The Silver Lining for Manufacturers During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Happy Tactics Thursday! Like each and every one of you, we are adjusting to our ‘new normal’ amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Coronavirus has shifted the way that we operate our businesses and daily lives, there could be a silver lining in this for manufacturers. Now is an excellent time to revamp recruitment strategies to fill open positions. There have been massive layoffs in entertainment, restaurants, small business and even manufacturing companies over the last 2 weeks. The Department of Labor reported that 3.28 million people in the United States have filed for unemployment benefits. There is a pool of great talent out there that are eager to find new positions and ready to work hard. Learn what we are doing to help our manufacturing clients market their open positions in this week’s Tactics Thursday video!


How to Improve Sales/Marketing in Our Coronavirus World

We are living in a Coronavirus World and it is evident that this is only the beginning of this pandemic and its impact on our businesses. For today’s episode of Tactics Thursday, I will share 3 tips to shift your sales and marketing strategy during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  1. Trade Show Alternatives– While industry trade shows have shut down, many are looking at providing webinars instead. Webinars provide excellent speaking and sponsorship opportunities for manufacturing companies.
  2. Implement Video – Now is the time to film videos highlighting of your products and processes. You can create simple, short videos using Vidyard or Loom. The only equipment you need is your webcam! Videos can be utilized on blogs, web pages, social media, and sales assets. The opportunities are endless! Check out our blog on incorporating video into your sales strategy for more great tips.
  3. Cue Up The Content– Now more than ever is the perfect time to work on your content marketing strategy. Have a conference call with your sales and marketing department to discuss what content you want to write or film. Check out our blog on content mapping to learn how to create a sound plan that keeps everyone accountable in developing content.

Hope these tips help. Keeping your health and the health of your families in my thoughts during this crazy time to be alive!

How to Increase Manufacturing Retention & Attraction Improvement

This guest blog was kindly provided by Ty Haines, President of Manufacturer Solutions, LLC.

Most of our customers are under $20M in sales and range from $500K to $7B.  The top personnel laments are:


  • Can’t get good people (hiring practices and attraction improvement needs)
  • Can’t keep new people (leftover screening effectiveness and retention needs)
  • And, I need people (piled-on stress is unfortunately shared with many)


Yes, the past four years of robust economic expansion have driven down unemployment to levels not seen since 1969 so the choices have become far less in quantity and quality of the lesser skilled applicants.  With what is left of the labor supply, a large part of the employee turnover is now inspired by the new hire unable for a variety of reasons to show up ready for work.  Many see the annual turnover rate in the group of associates with less than two years with the company at 20%, some as high as 50%.  My question to them is what are you doing differently in this time of greater competition for good workers to change these continuing results?  Too often, the answer is not much has changed with our practices since the cutbacks to survive the recession.


Recurring themes from employees of what they want from an employer include, in rough order:

  1. Recognition, respect, appreciation of their work
  2. Communications: inclusion & transparency on how the company is doing, where it is going – these are two-way and include both listening and acting on your teams’ needs
  3. Growth opportunities, advancement path
  4. Job security
  5. Fair compensation, wages & benefits pop up for people with families or the more mature worker
  6. Help on life issues & empathy
  7. Interesting work
  8. Loyalty from peers and management
  9. Working conditions including lavatories, changing areas, break room and work area
  10. Fair discipline


One factory with high turnover had a policy that required their hourly to stay in and eat in the lunchroom.  Not the most competitive, but OK.  The lunchroom was dark, dirty and smelled well, no, it stunk!  It had been that way for years.  This was one clear issue on the list we identified that was inspiring people not to hire on and not to stay long.  We helped management recognize and fix this negative, removing a first clear impediment to the retention and that hurt attraction too.


Few contract manufacturers have a 30%+ net profit like seen on Microsoft’s published Annual Report or can afford to provide on-site daycare, or free gourmet cafes (Google) so what to do?


Do what you can!  Require change, be inclusive and get creative are a great start.  All can afford the low cost to tweak the culture to improve recognition, communications, loyalty and even fairly administered policy enforcement – these have high returns.  A good option is to follow the Lean culture support for involvement, communications and to celebrate successes as we pursue improvements.


Working conditions – these start with a reliable & safe area to park your ride and extend to details like replacing dead lighting – even a coat of paint can help!  Meeting State and Fed requirements should be evident.


One company found their local millennials cared more about higher wages and more time off than benefits – they hire part of their team as part-timers and can pay them more without benes.  From mentoring newbies to the monthly injection of fun & pride into a lunch hour to celebrate something that went well:  the list is endless of what can be done or adapted in your company.  It takes someone to take that first step to try something different, is that you?


Connect with Ty Haines by visiting  Manufacturer Solutions Website  or emailing


The above is an opinion not endorsed by the publisher.

2 Business Tools to Thrive Working in a Coronavirus World


We are living in a Coronavirus World and it is evident that this is only the beginning of this pandemic and its impact on our businesses. It is essential that businesses adapt to working remotely when possible.  This week’s Tactics Thursday video focuses on the 2 business tools we use to connect with prospects and customers virtually. These tools are an essential part of our business and allow us to create a great customer experience for clients regardless of location.

Tools mentioned: 

Zoom— a video conferencing platform

I have used every other video conference platform out there and none have been as reliable as Zoom. I have used Zoom 20+ times a week over the last 2 years and never dropped a call or had any issues.

Vidyard– an all-in-one video platform for businesses. 

  • LinkedIn Videos– Such as these Tactics Thursday videos, company announcements, or announcements for Women in Manufacturing Ohio, which I serve on the board as Communications Chair.
  • Client Tutorials– I often do tutorials when clients ask questions showcasing how to perform tasks in HubSpot or walking clients through email campaigns and workflows.
  • Prospects Meeting Follow Up– If I have a strong meeting with a prospect, sometimes I will opt to do a video recap instead of a lengthy email follow up. This cuts through the clutter and adds a personal touch.


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