FlexTrades provides labor solutions to American manufacturers. That’s what we do in a nutshell and we take the “solution” part of that equation seriously. With that said, all of us here end up asking a lot of questions to make sure we find the right way to solve the real problem. However, we receive a fair amount of questions ourselves and we can honestly say, this is the first time we’ve ever gotten the following question:

Dear FlexTrades,

You talk a lot about automation and what a benefit it is to efficiency and safety. I work in a shop that is still very old school, like everything is 100% hand-made old school. EVERYTHING, even including our tools. We never have the right ones either. I don’t even know what a metric wrench is, let alone where to find it in the tool room. I also saw a webinar you did on the importance of healthy habits, like good nutrition, for those working in manufacturing but our cafeteria only serves milk, cookies, and candy canes. Worst of all, every employee works every day of the year and only gets one day off but our boss is exactly the opposite. It seems like he only works for one day a year and uses PTO for the other 364. Help! How can I start to change things here? 


Teed-Off Toymaker

Thanks for the question, TT. We’re big fans of the work you and your colleagues do and we’d be happy to try and help. Our thoughts are below:

Upgrade Your Toolbox

It sounds like your toolbox could use an upgrade at the very least. We wrote a blog on the must-have tools in every technician’s toolbox. You can read it here. It might even give you some ideas for your Christmas wish list.

Practice Your Communication

Conflict is  a sign of a healthy team, believe it or not. As long as it’s constructive and handled appropriately. With this in mind, we also think your team might benefit from training focusing on communication in a manufacturing environment. If you communicate productively, your contention should quickly turn into contentment. Improved communication could even help you address your grievances with your boss directly (and hopefully successfully).

Build Your Resume (Just In Case)

It’s important to remember that, no matter how hard you try, not all work environments can be improved. If this turns out to be the case for you don’t continue to be employed unhappily. Rather, we suggest you read this blog about what to avoid on your resume.  Next, polish up your CV and find someplace else to work that might make you happier.

Don’t forget!

If you’d like to try to apply your talents beyond toymaking, PMG can always use more technicians with mechanical aptitude. Feel free to send your resume to recruiter@flextrades.com and we’d be happy to see if we have a project that might bring you more pleasure. Thanks for the question and have a happy holiday season!

Warmest Wishes,

The Writing Team at FlexTrades