Jobs and the Skills Gap—What To Do?

There’s been a great deal of news about jobs, jobs, jobs lately.   “In June, the Business Roundtable reported half of its members were having difficulty finding applicants with employability skills, like math, the ability to read technical manuals, and complex problem-solving”. Are you concerned about this skills gap?   If so, what to do? “In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Andy Smarick discussed the disruption of computers in numerous industries over the last two… Read More

Clamshell Packaging for Sensitive Goods

If your products require secure packaging for any of several reasons, clamshell packaging could be a good answer.  Proficient Sourcing’s network of manufacturing companies includes at least one that also does packaging.  They specialize in clamshell packaging to protect sensitive products such as food, electronics, and others.  Perhaps your business involves such items—and perhaps clamshell packaging would help you. Why clamshell packaging? It’s secure.  No contamination during processing, shipping and handling and protection against environmental… Read More

Versatile, Creative Metalworking Shop

Perhaps you have some machining or general metalworking project that’s small, poorly defined, and perhaps apparently difficult.  Or you have some on-site machining needed.  Maybe you just want a no-nonsense source for some machining. You are in luck.  We have just the shop for such things. This company is the complete solution for design, machining, welding, painting, finishing and assembly.  Engineers, machinists, and welders are available 24/7 and can be scheduled at your location. Another… Read More

Evaluation of a Potential Supplier: 1.0

A number of procurement consultants’ websites and discussion groups deal with factors that define a good potential supplier and also what are important evaluation factors.  Several things are mentioned most often in addition to price.  This is particularly relevant to Proficient Sourcing, as we are in the business of providing supplier candidates to OEM buyers, and are acutely aware of the need for excellent performance. We posted the question of criteria for selecting new suppliers… Read More

Minimum Wage 2.0

Minimum wage has been a hot topic lately, and the subject of a recent newsletter (  In it’s simplest form, the arguments for say it’s an economic boost and step to address income inequality.  The cons say it hurts those most in need of jobs (the unskilled young).  So this time we’ll examine the issue a bit more and hope you will add to our blog. Our first question is if the minimum wage question… Read More

Gender Pay Equality — An Update

Workplace gender pay equality (or the lack thereof) is often in the news, so we look for (hopefully) reliable new information. Last December we found something about C-suite equality ( and just this week we found another. Our guess is many of you have had experience with salary negotiations during job interviews, so this one may be of particular interest. We hope so. The September 5, 2017, article in the Harvard Business Review, “Why Banning… Read More

Don’t answer an RFQ is advised?

Amazingly, we found an article from the recent past recommending NOT answering a quote request. This would appear to represent perhaps the worst advice in our situation we’ve ever seen! The article appeared in the March 7, 2013, edition of Inc. magazine, and was also featured in a Linkedin group. The title is “Death by RFP: 7 Reasons Not to Respond”. The first thought in this article is this: “Flattered to be asked to respond… Read More

Next-shoring: Your Manufacturing Future?

The rapid pace of change in a few key areas has reshaped manufacturing strategy.  New developments have led to “next-shoring”, which means locating suppliers and manufacturing facilities near to locations where both customers are as well as sources for innovation.  Innovation, according to most sources, occurs most easily when manufacturing is nearby.  And this became one shortcoming of offshoring. In the recent past, locating manufacturing in low labor cost countries was a high priority.  Recently,… Read More

US Manufacturing Jobs (and more)—Then and Now

There’s a lot of political noise lately about jobs and especially manufacturing jobs.  So what’s realistic and what’s the story with all this?  We found a couple of articles that provide clues (links at the end). Most of us involved in manufacturing know of the good old days when the US was king of the world, manufacturing jobs were plentiful and paid well with generous benefits.  All that was due in large part to the… Read More

Work for a big company—big advantage…or not?

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when people sought employment with big firms and stayed with those firms for a career. Then it was believed, and probably rightly so, that salaries and benefits were a big advantage for employment with major companies.   It appears that this belief has been relegated to the dustbin of history, probably forever in our view, according to an article from the Wharton School of Business… Read More