CI Newsletter | June 15, 2023

Posted By: Taylor Dowd (deleted) Newsletters, CI News,

Empire State Apprentice Tax Credit Program: Act Now to Take Advantage of this Opportunity 


The Council of Industry and the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) Office of Apprenticeship would like to remind you of the Empire State Apprenticeship Tax Credit Program (ESATC) for New York State (NYS) Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program sponsors and/or signatory employers. 


The ESATC provides tax incentives to eligible NYS signatory employers for hiring new qualified apprentices after January 1, 2018. The ESATC provides tax credits beginning at $2,000 for each qualified apprentice who is employed full-time (a minimum of 35 hours per week) for at least six months during the tax year. Enhanced credits are available for employers that hire disadvantaged youth and/or provide apprentices with the support of a mentor for a full calendar year. For each year an apprentice remains in the apprenticeship program, additional credits are available. 


To be eligible for this credit for the year 2023, apprentices must be registered in your apprenticeship program and working by July 1, 2023, to meet the six-months of full-time employment requirement for this year. 


Available trades are: 


For further information, please see the following link:  




CI Golf Outing August 28th Sponsor and/or Reserve Your Foursome Today! 

The Council of Industry will once again hold its Annual Golf Outing on the last Monday in August at the Powelton Club in Newburgh. The Powelton is a beautiful course conveniently located just off of Route 9W in Newburgh, NY. The event has sold-out the past 2 years with more than 100 golfers from manufacturing firms throughout the Hudson Valley participating. Registration begins at 11:00 and lunch will begin at 11:30 followed by a shotgun start at 12:30. Cocktails and a light dinner will follow at approximately 5:00 p.m.  

  • Shirt Sponsor - NRG 

  • Cocktail Sponsor - $2,600 (includes a foursome) 

  • Lunch Sponsor - $2,600 (includes a foursome)  

  • Golf Cart Sponsor $1,550 

  • Scramble Prize Sponsor - $1,050 

  • Yellow Ball Prize Sponsor - Belfor Property Restoration 

  • Best Ball Prize Sponsor - $1,050 

  • Closest to the Pin Prize Sponsor - $850 – Viking Industries 

  • Hole In One - $1,050 

  • Longest Drive Prize Sponsor $850 

  • Tee Sign Sponsor $335 

  • Foursome: $790.00 


Citrin Cooperman’s 2023 Manufacturing and Distribution Pulse Survey - 5 Focus Areas for Manufacturers 

There are many opportunities and challenges facing manufacturing and distribution companies. Headwinds that we noted in our 2022 Outlook —supply chain disruption, commodity price increases, skilled labor shortages and shortages in various inventories—have seen overall stabilization. However, spikes in pricing and overall inflation in pricing continues. Volatility, in addition to high energy and commodity prices, continues to disrupt industrial manufacturing and automotive sectors, both of which are large consumers of energy and raw materials. With overall wage inflation affecting all levels of businesses, skilled labor shortages, changes in tax policy, increases in interest rates, new sustainability goals, and a looming recession, companies have a new focus for the year ahead. 

The following are the top five areas manufacturing and distribution companies should focus on in 2023. 


Hit With a Price Increase? Seven Tips for Negotiating with Suppliers 

The last couple of quarters have been particularly busy for price increase asks across the board, with nearly every supplier, all industries, looking to shore up margins. Those refusing an increase risk moving the back of the line for capacity, and missing key shipping dates. Those accepting an increase risked tough conversations with end customers, whose forecasts (and fixed contracts) did not account for sudden changes. 

The resulting strain on supplier-customer relationships can last for years and put all business at risk.  There are no ‘one size fits all’ method to negotiating price increases Each situation is different - total deal size, total capacity of a supplier consumed, availability of a backup (BATNA) plan, relationship history, competitive environment—all are among the endless backdrops that set the stage for variety of unpredictable performances.  Assuming a supplier comes at you with an “across the board” increase, here are a few approaches she considers. 


Global Fertility has Collapsed, With Profound Economic Consequences 

In the roughly 250 years since the Industrial Revolution the world’s population, like its wealth, has exploded. Before the end of this century, however, the number of people on the planet could shrink for the first time since the Black Death. The root cause is not a surge in deaths, but a slump in births. Across much of the world the fertility rate, the average number of births per woman, is collapsing. 

Although the trend may be familiar, its extent and its consequences are not. Even as artificial intelligence (ai) leads to surging optimism in some quarters, the baby bust hangs over the future of the world economy. In 2000 the world’s fertility rate was 2.7 births per woman, comfortably above the “replacement rate” of 2.1, at which a population is stable. Today it is 2.3 and falling. The largest 15 countries by GDP all have a fertility rate below the replacement rate. That includes America and much of the rich world, but also China and India, neither of which is rich but which together account for more than a third of the global population. 


ChatGPT in the Current Manufacturing Landscape 

ChatGPT has an incredible ability to summarize information, generate new content and answer questions. Despite this phenomenal advancement in AI, industry leaders face a long journey to digitally transform the manufacturing sector. 

Manufacturers should start small by automating repetitive operational tasks, like material data management and reporting, according to Jagadish Bandla, enterprise performance CTO at global consulting firm Deloitte. This incremental deployment lets enterprises reallocate teams toward enabling successful generative AI implementations. The goal is to have generative AI capabilities reduce design and development timelines of parts and components and slash raw material use through materials discovery, Bandla said. 


