Manufacturing Industry Advisor

The Supreme Court this afternoon released its much-anticipated decisions regarding the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) issued late last year by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the vaccination mandate for certain healthcare workers issued by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  Both rules were implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The OSHA ETS requires employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require regular…
The Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) recently convened a hybrid in-person and virtual session of its Strategic Insights Executive Briefing Series. Addressing the theme of “Supplier Competency and Electric Vehicle Readiness,” the OESA invited industry experts from Deloitte Consulting LLP, the Metals Company, and Lucid Motors to discuss fresh perspectives on grappling with the dramatic pace of industry change, technology advancement, sales volatility, and supply chain disruptions stemming from the global push to transition to…
As the COVID pandemic nears the two year mark, manufacturing employers, like many employers, face a complicated and quickly changing legal landscape with respect to COVID protocols and requirements for employees. This is particularly true with respect to employer vaccine mandates. On a seemingly daily basis, there are new headlines proclaiming what an employer must do and must not do with respect to requiring employee vaccinations. Often, what is required one day, is prohibited the…
The Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) 2021 annual automotive conference was held this year on November 11th and in a shift back to normalcy, was conducted in-person and virtually, under the theme “Beyond Disruption.”  After more than 18 months of unprecedented disruption, the industry is experiencing more groundbreaking disruption than ever before.  Following a couple months of non-production in the Spring of 2020, the industry played a leading role in bringing the U.S. economy back…
A global pandemic. A worldwide shortage of microchips. Vaccine mandates and testing requirements. Labor shortages and increased salary costs for employees who do show up to work. Not to mention the hundreds of containers piling up in the ports on both coasts, without enough truck drivers to transport the goods that make it outside of the port. What is next? More than 18 months after the COVID-19 pandemic began, automotive suppliers continue to face significant…
A recent analysis conducted by Goldman Sachs estimated that at least 169 separate industries have been impacted by the global shortage of microchips ranging from consumer electronics to automobiles.  Although the automotive industry is seeing short-term disruptions, expect automotive manufacturers to push full steam ahead with plans for electrification and bringing high-technology capabilities to near and mid-term models. Few industries have been impacted as severely by the global microchip shortage as the automotive industry, which…
First off, the good news: I was able to buy a new bicycle.  This is a tremendous accomplishment since the supply chain for bicycles has been difficult, to say the least, for a long time.  We even talked about it here on the Dashboard almost six months ago.  But, the bad news: I got lucky. My attempts to get a new two-wheeled ride became almost a 24/7 job and I was more or less lucky…
As costs of raw materials and freight rise, some suppliers are facing the dilemma of locked-in product prices with customers and an inability to respond to declining profit margins.  Historically, suppliers have been able to manage or internally absorb what were typically minimal fluctuations in costs.  However, continued disruptions to the global supply chain due to shipping container shortages, a pandemic, a boat stuck in a canal, forest fires, extreme cold spells, and a host…
8/10/2021 Update: On Tuesday morning, Aug. 10, the Senate passed its bipartisan infrastructure plan, H.R. 3684, by a 69-30 margin. A group of ten senators – nicknamed the “G10” and led by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Rob Portman (R-OH) – were the drivers behind this infrastructure framework. Next, the Senate will work through the reconciliation process for a $3.5 trillion budget resolution. When they are back in session later this month or early next, the…
On June 25, 2021, the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) new standard addressing the flammability of upholstered furniture went into effect.1 The rule adopts California Technical Bulletin 117-2013—applicable to upholstered furniture sold in the state since 2015. Comments to the CPSC’s new rule from industry stakeholders and interested parties reflect a variety of viewpoints, ranging from total support to complete criticism. While the CPSC considered none of the comments significantly adverse enough to withdraw the…