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The BAMA Blog

  • February 20, 2023 12:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Automation has long been a critical component of modern manufacturing operations, and Power Automate is a tool that can help manufacturers take their automation efforts to the next level. With its intuitive interface and powerful capabilities, Power Automate, a cloud-based automation platform from Microsoft, is changing the way manufacturers operate, helping them to improve efficiency, reduce downtime, and increase overall productivity.

    In this blog, we'll explore three use case scenarios where Power Automate can be used to optimize operations in the manufacturing industry.

    From automating workflows to monitoring equipment performance, Power Automate is a powerful tool that can help manufacturers to stay ahead of the competition and meet the demands of today's fast-paced business environment. So, whether you're a seasoned IT professional or just starting to explore the world of automation, this blog will provide you with insights into how Power Automate can help your manufacturing operation reach new heights of efficiency and productivity.

    Use Case 1, Workflow Automation:

    In the manufacturing industry, repetitive tasks such as data entry and documentation can take up a lot of time and resources. Power Automate can automate these tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more strategic and value-adding activities.

    The platform can be used to automate workflows between different systems and applications, reducing the time it takes to complete tasks and improving overall productivity.

    Example - Manufacturers can automate the process of updating customer orders in their ERP system and sending purchase orders to suppliers. By integrating Power Automate with the ERP system, the platform can automatically generate purchase orders based on the customer's order and send them to the supplier, reducing the time it takes to complete this task and reducing the risk of errors.

    Use Case 2, Equipment Monitoring:

    Monitoring the performance of equipment is critical for maintaining efficiency and reducing downtime in the manufacturing industry. Power Automate can automate equipment monitoring processes, allowing manufacturers to quickly identify and address any issues that arise.

    Example - Sensors can be attached to equipment to monitor performance and feed data into Power Automate. The platform can then analyze the data in real-time and automatically send alerts to maintenance teams if it detects any issues. This can help to reduce downtime and improve the overall efficiency of the production process.

    Use Case 3, Quality Control:

    Quality control is critical in the manufacturing industry, and it is essential to ensure that products meet the required standards. Power Automate can automate quality control processes, reducing the time it takes to complete these tasks and improving the accuracy of results.

    Example - Manufacturers can use Power Automate to automate the testing and inspection process. The platform can collect data from sensors attached to the equipment and send it to the quality control team for analysis. The team can then use Power Automate to automate the process of documenting the results, reducing the time it takes to complete the task and reducing the risk of errors.

    The above are just three examples of how Power Automate can be used to improve efficiency and streamline processes in the manufacturing industry.

    By automating repetitive tasks, monitoring equipment performance, and streamlining quality control processes, manufacturers can reduce downtime, improve productivity, and increase overall efficiency.


    Power Automate is a powerful tool that can help manufacturers to streamline and optimize their operations.

    The platform's low-code approach makes it easy for manufacturers to automate their processes, reducing the time it takes to complete tasks and freeing up employees to focus on more strategic activities.

    With Power Automate, manufacturers can improve efficiency, reduce downtime, and increase overall productivity, making it an essential tool for any modern manufacturing operation.

  • November 30, 2022 4:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The gift giving season is just around the corner! This season comes with the chaos of holiday shopping for loved ones, coworkers, and neighbors. Add onto that, shipping delays and supply chain issues, and the anticipated gifting season could easily turn into a headache.

    What if we told you that all you needed to do to find the perfect gifts this season was to shop local? Believe it or not, these local manufacturers throughout our region are loaded with extraordinary gift ideas for everyone on your list.

    Listed below you will find a few of our top picks for locally made gifts, a little gift-spiration if you will.

    Buying Local Gifts

    We encourage everyone to shop local this holiday season. Patronizing the businesses in your city means your dollar makes an impact on your community.

    This guide will help you find local manufacturers here in the Bay Area and beyond.

