Profiles

Specialty

Specialty Manufacturing, Inc. provides custom, high-quality silicone parts to the medical and industrial sectors.

By Jim Harris, Senior Editor, Knighthouse Media

Many of Specialty Manufacturing, Inc. (SMI)’s customers look to them to provide custom silicone product solutions that their larger competitors cannot. “We take on jobs that have been no-quoted by large manufacturers,” Vice President Kristi Wiechmann says. “If someone has a very intricate and difficult design and needs a high standard of quality, they can come to us.”

One of the company’s recent customers posed specific questions about how SMI adheres silicone to another silicone, metal or plastic component – a specialty of the company’s. “We could tell, based on their questions, that they were having difficulties making their product,” Wiechmann recalls. “After answering all their questions and winning their business, we learned they were eight weeks behind schedule because their previous supplier was new to silicone molding and could not make their part.

“We took the tooling they had already made, put it into our machines, and because of the knowledge that we have we were able to make their part right away and get them back on track,” she adds.

WORKFORCE

Best Practices for Improving 401(k) Plans in Manufacturing
By Nathan Fisher

For employers in the manufacturing industry, a 401(k) has become an important benefit used to attract and retain valuable employees, and to help those employees to retire when the time comes. But when it comes to retirement readiness, a 401(k) plan is only as good as the savings your employees put into it. Far too often, encouraging employees to participate in the company plan can feel like an uphill battle.

Fortunately, I’ve seen the same 401(k) best practices work for manufacturing companies across the country who want to increase plan participation. Businesses can make it easier for their employees to save and make good decisions by focusing on improved plan design, better employee engagement, and clearer communications.

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Whitmore 1Whitmore lubricants add years to the lives of its clients’ machines.
By Alan Dorich, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media

Crushing cement can leave wear and tear on even the toughest of heavy machinery, but that is an area where Whitmore can lend a hand. Senior Director of Sales Jack Ellis explains that the company’s products have been extending the lives of its clients’ equipment for decades.

“We have customers that [after] 40 years are still using the same gears,” he declares. “We’ve got a lot of great success stories.”

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