Industry Voices: Stephen Goldberg
Stephen M. Goldberg is chairman of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) and director of information technologies for Matrix Technologies Inc., a CSIA Certified member based in Maumee, Ohio.
What are the main goals and objectives for your facility for 2013?
The main goal of Matrix for 2013 is to continue in a controlled growth mode in terms of our employees and revenue. The key to our success is threefold. First, we must strive to hire only the best and brightest candidates. This ensures that our project teams will be confident and thorough with every project, which leads to a high level of customer satisfaction. Second, we will continue to focus on satisfying our existing customers’ needs so that we can grow our services within their organizations.
Finally, we must identify and pursue new customers that place the appropriate level of value on the services that system integration and engineering companies provide. If we can meet these three goals, we will successfully maintain our controlled growth, while simultaneously continuing the reputation of quality, integrity, and service for which Matrix Technologies is well known.
What are the obstacles to meeting those goals?
The single biggest obstacle we face in meeting our goals is the recruitment of qualified talent that meets the high standards we expect in our employees. We have continued to tweak and update our approach to recruiting to ensure we overcome this obstacle. Secondary challenges include a still-weak economy in some of our industrial segments that has curtailed spending by those customers, and increased competition in some areas from other service providers.
How much are you affected by the ongoing issues in the federal government?
The most direct effect we will experience from policymakers revolves around healthcare and how those regulations will affect our business this year and in the years to come. Indirectly, continued debate in Washington will certainly affect the economy in general, and may influence how our customers decide to invest in their operations.
What factors outside of government will continue to affect manufacturing in 2013?
Price volatility in raw materials will continue to affect many of the industries that we serve. Another challenge for manufacturers is to continue to grow market share by introducing new and innovative products. While this will be a challenge for them, it will most certainly lead to additional business opportunity for system integration and engineering companies.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.