    1. PGT Industries - Home project still needing to be completed? Find all your window, blinds, and door replacements here! Absolutely beautiful and energy efficient.
    2. Patio Products MFG., LLC - Patio Products to fit your casual furniture needs!
    3. Stitch Logo, Inc. - Custom Gift Embroidery would be a great personalized gift for that special someone on your list. Many styles and brand names. Along with a free logo setup!
    4. Monin Gourmet Flavors - Make sure to have these AMAZING flavors and syrups at your holiday gathering!
    5. Dixie Belle Paint Company - Many gift bundle options available, as well as new tools for that special artist on your list!
  • October 11, 2022 8:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written by:

    Ary Santiago
    Marketing Specialist - Katpro

    Tampa has a long and proud history of manufacturing. The city's first factory, a cigar-rolling operation, was established in 1856. Since then, the manufacturing sector has played a vital role in the city's economy. Today, Tampa is home to a diverse range of manufacturers, from small family-owned businesses to large corporations. In recognition of Manufacturing Month, let's take a look at Tampa's manufacturing history.

    Tampa's First Factory

    Tampa's first factory was a cigar rolling operation established in 1856 by Vicente Martinez Ybor. Ybor had initially wanted to build his factory in Key West, but the American Civil War put an end to those plans. Instead, he chose Tampa as the site for his factory due to its close proximity to Cuba, which was then the world's leading producer of cigars. Ybor City, the neighborhood where the factory was located, soon became known as the "Cigar Capital of the World."

    Modern manufacturing in Tampa

    Today, Tampa is home to a diverse range of manufacturers, including companies that produce electronics, aerospace components, and medical devices. The city's proximity to major ports and highways makes it an ideal location for manufacturers that need to ship their products around the world. And with a skilled workforce and a business-friendly environment, Tampa is an attractive destination for companies looking to set up new manufacturing operations. As the global economy continues to evolve, Tampa's manufacturing sector is poised for continued growth.

    The Future of manufacturing in Tampa

    Tampa's manufacturers are committed to our city's future, investing in cutting-edge technologies and practices that will help them remain competitive in the global marketplace. As we look to the future, we can be confident that Tampa's manufacturing sector will continue to be a vital part of our city's success

    Tampa has a long and proud history when it comes to manufacturing. The city's strategic location and skilled workforce have made it a magnet for businesses in a wide range of industries over the years. From cigars and phosphate mining to food and beverages and high-tech, aerospace, Tampa truly is a manufacturing powerhouse.

  • August 28, 2022 7:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written by:

    Ary Santiago
    Marketing Specialist - Katpro

    Are you looking for ways to save money on your business expenses? If so, cloud computing may be the answer. Cloud computing can help you reduce your IT costs while still providing the benefits of a robust IT infrastructure. Here are a few ways that cloud computing can help your business save money.

    • Reduce or eliminate the need for on-site servers and storage:

    As businesses increasingly move to Cloud-based solutions, the need for on-site servers and storage is diminishing. Cloud-based applications are more reliable and easier to manage than on-premises solutions, and they offer a number of other benefits as well. For example, Cloud-based solutions can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection, making it easy for employees to work remotely.

    • Decrease software licensing costs:

    Cloud-based software is becoming increasingly popular, as it offers a number of advantages over traditional licensed software. Perhaps the most significant advantage is that it can help to decrease software licensing costs. With cloud-based software, you pay a monthly subscription fee rather than purchasing a license outright. This can save you money in the long run, as you will only be paying for the software that you actually use.

    • Avoid capital expenses:

    Cloud computing can save you significant amounts of money on hardware and software expenses over time. With cloud computing, you avoid having to make large capital investments in these areas. Cloud computing allows you to pay for only the resources you use, when you use them. This can result in substantial savings compared to traditional on-premises computing models. In addition, cloud computing can help you to optimize your use of resources, further reducing your costs. As a result, moving to the cloud can be a very cost-effective way to manage your IT needs.

