s worked out great. As a business owner, I believe it’s important to leverage the talents of the people around you. When you have those people, you can hand over the reins quickly and enthusiastically, rather than reluctantly.

How would you explain PMG to someone outside the company?

We bring a supply of highly skilled labor directly to meet our clients’ demands. I think we’re really good at finding, sourcing, and retaining talent without boundaries all across America. Sometimes I’m even surprised at how well, and how quickly, we find the right talent for our customers’ needs. And, it’s amazing how much the people that work with us want to keep working with us.

How did PMG come to be?

My dad was president of a transmission manufacturer and then went on to start his own company. Therefore, I was in and around shops since I was 10 or so doing whatever was needed whether it was running a lathe, welding, or just sweeping up. So, I kind of grew up in manufacturing and always knew I wanted to run my own company. When working with another company, I saw the need to be able to meet demand for skilled labor with unique means and innovative thinking. I chose Minneapolis as a base because that’s where I happened to be when we started, but that worked out well too because it’s proven to have a great talent pool for internal employees even though Minnesota is not traditionally thought of as a “manufacturing” state.

What do you like most about your job?

Still getting out and seeing a lot of different companies. Visiting, touring, meeting people, and learning from it all. That’s what I love doing. I also like getting to commit a lot of my energy and resources into ways to grow the company. That’s what excites me most about PMG is the growth opportunities, now that we have this fantastic team in place, and where we’re going to take it.

employee spotlight 2

What are you most proud of, in regards to PMG?

Without a doubt, it’s the team. The company we’ve created, the team to run it, and the culture that’s resulted. It’s taken almost 20 years of hard work to get to having this team, and it didn’t come easy, but it was worth it. I’m also very pleased with how our hard efforts at process and procedure redesign have turned out successfully. When we started PMG, critics told us nobody would pay for our services and it wouldn’t work. They were wrong. We believed it would work and it certainly has.

What is the most important part of leadership?

A few things. Leading by example as opposed to telling. Defining roles clearly and setting clear and achievable goals. And not being afraid to make mistakes. Encouraging people to take risks and learn from mistakes, when they happen, to help them solve problems as opposed to judging/criticizing. As a leader you have to be a problem solver not a finger pointer. If there’s a problem it’s not important “who” got us into it, it’s how do “we” solve it as a team.

What is the most difficult part to leading?

When it’s time to part ways with someone on the team, for sure. Finding the right people and getting them on the team is the fun part, but when you have to move on from the wrong fit, you have to move on. It’s important and necessary but still hard to do. The other hard part is it’s 24/7. I don’t ever get to shut it off or say I’ll deal with it after the weekend is over.

Any thoughts on leading people through an eventful 2020?

To me it’s pretty clear that leaders should focus on what they can control and not what they can’t. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to prepare for what you can’t control, but you have to recognize you can’t control it. So, don’t waste time or energy or resources trying to. You have to try to create calm and certainty wherever you can. That’s what we can control; keeping people safe, still working and still being productive. Making sure they clearly understand what we are doing about things and why and how that affects them. We can’t control what COVID is or what the government is or isn’t doing or what other businesses are doing as a result of what is happening in the world, but we can do our best to try to keep doing the things we do best. Basically, I would say it’s our role as leaders to create as much certainty out of uncertain situations as we can.

What are some hobbies you do in your free time?

I like to work out. I’m into CrossFit and Peloton and obstacle courses. I’m passionate about health and wellness. I also like reading, boating, and golfing. I mostly read non-fiction. I usually have 2 or 3 books in the works. I like to learn when I read.

What celebrity/inspirational person do you admire the most?

I’m not really inspired by many celebrities, but a great business book is Good to Great by Jim Collins. It is the best business book out there, in my opinion, because it’s not just someone that hasn’t done it that’s just theorizing. Its theories are well backed by numbers, real data, etc. It was a real eye opener for me and I’ve been able to use a lot of its theories and findings in my own career.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

I’m not as traveled as I’d like to be but, based on my experience to date, it’s Greece. Santorini. The food, culture, weather, sight-seeing. I loved it.

What advice would you give to a recent new hire at PMG?

Open your ears and listen and learn from the amazing team around you. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes.

What’s your favorite restaurant and what must you order there?

Despite maintaining a mostly pescatarian/vegetarian diet, I still love a good steak. One of my favorites is Burch Restaurant and their A5 New York Block steak. Quite possibly the best meat I’ve ever tasted.

