If you hear the industry buzz, manufacturing struggles to find skilled workers to fill millions of vacant jobs. This labor shortage that continues to grow stems from more young adults choosing a four-year degree path rather than vocational school. According to a report from the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, “U.S. manufacturers are facing an even greater skills gap crisis than previously imagined: some 2 million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2025.” Jon DeWys (CEO) and CT Martin (President) sat down to discuss some exciting new actions taking place here at DeWys Manufacturing in effort to approach this situation. The implementation of a new program called Operational Excellence has been set in motion. This program strives to give team members a voice to collaborate alongside team leaders.
DeWys Manufacturing is a complete metal solutions company. To be able to fulfill that promise to our customers we mustn’t stop believing everything and everyone can improve, so we don’t! These walls that structure our manufacturing company hold talented people that inspire innovations. The next generations in this industry will be a part of the solution. As said by CT Martin (President), “We hire people for their minds not just their hands.” The Operational Excellence program utilizes training’s and discussion boards to give team members more visual and communication opportunities within their teams. These ideas serve to highlight points of achievement in work areas. Achievements which have included organization measures to increase safety and improve throughput. These ideas also assisting team members in reaching their goals.
#wearemfg #dewysmfg #yourcompletemetalsolutionscompany
…. and we are back with part two! In last month’s blog we explored the beginning stages of part operations here at DeWys Manufacturing. We brought you over to the laser where a sheet of aluminum started out being cut in a laser. Once the sheet was cut and excess metal was removed, the part was moved to the next value stream where Gabe, a DeWys Manufacturing team member, utilized the Haeger machine to insert pems into a part. The part has since moved down the value stream to be bent and formed by our Bystronic press brake. After the sides were bent at designated angles, the part moved to be welded.
Adam, who is a part of the DeWys Mfg. welding team, utilizes the TIG welding technique. This step in the process is important for any part to correctly structure the pieces. DeWys Mfg. exploits these lean processes in each step of the manufacturing process to continually eliminate waste, manage workloads without sacrificing productivity to create these parts that play important roles in everyday life.
Once Adam finished applying the TIG technique to the whole order, the parts were transported to the paint line for final stages of completion. The paint line process is broken down into a few operations. Parts are brought via hi-lo to the conveyer system. From there, team members work together to hang parts on the line. Depending on the length, width and depth, parts may be hung individually or hung underneath each other to maximize space.
As you can see, parts go through many value streams. Therefore, they contract dust and residue. It is vital for these parts to go through a wash and dryer to be properly cleaned and dried before powder is applied. You can see our hard-working DeWy team member, Patrick, using the powder coating technique to spray the powder directly onto the part. If you look in front of Patrick, all the extra black powder is sucked into the ventilation system on the wall to be cycled through. After the parts go through the paint booth, the line goes through the oven to cure the powder onto the part (toasty!). Before the part is shipped to a valued customer, the parts are taken off the line to be packaged and assembled if necessary.
Thank you for joining us on a day in the life here, at DeWys Manufacturing! We are honored to be able to serve customers’ needs one process at a time to be their one stop metal solutions company, right here in Marne Michigan!
DeWys Manufacturing Inc., a West-Michigan based metal solutions company – is pleased to announce the addition of Phyllis Witherell to the Inside Sales and Customer Service team. Phyllis has demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of customer service with her adept communication, problem solving, and business skills. These skills will provide the sales team the addition resources to exceed our customers’ needs.
Prior to DeWys Manufacturing, Phyllis worked with sales and treasury representatives to build accounts and interact with clientele in a banking environment. Her management of clientele originated from owning her own business as an independent contractor. Phyllis will communicate with team leaders of departments including sales, engineering, manufacturing and shipping areas at DeWys Manufacturing to gather and relay information onto customers. She will also be responsible for order entry and meeting the needs of customers to increase gratification by building relationships through phone calls and face-to-face visits. Phyllis is excited to utilize her skills to work with diverse customers, grow her knowledge in the manufacturing industry and be a significant resource to people.