    • Minimize energy consumption:

    Cloud services are often delivered through data centers that use less energy than traditional IT setups. As a result, businesses can save money on their energy bills. In addition, cloud computing can help businesses to reduce their carbon footprints. Data centers that use cloud technologies often have lower carbon emissions than those that rely on traditional IT systems. As more businesses adopt cloud computing, the demand for energy-efficient data centers will increase. This, in turn, could lead to even lower energy consumption and carbon emissions in the future.

    Cloud computing has a lot to offer businesses of all sizes and it can be especially helpful when you’re looking for ways to save money. By reducing or eliminating the need for on-site servers and storage, decreasing software licensing costs, avoiding capital expenses, and minimizing energy consumption, cloud solutions can help your business cut its IT budget while still keeping its data safe and secure.

  • July 26, 2022 9:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written by:

     Ary Santiago

    When most people think about disaster preparedness, they think of things like food, water and emergency supplies. While all of those items are important, they're not the only things you need to worry about in the event of a natural disaster or emergency. If your company is like most manufacturers, you have a lot of critical equipment and supplies that could be damaged or destroyed in a disaster. That's why it's important to have a plan for protecting your business during an emergency. In this blog post, we'll discuss some tips for preparing your manufacturing company for disasters big and small.

    For manufacturing companies, disaster preparedness is essential to maintain continuity of operations and protect employees, customers, and business assets.

     There are many steps that manufacturing companies can take to prepare for disasters, including:

    • -          Establishing a disaster response team
    • Manufacturers are increasingly establishing disaster response teams to ensure continued operations in the event of an emergency. The teams are typically responsible for conducting and developing plans and procedures and coordinating with local emergency response agencies. Manufacturers that have not established disaster response teams should do so as soon as possible to ensure their ability to remain operational in the event of an emergency.
    • -          Conducting Risk Assessments
    • Manufacturers conducting risk assessments for disaster preparedness can help ensure that their facilities and operations are able to withstand the impact of a disaster and minimize the disruption to their business. Manufacturers should assess the risks to their facilities and operations from all potential hazards, including natural disasters. By conducting risk assessments and developing disaster preparedness plans, manufacturers can help protect their employees, their customers, and their businesses.
    • -          Protecting all valuable Data
    • Manufacturers rely on cloud and IT services to back up valuable data for disaster preparedness. In the event of a power outage, natural disaster, or other unforeseen event, cloud and IT services provide an essential backup for manufacturers' data. By storing data in the cloud, manufacturers can rest assured that their data will be safe and accessible in the event of a disaster. Additionally, Katpro Technologies cloud and IT services provide manufacturers with the ability to quickly and easily share data with other manufacturers in the case of a supply chain disruption.
    • In today's global market, manufacturers cannot afford to be without access to their data, services provide an essential layer of protection.
    •  If you're a manufacturing company, disaster preparedness should be high on your list of priorities. Taking the time to plan and prepare now can help you avoid costly disruption. Disasters can take many forms, from natural disasters like hurricanes and floods to man-made disasters like fires or chemical spills. Disaster preparedness is an important part of any business, but it is especially critical for manufacturing businesses. 
  • January 27, 2021 10:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Three Benefits to a workplace apprenticeship program

    The Tampa Bay region has the second largest manufacturing employment in the state, but Tampa Bay manufacturers are increasingly worried about finding and holding on to quality, skilled workers.  How can local companies find the workforce they need to continue to thrive? One answer may be to consider sponsoring employees in an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships pair on-the-job training with virtual or in-classroom instruction.

    There are many reasons an apprenticeship program may be the answer.  Here are the top three.

    1.      Profitability

    Once established, apprenticeship programs reduce turnover rates, increase productivity, lower the cost of recruitment and increase safety. The return on investment is clear. For every dollar, an employer invests in apprenticeships, they receive an average of $1.50 in return. 