Case Study: Digital Transformation & Business Resiliency at IBM 

When COVID-19 hit, IBM Supply Chain found that its digital transformation journey had enabled the resiliency needed to tackle major disruptions. That awareness led to the decision to further accelerate their digital transformation projects. To keep up with the demand of exploiting emerging technology while preparing for future, IBM launched a first-of-a-kind transformational upskilling initiative designed to democratize data while empowering individual business technologists (SMEs), dubbed the Citizen Data Scientist (CDS) Certification program.  

The program is designed to help supply chain SMEs develop the data science skills they need to make data-driven decisions in a fluid business environment -- and then roll it out to the rest of the company to engage employees in successful process improvement throughout every part of the organization. The first year resulted in more than $1.6M in efficiency and productivity improvements and inventory savings. Read more to learn what the program consists of, lessons learned, and how IMB successfully implemented it and made it scalable. 


How Rolls-Royce Scales Smart Factory Tech Worldwide 

The first Silver Ghost automobile rolled off the Rolls-Royce lines in 1921. Today, BMW owns that automotive brand and the “real“ Rolls-Royce makes jet airplane engines, other civil and military aerospace components and develops hydrogen fuel cells. As a manufacturer of such long standing, Rolls-Royce plants run the gamut from modern greenfield facilities to old brownfield plants. This generates a diverse demand (and need) for smart factory upgrades that necessitates prioritization of effort. 

“We do a rapid assessment, like a discovery into their areas… They need to have the needs and the forms to deploy the technology and create the business outcomes,” Rashitha Jayasekara, chief of Digital Manufacturing at Rolls-Royce said  He adds Rolls-Royce is ’ruthless’ when assessing the value of a smart factory technology, like ease and potential breadth of deployment. If the company has hundreds of a certain type of machine used across multiple plants, a smart factory upgrade can improve its performance, , that obviously stands a greater chance of attracting funding compared to upgrades for a lesser-used machine. 


How Do Firms Adjust Prices in a High Inflation Environment? 

A joint project between researchers at the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Cleveland, and New York used a combination of open-ended interviews and a quantitative survey to learn how firms set prices. Firms reported that the strength of demand was the most important factor affecting pricing decisions in recent years, while labor costs and maintaining steady profit margins were also highly important.  

On average, researchers found cost-to-price passthroughs in the 60 percent range during a period of elevated inflation—when firms were intensely knowledgeable about, and focused on, prices and costs. These estimates mask considerable heterogeneity, with some firms reporting a passthrough greater than one.  


Quicker. Cheaper. Easier. The Evolution of 3D Applications in Manufacturing 

Over the years, breakthroughs have made 3D technology more accessible and affordable, and now machine intelligence is reducing the need for extensive worker training. Some early adopters in the manufacturing space have taken advantage of these developments and applied 3D applications to upgrade quality control and expand the capabilities of robotics systems used in production, like robots that move heavy objects, complete repetitive tasks or perform functions in hazardous environments. 

The same technologies can improve quality, accelerate production and keep workers safer in many more manufacturing processes, but truly widespread adoption of 3D applications has been delayed because of concerns about the cost. AI is also poised to accelerate the use of 3D technology over the next decade by lowering worker training requirements and expanding machine capabilities. This is what a development manufacturer should monitor closely so they can stay competitive.   


How Automation Can Unlock Mass Customization 

Mass-customized consumer products are the next step for advancing AM, but 3D printing needs a capacity upgrade before this can happen. Despite widespread adoption, mass customization via 3D printing has been held back as it requires hands-on operation throughout the print cycle. While designed to be easy to use, 3D printers need personnel to remove parts, replace cartridges, and manage queues. Customization requires increased autonomous production, where more unique parts are produced to deliver a unique object, toy, or device at a higher volume. 

There are three main elements to 3D-printing automation that will make affordable mass customization a reality. The first is automatic part removal. 3D printers aren’t beholden to normal business hours, and jobs can run from a few minutes to days. Hands-on part removal leaves printing time on the table between jobs if no one is on the clock to remove parts, increasing costs and stalling production timelines. To speed up the production for mass custom-part production, automatic part removal accelerates the production of mass-customized parts by reducing the labor required between jobs. 


Robots Are Looking to Bring a Human Touch to Warehouses 

Humanoid robots are on their way to warehouses as companies start to move beyond the disembodied arms, moving trays and other machines aimed at speeding up logistics operations. The robot developers say their devices will help warehouse operators mitigate labor shortfalls and eliminate the need to redesign warehouses to match the capabilities of machines. 

Agility Robotics, Figure AI and Boston Dynamics are among companies designing robots more closely modeled on human beings for use in distribution centers. The new machines are being engineered with the ability to walk around warehouses, reach items high on shelves, crouch to put things down and pick up and move boxes, defying some of the physical limits on automation in the industrial world. Agility Robotics, which has received funding from e-commerce giant, has made a human-shaped robot called Digit that is teal, silver and black with white animated eyes. The device stands 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighs 141 pounds and can carry up to 35 pounds. 


The Challenges of Managing Superstars 

You know that one great player on your team probably is worth three, four, or five mediocre people. The difference in value is sometimes hard to quantify—and sometimes not so hard. It used to be that you could count on the best people you recruited to rise to the top while the mediocre people would drop off along the way. You didn’t expect everybody who came to work for you to achieve a long-term successful career in your organization. There was a challenge hanging out there in front of people when they walked in your door: “Can you make it here?” The best people would rise to that challenge. Nowadays, it seems the best people are the ones who CAN always leave if they don’t get their due. 

That’s why, regardless of fluctuations in the labor market, there is likely to be a growing premium on people at all ends of the skill spectrum who can work smarter, faster, and better. You want your people to be innovative (within guidelines), passionate (within reason), and armed with sufficient discretion to make mistakes (as long as they are not too big). Demand for those people is going to outpace supply for the foreseeable future.