When Phyllis is not assisting customers, she enjoys joking around with her three sons and husband. Her family enjoys time with their ten-year old Great Dane Henry, watching movies and playing board games. She also enjoys running and participating in Zumba.
With her dedication and prior experience, DeWys Manufacturing is excited to have Phyllis as an addition to the team. “As we to grow, Phyllis’s desire to be a reliable resource for team members and surpass customer expectations is a valued asset to our company” said CT Martin (President).
Transforming raw materials into a final product begins with a solid manufacturing process. At DeWys Manufacturing each step in the process adds more value and features to a product, transforming a sheet of metal into a final part. Ready to see how one part maneuvers through our company? Join in on one of our part’s lean journey through DeWys Manufacturing!
The light on the outside of the loading dock turns green signaling to the driver to move forward. In the early mornings at DeWys Manufacturing large freights of steel or aluminum pull into the unloading dock where a large overhead crane is strategically positioned over the back of the trailer. Utilizing the crane, these large sheets of metal weighing thousands of pounds, are lifted into our facility. These sheets of metal are then placed on large racks, organized by width and gauge dynamics. Now here is where it gets interesting.
For this part, a large sheet of aluminum is placed into one of our programmed lasers. Each sheet can produce multiple parts depending on the engineered dimensions. This automated operation in the cutting process adds value while saving time.
Today, DeWys Mfg. Team member Ted, has removed the aluminum sheet from the laser onto his work station. We collectively call the value stream he is in “shakeout” because the excess metal must be removed from the cut part. It is common for parts to be ground using a high grit sander, necessary for removing and smoothing the raw edges.
To correctly fabricate a piece, each part that is produced at DeWys Manufacturing requires different operations. Once Ted completed his operation in cutting, each piece is stacked and transferred to the next necessary value stream.
Another awesome DeWys Mfg. Team member Gabe utilizes the Haeger machine to work diligently in the next value stream. Pems are loaded into the machine to fasten directly onto the part. This step is not required for every part that goes through DeWys Mfg. Specifications determine what part requires each value stream. Continuing deeper into the manufacturing process, the part is bent to the specifications of the drawing.
Ready to find out what the part does next on its lean journey? Get ready for part two, coming soon!
DeWys Manufacturing Inc., a West-Michigan based metal solutions company, is pleased to announce the addition of Christa Smith as our new Customer Experience Manager. Christa graduated from Grand Valley State University in Business Administration with a focus in Finance and Management. With 12 years of experience in manufacturing, Christa has demonstrated strong management skills while overseeing customer service, quoting, and order processing.
Christa will be responsible for the continuous growth of relationships with all our valued customers. She will also be organizing the activities of sales representatives to train on sales methods, estimating, quality, quoting, and validating customer concerns with plans of action. These plans include gathering data, determining time periods required for future engagement, thoroughly reviewing quotes, and organizing the launch of new products. As a key member of the DeWys Mfg.’s team, Christa is excited to work closely with the sales and customer service department to incorporate DeWys’ LEAN principles for continuous improvement. This will ensure every customer has a great experience and interaction with all departments within the company.
In her free time, you will most likely find Christa spending time outdoors. She enjoys camping and fishing along with attending various sporting activities. Accompanying Christa on her adventures are her husband of 14 years and two children.
DeWys Manufacturing is excited to welcome Christa to the team. With her years of experience in manufacturing combined with her education in Business Management, this will give her valuable knowledge and tools to utilize in her new managerial role.
Thousands of students, a variety of hands-on activities, and numerous employers … OH MY! Picture this: The lobby of DeVos Performance Hall in downtown Grand Rapids is full of over 10,000 students talking, laughing, and excited for what they are about to experience. When they walk into the exhibit hall they will be greeted by numerous employers within four major industries: advanced manufacturing, health sciences, construction, and information technology. What is this crazy, fun, knowledge packed event called you may ask? It’s MiCareerQuest!