    Companies can also receive tax credits and employee tuition benefits through workforce agencies  such as CareerSource  and Veterans Florida.  “This program was created by FloridaMakes working with manufacturers to create an online on-demand and cost effective  program for entry level employees  who are motivated to  learn and be more productive employees..   The FloridaMakes team handles all the administrative requirements and provides a turnkey inhouse training program saving manufacturers thousands of  dollars less than most traditional  apprentice programs says Tina Berger, FloridaMakes;  Director of Talent Development.

    2. Employee retention

    Many employers worry that once the employee is trained, they will take the knowledge and look for employment elsewhere. That is not the case, apprentices are shown to be loyal to the companies that invest in them. According to the Department of Labor, 91% of apprentices that complete an apprenticeship are still employed nine months later.

    Not only does the apprentice benefit from the program but the morale of all employees has been shown to improve from being exposed to a learning environment at work. This creates a supportive atmosphere.  Krystle Wilson tells about the benefits of the Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship video

     Employees feel more valued when companies are showing they are willing to invest in them.  A team who feels valued and challenged has greater satisfaction toward their jobs which will in turn enhance motivation and increase stability within the company.

    3.      Ability to create a customized training program.

    Through apprenticeship, businesses have the opportunity to train workers to meet their specific standards. Customized training programs ensure that employees are gaining the right skills for the specific business or industry. Companies see a more complete knowledge transfer with the on-the-job learning from an assigned mentor combined with related technical instruction. According to Roy Sweatman, who runs an apprenticeship program at Southern Manufacturing Technologies in Tampa, “This new Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship is a great step forward for manufacturers and for employees or potential employees in the manufacturing field. It is short enough to not feel like it will never end. It is flexible enough to be used in almost any manufacturing business. The online related training solves the issue of having to get the apprentices all to a school at the same time. And, it is a great stepping stone to bigger and better things in the future.”

    To find out more about local apprenticeship programs, contact BAMA Workforce Development Chairman, Roy Sweatman or FloridaMakes Tina Berger. 

    IMT specific:

    Apprenticeship General info:

Reprioritizing marketing and regaining sales
momentum during COVID-19

Date: December 11, 2020

14 things your company can do right now.

Until COVID-19 hit the United States a few months ago, our economy was strong and humming along. As the virus quickly spread, CEOs and business owners have had to quickly adapt, prioritize and pivot. Some companies are feeling fortunate just to project flat sales for this year. Others are seeking innovative ways to regain even 50% of the revenue lost during Q1. Either way, reprioritizing marketing right now can help you regain sales momentum.

Here are some steps you can take to get back on track.