National HVAC Tech Day!

June 22 is the first official day of summer and, fittingly, it’s also National HVAC Tech Day! In honor of our skilled HVAC technicians, we’re sharing ways on how you can show them appreciation. If you’re a person who likes being cool in the summer or warm in the winter, please read on.

History of National HVAC Tech Day

National HVAC Tech Day started in 2016 by a national home services provider, ARS/Rescue Rooter, to show appreciation for all technicians in the industry. It was officially approved by the National Day Calendar the following year and the rest is HVAC history. Checkout this cool timeline from energy.gov for a more in-depth look at the history.

Why show your appreciation

 

Extreme environments don’t stop them.

Whether it’s a heat wave or a cold front, the weather that prompts us to place a service call are the conditions HVAC techs have to consider their “office”. They’re always working to keep us comfortable, no matter how uncomfortable their working conditions might be.

They go where you don’t want to.

Creepy crawlspace? Buggy Basement? Icky attic? Your HVAC tech will go there to get the job done so you don’t have to and they’ll probably clean up a bit while they’re at it too!

Their working to find savings for you.

A professional HVAC tech can help you maximize energy savings, choose appropriate new equipment to meet your specific needs, and even keep your existing system running at peak efficiency longer. All this helps keep a little green in your pocket a lot longer.

An HVAC tech can help you live greener.

Saving energy doesn’t just mean saving money; it also means saving energy. Whether choosing from among the greener technology on the market today or just allowing your existing system’s efficiency to persist awhile longer, a qualified HVAC tech can help reduce your carbon footprint while improving your environment.

They’re in short supply.

There’s already a greater demand in America for skilled HVAC technicians than there are people currently working in the field. That demand is expected to increase by 13% between now and 2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you already have a great HVAC tech, show them your appreciation.

How to show appreciation

  • Offer them a cold beverage. Fixing broken A/C units can be thirsty work so a cold bottle of water is always a good bet to be appreciated.
  • Take some time to write a good review online especially if you scheduled your appointment electronically.
  • Are you a business? Everybody likes swag bags including the people that keep your people comfortable.
  • Spread the word. If you like the work your HVAC tech does, let others know too. Recommending their work to family, friends, or business partners is the best way to thank a skilled technician.

 

If you’d like to know more about the ways you can show your appreciation for other kinds of work, AT WORK, read our blog on Love and Appreciation at Work.

 

About the Author

Head shot of Josh Erickson

Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate

Employee Spotlight – Administrative Receptionist

PMG Employee Spotlight with Colleen B.

administrative receptionist

Colleen is an Administrative Receptionist who joined PMG just over a year ago.

About me

I was born and raised in Minnesota (just like PMG!) and enjoy baking a lot. I also love to travel and watch truly binge-worthy TV shows.

What are your main responsibilities as an Administrative Receptionist?

My main role has changed a bit with COVID19 because I don’t have to meet and greet as much as I do when I’m (physically) in the office. I’m often the first face people “see” when they interact with PMG, either on the phone or at the front door, so I’m always trying to set a good impression. Otherwise, I’m a jack of all trades who tries to help wherever I’m needed.

How did you learn about the opportunity with PMG?

I actually started as a temp recruiter in March of 2019 and helped on projects until I was able to transition into my current role full-time a few months later.

What do you like most about your job?

I enjoy getting to be part of different departments and tasks. From Sales to Lead Generation to Technical Solutions to Accounting – it’s fun to work with so many different people and be a part of everything without having to be fully invested in it all 100% of the time.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

I actually grew up in the hospitality and food service industry and I’ve never been a member of a corporate office anywhere. That’s been an enlightening and rewarding experience by itself. It’s also about the people here. We’re a younger office, in general, with great people and predominately female leadership. That is all important to me and unique in this industry. I’m really proud to be part of something so great, yet so different from the norm.

What are some hobbies you do in your free time?

I go on a lot of walks by myself. I enjoy my alone time. I choose not to drive, ever, so I like to explore things on foot. I do like a good restaurant or concert or show of some kind too.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

Probably New Orleans. I love that city. I went for a week by myself once. It has old charm but is designed to be a city where you can have a good time too.

What celebrity/inspirational person do you admire the most?

Reese Witherspoon. She always does a great job whether it’s as June Carter Cash or Elle Woods. I’ve never seen her in a bad movie.

What did you want to be when growing up?