MiCareer Quest is not your normal career fair. This is a hands-on experience that allows middle and high school students to create curiosity and excitement for their potential future in one of these awesome and successful industries. Lead by volunteers, the students are allowed 25 minutes in each section visiting the different booths and engaging with employers.
DeWys Manufacturing partnered with the Kent Intermediate School District this year. Students and educators that stopped by our booth experienced numerous aspects of the manufacturing field. The students assembled brush bots by gluing a toothbrush to the bottom of a battery, then taking the motor and placing the positive and negative (one on each side) to the battery, then use a rubber band over it to hold the motor in place. Once everything was assembled correctly the battery caused a vibration. The students could then race their brush bot against their peer’s, tracking to see who’s was the fastest!
From there the students could sit at a computer and learn about CAD designing and even got to use the software. If that wasn’t enough, they could then go on to program a robotic arm and as a take away they got to keep a glow in the dark 3D printed item from KCTC.
This was DeWys’ fourth year participating with MiCareerQuest, and it is made evident every year how important this event is to the W Michigan area. As an employer in the skilled trades industry, we know how big the demand is and will continue to be for manufacturing positions. If at the end of the day we helped change one students perception of manufacturing and they will be considering it for a future career, then we have done our job! Contact us if you are interested in more information on the MiCareerQuest Event!
Today’s students view manufacturing as dark, dingy, and dead end. Here at DeWys, we have purposely worked with our local schools, colleges, and community partners to improve this perception. This is our way of helping to change the perception of manufacturing.
I sat down with three team members at DeWys ranging from ages 19 – 23 to discuss their opinions of manufacturing:
What was your perception of manufacturing growing up/before starting at DeWys?
Cody: “I didn’t really know much about manufacturing, but it sounded interesting and hands on. This may scare away most but I found it intriguing and wanted to learn more.”
Hannah: “I did not think that I would end up with a job in manufacturing. Growing up, I didn’t have a complete understanding of what all it entails because of that it was not as appealing to me as other opportunities.”
Logan: “Our country was built on manufacturing and local manufacturing is also good for our economy. Everything you use on a day to day basis was manufactured and this industry is not going anywhere, so I knew since high school that I wanted a career in a manufacturing environment.
What do you think your peers perceptions of manufacturing is?
Hannah: “I feel like most think of your typical 80’s factory job. Long hours, dirty shop, no windows, and little flexibility.
Logan: “My high school did an excellent job of promoting manufacturing, so my peers growing up had a positive impression. I feel like other schools only promote four year college degrees and those schools should be more open to the skilled trades industry opportunities as well.”
Cody: “I think most feel like it’s a challenge career with dead end jobs”
Now that you are working in manufacturing, has your perception changed at all? If so how?
Logan: “My perception has always been positive, so no it hasn’t changed. I have known that I didn’t necessarily want a four-year degree, but once I learned that DeWys offered tuition reimbursement I figured I could now learn about manufacturing inside and outside of the shop.
Cody: “Now that I have worked in manufacturing for a few years, I have learned ALOT. DeWys has a great training program and gives you the opportunity to cross train if interested.
Hannah: “Now that I am working in manufacturing, it is an eye opener and really cool to be working with parts that will eventually go towards items I use on a day to day basis.
From what I heard when talking to Logan, Hannah, and Cody is that the younger generation is open minded and excited to learn more about manufacturing! More manufacturers and educators should be partnering together to promote the skilled trades industry to change the dark, dirty, dead end perception in the next generation. So again, my question to you is how are you changing the perception of manufacturing?
DeWys Manufacturing Inc., a West-Michigan based metal solutions company, is pleased to announce the addition of Molly LaRoche as our newest Human Resources Generalist. In her new role, she will be instrumental in supporting the Human Resources department and the organization as a whole. Molly will be responsible for payroll, safety meetings, wellness initiatives, and team member benefits. She will also work alongside DeWys Mfg.’s Workforce Development Manager to interview and hire skilled team members that fit with the culture of the company.