  1. Help your community and keep people working. Candidly speaking, the best thing you can do for your community is maintain your business and the jobs you provide. Your local and national economies need your business to be a success. But if you can help in other ways, that’s good too; rearrange your production line to prepare PPE, make donations to food banks, donate your own time and money, help other businesses with new best practices or give away a part of your product or service.
  2. Call every one of your customers. A genuine check-in from you will accomplish three things:
    1. Build trust and show compassion — “Just checking in to see how you’re doing?”
    2. Help you gauge your customers’ situations during and post-COVID.
    3. Increase the potential for work.
  3. Revisit your strategic plan and budgets. Your plan was likely written with good times in mind. After talking with customers, you’ll have a better idea of how and where to re-prioritize. It WILL look different:
    1. Sales goals will need to be adjusted
    2. A shift from talent attraction to marketing and sales
    3. Capital investments maybe put on hold
    4. New sales that require air travel will be slowed
    5. Operational adjustments to accommodate social distancing
  4. Take a deeper look at sales. It’s a good a time for you and your sales team to take a closer look at your sales processes.
    1. What percentage of your sales does the company close? How can you increase that?
    2. Polish up your sales presentation. In this new economy, your value propositions may change. For example, price may trump lead times.
  5. Watch your competitors and look for opportunity. This new economy will open doors for strong companies. I never want to see a business fail, but the sad truth is, some of your competitors will go out of business and others will see a drop in quality. Be ready for this new world of opportunity. If you’re in a position to acquire a competitor, have your bank and your team ready to act quickly. If you know your competitors’ customers, now is the time attract them.
  6. Create a crisis communication plan. Every company will experience at least one crisis in its lifetime. As I write this, many are scrambling to deal the one we’re experiencing right now. Be prepared for the next one. It can save you stress and money. For more on crisis planning, action and debriefing, click here.
    1. Anticipate types of crises and identify (and train, as necessary) internal and external people to manage the media, PR and legal issues.
    2. Have your messages and a list of stakeholders ready and leverage notification tools for quick information updates.
    3. When the crisis hits, know exactly how to put your plan into action, how and when to communicate to individual audiences, and the best way to do it.
    4. After the crisis subsides, evaluate the results and make adjustments to your plan.
  7. Clean up your CRM — or build one. Have staff with time on their hands revisit your Customer Relationship Management tools…it’s a great use of PPP funds. A clean CRM will be vital for tracking sales efforts when business picks up. Your CRM should include:
    1. Updated contact information, including email addresses.
    2. A way to filter by industry, AND…
    3. a way to filter the lead by type, from the top of sales funnel down — awareness, qualified marketing lead, qualified sales lead, prospect, customer.
  8. Focus on the markets that are making money:
    1. Food
    2. Defense
    3. Electronics
    4. Utilities
    5. Media
    6. Software
    7. Pharmaceuticals
  9. Advertise more — or start if you aren’t. Right now, trade publication advertising is inexpensive and likely negotiable. And think about it… people are online, a lot. Engage an agency with digital advertising capabilities to place highly targeted ads. We’re seeing a higher ROI on digital ads at this time.
  10. Offer client/customer training. Some of your customers and leads have pockets of extra time right now. If you’re in position to host training webinars, you can use this time to build trust and position your company as an expert. Some of my clients have been hosting engineering-related training classes. I’ve been hosting five-person webinars with manufacturers, discussing actions like these they can take to prepare for a reopen.
  11. Create value now for sales later with great content that can be used all year long. Content is still king! Grab your laptop and a cup of coffee. Once we get on the other side of this economy, I’m hoping you’ll be busier making sales calls than making ads. Use this downtime to develop enough content to use in your online marketing efforts all year long. Think about video too. You don’t need expensive equipment — a smart phone and a microphone will do.
  12. Restructure your upcoming events. Few people will be travelling this year, so your company events will need to be restructured to take place virtually. This provides new challenges. Start planning now and use this opportunity to reach out to your audience and create several touchpoints before your next event.
  13. Audit your online presence. Review your online presence with a critical eye. Does your website need a visual refresh? Is your online content outdated? Fix it now.
    1. Ensure your website content is well positioned for SEO. Understand which key words will help prospects find you.
    2. Update your website with any new, relevant things. If you’re a medical device supplier, change your home page graphics to position yourself for that market.
    3. Update your Google Business page and make sure it’s accurate.
    4. Improve your website and user experience to increase conversions.
    5. Review your web advertising and identify your best performing ads.
  14. With everything mentioned above, please be sensitive. Be careful not to appear as if you’re trying to capitalize on this crisis. And please consider sensitive messaging:
    1. Avoid images of crowds or employees not practicing social distancing.
    2. Use language that encourages current business best practices, like “Please call for a virtual introduction.” Avoid using language that suggests in-person meetings, like “Let’s connect.”
    3. Don’t be an alarmist. Avoid statements like “In tough times…”
    4. Avoid bragging. That’s great if you’re busy, but be mindful that 25% of Americans are collecting unemployment and business are tragically shutting their doors.
    5. Focus your messaging on how your company can help.
    6. Be an optimistic leader — remind people this won’t last forever.

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