I did want to be a princess at one point. I also wanted to live in a house by myself with no kids and live in peace. I have a good start on that thus far. Both of my parents always worked in restaurants so I grew up really wanting to do that as well.

You’re happiest when…

…it’s St. Patrick’s Day (I’m Irish) and I’m with my family.

What advice would you give to a recent new hire at PMG?

Take every opportunity given to you. Take that extra training day. If you don’t know how to do it, ask someone to teach you. You can never ask enough questions.

What’s your favorite restaurant and what must you order there?

My favorite restaurant is Saint Dinette in downtown St. Paul. Their cheeseburger is to die for!

 

Want to read more employee spotlights? Check out more posts on our blog!

Machine Operator – Jennifer P.

Q&A with PMG Machine Operator Jennifer P.

Machine Operator Jennifer P.

How long have you been working in manufacturing?

I’ve been in manufacturing for 16 years now. I started off in fast food for a year or so and wound up in manufacturing and have loved it ever since.

What drew you to the trade?

It was wanting that feeling that I’ve done something at work and getting that satisfaction that I made something that matters and has a purpose.

Before working at PMG, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

The most interesting job I had was working at a plant that made airplane brakes. Seeing the process that is required for it was very cool. It takes months to do. To make “just” a brake. Then being on a plane afterwards, knowing I had a part in that, was amazing.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

I knew someone working for PMG and it took me awhile to get on my first assignment. Now I’ve been on 4 or 5 assignments and I’ve been on this last one, as a machine operator, for almost 2 years solid. The reason I love PMG is that they’ll take care of you if you take care of them. My work ethic is very strong and I appreciate the way they appreciate that.

What is one thing you miss or wish you had with you while on the road with PMG?

Not too much actually. I love meeting new people and seeing new things and places. So, really, the whole thing works great for me.

What are some career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

The main thing for me is you can always learn something, no matter where you go or what you’re doing. I’ve met a lot of people that think they already know everything and I’ve been learning new things for 16 years so anyone can.

When you’re not working, what sort of hobbies do you like to do in your free time?

I’m definitely a movie person. I love going to theaters. Right now (during COVID-19 restrictions), I watch a lot of movies on my phone. I love music and the outdoors too. I like to get outside when I can on assignment too.

What is something fun you’re looking forward to in 2020?

Nothing special. I just want to be as happy and productive as I can be.

 

To learn more about PMG technicians, check out our blog for other Q&A sessions!

Crisis Management & PMG

Crisis Management in manufacturing is critical. Let PMG help you punch out your crisis!

Crisis: “an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending. A situation that has reached a critical phase” (Thanks Merriam Webster)!

We all know the world is experiencing a major crisis right now. I’m not going to write another article on it or call out the cause(s). What’s important is what we do to address a crisis when it happens and how we find a way to turn it into an opportunity.

I won’t get political and talk about the best steps to address our current crisis, but I am here to let you know how PMG can help you, as a manufacturer OR a skilled manufacturing worker!

In the event you’re not aware of  PMG’s role as a Labor Solutions Provider or why to use Labor Solutions from PMG, check us out! We don’t just help when companies have a backlog, a peak season, or large orders – we help during times of crisis. And, we don’t just provide temporary jobs; we provide careers.

How do we do it? I’ll talk first to the manufacturers out there.

Regardless of industry or product, we can work with you! For manufacturers, first and foremost, you need a Crisis Management Plan. Once that’s in place and you find yourself using it, PMG is the ideal partner. We can help you further refine your crisis management plan (if needed) but most importantly, we provide a rapid response service. We rapidly deploy our workforce of highly skilled technicians to your facility, to ensure your crisis is averted and/or managed as best as possible.

As a manufacturer, what type of PMG technicians will help you? The list below describes a few.

  • Machinists
  • Welders
  • Maintenance Technicians
  • Assemblers
  • Material Handlers & Lift Truck Operators
  • Other critical manufacturing employees

However, that’s not where we stop. We can provide many more! Our technicians not only travel to your facility very quickly, but they also come with the skills and experience needed to ramp up quickly and make an immediate impact on your production.

Now, for the workers out there – How can we help you in a time of crisis?

Because of our partnerships with companies across the US, we have many opportunities available for skilled manufacturing employees. Wondering what that means for you? Check out our webinar explaining just that, and if you’re interested, see what it takes to work on the road with PMG.

Are you wondering if you have the skills and experience? PMG has skilled workers with a variety of experience and backgrounds. I could list all the positions here, but it’s more easily summarized by saying: “if it’s a job in manufacturing, it’s a career with PMG”.