Molly received an Associate Degree from GRCC then transferred to Grand Valley State University where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Human Resource Management. She completed an HR internship managing new hire paper work, hourly timesheets, and 401(k) contributions. Prior to coming to DeWys, she worked for a tax firm where she assisted in tax processing and administrative duties. Along with her knowledge and experience from school and internships, Molly is looking forward to expanding her skills and experience in the Human Resource field, growing within the company, and learning the many facets of manufacturing.
When Molly is not assisting team members at DeWys, she is spending time with her family, and boating in Grand Haven (in the summer months). She also enjoys riding her bike on trails in Holland or volunteering at a variety of non-profit organizations in the greater Grand Rapids area. Molly’s willingness to learn and grow with the team members as well as her interest in improving DeWys Manufacturing, will make her an asset to the culture and future of the company.
DeWys Manufacturing Inc., a West-Michigan based metal solutions company, is pleased to announce the addition of Paul Love as our newest IT team member. In his new role, Paul will be engaged with the innovation and technology teams as DeWys Mfg. implements the Industry 4.0 plan. Industry 4.0 is the automation and data exchange within our information system and manufacturing equipment. He will be responsible for orchestrating system upgrades, network troubleshooting, and computer deployment. He will also be assisting team members with daily issues and working to develop cost effective hardware solutions that provide value and solve unique complex problems.
Paul received a Bachelors in Database Management as well as an Associates in Computer Information Systems. He also has five years of experience in the field giving him the knowledge and wisdom to excel at DeWys Mfg. Paul loves a challenge and within the Information Technology field there is always something to fix, new technologies to learn and master, or day to day operations to solve.
Outside of work, Paul loves to spend time participating in hands on activities with his kids. He enjoys watching them learn to create and solve a variety of projects and crafts. He also likes to travel with his family, watch Star Wars movies and play video games. Paul’s background and understanding of the I.T. field will make him a great asset to our team members at DeWys Manufacturing. The company looks forward to the contribution Paul will make in taking DeWys Mfg. to the next level of I.T. innovation.
As DeWys Manufacturing continues to grow and move further down our Road to Success, it is important to the owners that the team members are invested in our culture. To do this, our management team put in place the Cultural Road to Success. These three core principles are what the entire company is now responsible for.
- Values: This is how we A.C.C.T. With this we recognize and reward team members for positively affecting DeWys
- Advancement: Everything and everyone can be improved
- Character: Do what is right
- Customer Astonishment: Customers drive our success
- Talent: Be the best that you can be
- Attitude: When team members, management, and owners are all working towards the same goal, that is when DeWys will continue the journey on our Road to Success.
- Accountable: We will be accountable to each other
- Empowered: We will feel empowered to make a difference
- Problem Solve: We will be driven to problem solve
- Beliefs: This is based off the old saying “treat others the way you want to be treated”
- Recognizing: We believe in recognizing team members
- Rewarding: We believe in rewarding team member initiative
- Communicating: We believe in communicating a clear consistent message
So what does the Cultural Road to Success mean for the future of DeWys Manufacturing? First, this will open communication up to ALL team members sharing our cultural vision for years to come. Second, it allows our human resources department to find and hire the right fit during the interview process. “Understanding what we value and where we want to go in the future ensures that we are committed to making the right hire each and every time” – Laura Elsner, Workforce Development Manager. Finally, DeWys is adamant about making this Cultural Road to Success public information. When current and future team members, the management, and the community know our vision for the future we will all be on the same page towards achieving our goals
Nothing is perfect, but when you strategize, implement, and work together as a team then that is when you can see growth. DeWys has been in business for over forty prosperous years, and with the culture addition to our Road to Success, we see the next forty being even better!