Our technicians work with us year in and year out. This isn’t just a job to them, this is a career. Utilizing their skills and abilities, our technicians work solely with PMG because it provides them the opportunity to travel and explore, work a flexible schedule and have time off between projects. Also,  they experience working within facilities and for companies with technology, projects, and distinction that aren’t  available locally. If YOU are interested in joining the PMG team and want to take your career to a new level, apply here.

And remember some wise words from Desmond Tutu: “A time of crisis is not just a time of anxiety and worry. It gives a chance, an opportunity, to choose well or to choose badly.”  Choose well, choose PMG.

 

About the Author

Picture of Kim Mooney

Kim MooneyTechnical Manager & Coach

Niche Positions at PMG

Are you struggling to fill niche manufacturing positions in your production facility? Are you tired of seeing your numbers suffer because of it? PMG is well-known across manufacturing for the quality of our machinists, welders, and multi-craft maintenance technicians. However, we’re more than just the “Big Three”. We can provide quality oriented, proven tradespeople to fill any need in any production facility, no matter how niche. Here are three more PMG specialty positions you should be aware of.

Inspectors

From Quality Control to Quality Assurance to Quality Inspection, PMG has technicians that can help streamline the inspection process for any manufacturer.

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)

Whether working in aerospace to NAS410 standards, military projects where MIL-Spec is still king, or oil & gas environments under API specifications, PMG has NDT Technicians that travel with their own certifications and have plenty of on-the-job hours in their logbook for any inspection method necessary. If you’d like to read more about NDT, check out some of the articles in Quality Magazine.

Mechanical Inspectors

Does your production process need inspectors capable of performing inspections on individual mechanical components? Do you require techs with experience inspecting full assemblies? Whether your need is for aviation, medical components, or electronic systems, our technicians have the experience.

Chemical Inspectors

Is your company testing batches for the chemical industry? Are you maintaining compliance to FDA regulations for a food production facility? Perhaps, you’re performing product audits for a medical manufacturer. Our Chemical Inspectors have experience working in industries with some the strictest requirements.

Engineers

Engineers are part of every step of production. Our engineers can help any company at any pinch point in their process.

Mechanical & Electrical Design Engineers

Is your company strong on product development, but slow to bring these innovations to production? PMG Design Engineers can help bring your R&D ideas to life whether it be on the drafting table or via CAD/CAM models.

Controls Engineers

Have you recently made repairs or improvements to your production systems? Controls Engineers can help design, install, and maintain those systems to get them, and keep them, up and running. From mechanical drives to PLCs, PMG Engineers can fill your control system quandaries.

Reliability Engineer

Your product is built to stand the test of time and your test systems should be too. From durability testing to product life cycle audits, PMG has a Reliability Engineer that you can rely on to help improve your prove outs.

Programmers

One good programmer can keep a lot of skilled tradesmen producing quality parts and components. Due to this fact, programmers are one of the positions most affected by the skills gap currently complicating American manufacturing. It doesn’t matter what programming problem your shop may have, PMG can provide highly skilled technicians to keep your production floor operating at maximum efficiency.

Machine Tool Programmers

Regardless of what machine you have sitting idle, it’s not making money if you can’t keep it running. PMG programmers are skilled with all machine tool program languages from common (G&M Code and Conversational) to exotic (SurfCam and Unigraphics).

CMM Programmers

Most companies utilize Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) in their inspection process to save time and money. However, there is little profit present in downtime if you can’t “teach” your machine to inspect new offerings. PMG CMM programmers are experienced in systems from PC-DMIS to Calypso and can keep your QA/QC process profitable.

 

If you are experiencing production gaps and backlogs at your facility, Connect with PMG to learn how our solutions can help you.

 

About the Author

Head shot of Josh Erickson

Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate

Meet Jim W.

Q&A with PMG Project Manager Jim W.

picture of project manager Jim W.

Meet Jim, a Project Manager who’s been with PMG’s Operation Team for three years.

What brought you to PMG?

I started as a diesel mechanic. Then, I spent 25 years as a high-speed packaging mechanic before I got into coordinating projects. In 2017, I was the PMG Operations Manager’s last choice for project manager, but he gave me a chance and I’ve been on a PMG project somewhere ever since.

Have you had any formal training?

I was working at a landfill as a laborer when our diesel mechanic quit and gave me his toolbox on the way out the door. Suddenly, I was in maintenance. I spent a lot of time reading the manual those first few years, but I haven’t had much formal training other than health and safety stuff. I can teach classes on the health and safety stuff now.

Before working at PMG, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I was the general ops manager for the bankruptcy court in Huntington, WV. I had to run 12 bankrupt cemeteries in three states that didn’t even have enough money to cut the grass.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

The support I get from my team, hands-down. I get all the support I need whenever; there’s not a time of day or night I can’t get what I need. 24/7, it’s always there. You don’t get a true team supporting you as a manager like this at other places.

What is one thing you miss or wish you had with you while on the road with PMG?

Squirrel and Gravy. Even if you buy an out of state license, you still can’t hunt them in the hotel parking lot! But seriously, I miss being in the country the most, especially when hunting season rolls around. Nonetheless, I like what I’m doing so I don’t miss it too bad.

When you’re not working, what sort of hobbies do you like to do in your free time?

I love to hunt. I have a taxidermist shop. I’ve been a taxidermist for more than 30 years and I’ve mounted everything from mice to moose.

What is something fun you’re looking forward to in 2020?

The next job. It’s always fun and always going to be something different.

How to Survive a 12-Hour Shift

Successfully Surviving a 12-Hour Shift

Across America, many companies are moving to longer shift schedules for their employees. In the manufacturing sector, 12-hour shifts have already been common for decades and PMG employees are very familiar with finding ways to work them successfully.

If you’re wondering how you can possibly make it through a work schedule that accounts for half of the total time available in a day, here are some tips and tricks for surviving a 12-hour shift.

Professionalism

two production workers working together

Get Your Mind Right

A 12-hour shift is 50% longer than an 8-hour one. You have to start each shift with the right mindset. If not, it will feel longer and get more dangerous.

“The long hours can wear on you mentally…so you need to show up wanting to be there and focused on safety, of course.”

Dan O. – Welder

 You Can Always Teach or Learn

There’s always a chance of downtime during production. The question is, what do you do with it? Passing along knowledge is a great way to pass time.

“Twelve-hour shifts are much shorter if you’re busy so help others with their work or just clean up.”

Jeff C. – Maintenance

Don’t Forget What You’re Working For

The good part is long hours equal large paychecks.

“An old road dog told me not to ever forget what you’re doing this for…money.”

Jeff C. – Maintenance

Physical Condition

inspector working on an oil pump

Elements & Conditions

The work is one thing, but the situation you’re working in is an entirely different thing to consider.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re ready for the job; if you’re not ready for the weather, the wrong clothing can ruin a job.”

Jason H. – Operations Manager

Battery Life

Your tools won’t work if the battery is dead and neither will your body. Taking sleep seriously is a must for surviving long shifts.

“The people that struggle the least with long hours are the ones that get enough sleep the night before.”

Kim M. – Technical Manager

Fill Your Tank

If you’re making a trip in your car, you need enough fuel in the tank to get there. The same thing goes for your body. Eating and drinking right is imperative.

“You have to make sure your body is ready for it with plenty of nutrition and hydration.”

Dan O. – Welder

Mental Condition

machine operator working on a CNC machine

Environment

The nature of production facilities means some can be less than stimulating and some tasks can get repetitive. Often, the best cure for this is a simple change of perspective.

“Adjust your vision periodically, meaning don’t stare at the same thing constantly. It’s a small thing, but it can go a long way.”

Jason H. – Operations Manager

 Smaller Time Blocks

Production runs, especially big ones, can deal with some daunting numbers. Thus, the best way to attack them is often in smaller chunks.

“I like to set short incremental goals. Cutting a cycle time for a part down from eight minutes to seven can result in substantial savings on a 1000-piece run and it makes the day go faster working in shorter time frames.”

Dan C. – Machinist

Prioritize Appropriately

The more you put on your plate, the easier it is to get overwhelmed. Make sure your checklist is in good working order.

“Our best techs all have a lot they could do. They learn how to recognize what needs to be done, compared to what they’d like done, and then set their work accordingly.”

Kim M. – Technical Manager 

 

The next time you have a long shift, or mandatory over-time come up, don’t dread it. Rather, try using some of these tips from our employees to help you prepare to not only survive your shift, but shine during it. If you think you’ve already got 12-hour days down, then maybe consider a position with PMG.

 

Check out our website to learn more about open positions http://www.pmgservices.com/.

 

About the Author

Head shot of Josh Erickson

Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate