COVID-19: A Wake-Up Call for American Industry and Its Supply Chain








COVID-19: A Wake-Up Call for American Industry and Its Supply Chain

By Anthony Romero

Sales and Applications Engineering Manager – Prospect Machine Products


As stated by Brig. Gen. John Adams (U.S. Army, retired), president of Guardian Six LLC, in an article for IndustryWeek:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is the straw that broke the camel’s back. From ventilators and personal protective equipment to medicines, we’ve come to learn that China controls the production and distribution of these essential items. Large swaths of our economy are left without an industrial base to ramp up in times of crisis, even when doing so is a matter of life and death. Scrambling to have auto manufacturers produce ventilators during a pandemic has certainly clarified the crisis.”

In manufacturing, the return to the U.S. of production being done offshore (called “reshoring”) was a strong trend even before the coronavirus pandemic. However, its importance and criticality has been even more evident in the last few months.

When it comes to deep draw metal stamping , there are several advantages to having a U.S.-based contract manufacturer servicing the American continent (especially North and South America). Some of these benefits include:

  • Proximity. Less geographic distance between the design center and the contract manufacturer facilitates face-to-face communication and the development of a strong customer/supplier relationship. Although there are several modern communication tools like video chat, screen sharing, local toll-free numbers, and customers setting up their own virtual meetings knowing the supplier’s schedule (self-service meeting scheduling) that assist with communication, there is no mode of interaction that is better than physical meetings. When people sit down together, body language, tone of voice, facial expression and other factors play an important role in developing trust between buyers and salespeople as well as between designers and manufacturing engineers.
  • Trade agreements. The USMCA and similar trade agreements improve the commercialization of products and services offered by U.S. contract manufacturers. Prospect Machine Products has numerous customers in Mexico, where such agreements are beneficial.
  • Language. Although the primary language in technical and business discussions is English, it just so happens that many U.S. contract manufacturers have bilingual personnel, allowing dialogues to be conducted in the native language of the Latin American customer (often Spanish or Portuguese).
  • Transportation. The relatively small distance between U.S. contract manufacturers and assembly centers in North and South America results in lower transportation costs compared to those to and from Asia.
  • Contingency plans. Most U.S. contract manufacturers are ISO:9001 2015 certified, so they are required to have contingency plans in place enabling them to react quickly to disruptive events.
  • Response to market volatility. Customer service personnel at U.S. companies communicate frequently with customer production planning departments, enabling a rapid response in the event of market volatility.
  • On-site technical training: Seminars and technical assistance can be provided at the customer site explaining the deep draw metal stamping process, raw materials, quality in deep drawn components, and other subjects. As an example, Prospect Machine Products provided a recent “Lunch and Learn” session in San Miguel de Allende – Mexico at a large OEM that supplies components to the American automotive industry. See previous blog 

All these benefits are enjoyed when doing business with Prospect Machine Products —a Connecticut, USA-based company.

Have a deep draw metal stamping project  where the timeliness, quality, and affordability of components is critical? We’re happy to talk with you about how Prospect Machine Products can deliver the parts you need and the value you want. Contact us!

Email or call 203-758-4448, X25 for sales and engineering.


Legislators Recognize Women of Excellence in Manufacturing Award Recipient and PMP President Karen McWhirt

From Left to Right: Richard Laurenzi (PMP Chairman), Lezlye Zupkus (R-89), Karen McWhirt (PMP President), Rob Sampson (R-16), Anthony Romero (PMP -Sales and Applications Eng. Mgr.)


Women of Excellence in Manufacturing Award

State Representative Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) and State Senator Rob Sampson (R-16) visited Prospect Machine Products on February 11, 2020 and presented an official state citation to Karen McWhirt, PMP’s new president.

Karen was recognized with the 2019 Women of Excellence in Manufacturing Award by the Precision Metal Association. This annual award was announced in the November 2019 edition of the MetalForming magazine

An “Up-By-The-Bootstraps” Manufacturing Leader

A 19-year industry veteran, Karen was administrative director for the Smaller Manufacturers Association of Connecticut before becoming a member of the Prospect Machine Products  team seven years ago, where she served as controller/human resources manager before being named company president.

Her nominator describes her as an “up-by-the-bootstraps manufacturing leader with a disciplined mindset” that has enabled her to “expand her role into purchasing, inventory control, and production while becoming our manufacturing software expert.”

As the person who runs the company’s daily Gemba meetings, “Karen has gained the respect of the entire team by the example she sets for hard work, trustworthiness, and team spirit,” says her nominator.

Karen also serves on the board of directors for ConnStep (Connecticut State Technology Extension Program), a statewide manufacturing extension partnership affiliate.

“There is no career in manufacturing for which women are not qualified. Opportunities for women continue to grow throughout the ranks of manufacturing, especially with our country’s shortage of skilled workers. I continue my advocacy with local educators in the vocational technical high schools, middle schools, high schools and community colleges to promote manufacturing as a career worth pursuing for all students” – Karen McWhirt

Congratulations, Karen, on a much-deserved award!

From the entire team at Prospect Machine Products.


PMP Awarded New Business with Leading Security Hardware Company

– Another success story of “Online Inbound Marketing” –See July 30, 2018 blog

By Anthony Romero - Sales and Applications Engineering Mgr.


PMP Awarded New Business with Leading Security Hardware Company

One of the largest companies in security hardware selected Prospect Machine Products as a key supplier for numerous deep draw components. The company learned of us through the technical chat on our website,, and shared prints during a video conference for a quote.

After providing the estimate, PMP was selected as one of six deep drawing manufacturers to get further consideration. Following a site visit by a corporate team and a subsequent audit, the customer awarded us the work consisting of numerous new part numbers.

Challenges and Opportunities

Each of the jobs we were awarded required a complete set of new tools. This was a formidable challenge for a small manufacturer of deep draw metal stampings. However, we chose to view it as an opportunity to excel and utilized our project management tools along with customer-specific project management requirements to keep our teams on task. 

We also held weekly video conferences and teleconferences over the next nine months to guide the development of the new deep draw tooling for all the jobs. Internally, we met weekly with team members from all disciplines, discussing our tooling benchmarks and updating our Gantt chart for each job before our weekly conference with the customer.

A Focus on Safety

Safety was the customer’s highest priority since it’s essential that their products remain functional in a variety of harsh circumstances. I had the opportunity to tour their production facility and watch various product tests. These assessments focused on repeatability and reliability, with cycle counts into the millions. Many of the tests were conducted for product endurance in severe conditions such as extreme heat and with impact shock factors.

Since deep draw components are a large part of their assembly process, it was critical that these elements demonstrate blueprint dimensional conciseness resulting in positive fit and function for the product, and contributing to its safety.

Have a deep draw metal stamping project that would best be handled by a collaborative partner like Prospect Machine Products? Contact us by Email or phone at 203-758-4448, extension 25.


The Positive Customer Experience: A Key to Success in Any Business


By Anthony Romero - Sales and Applications Engineering Mgr. 
December 17th, 2019.

2020 Looking Further with Ford Trends Report by Ford Motor Company provides the very interesting results of a global study of customer behavior and tendencies. One critical statistic is that 71% of global consumers think that, “A company’s employees have a significant impact on customer experience.”

Prospect Machine Products has always understood this idea, and we consider customer needs as our “true north,” from the initial contact with our sales or engineering team through planning and execution and to the delivery of the actual deep draw components. All employees participate in producing a positive customer experience in one way or another. For example:

  • Toolmakers and engineers participate in manufacturability meetings with the customer to optimize geometries, tolerances, materials, and critical features.
  • Machine operators are interviewed during OSA (On-Site Audit) events by customers from different market segments (industrial, automotive, commercial, and aerospace).
  • Quality personnel engages with their customer peers to determine the best gages and inspection frequencies and to prepare documentation for PPAPs (Production Part Approval Process) for new projects.
  • PMP customer service team members have daily interactions with customers’ production planning departments to satisfy their delivery schedules and sometimes to address critical volatility in demand.

More from the Ford Report

Another interesting result from the consumer study is that only 44% “believe that employees understand their needs well.” This is where PMP’s sales and application engineering staff play a key role: understanding customer pain points, production needs, technical specifications, and quality requirements, and communicating these points back to the proper PMP personnel.

As the last point, the report states that “Even as internet commerce grows, 75% of consumers say they want more human interaction in the future not less.” This is where video conferencing and customer site visits are increasingly important. It is typical for PMP to have reoccurring biweekly video conference meetings with customers regarding multi-tooling contracts, and also quarterly physical site visits.

As the report mentions, “Seamless transactions are simply not enough; consumers are hungry for personalized service, meaningful interactions, and a little surprise and delight.” An example of the latter is sponsored PMP lunch-and-learn sessions conducted at customer sites. These organizations have actually expressed their “delight,” not only in the content of the presentation but the enjoyable time spent together during lunch.

Have a deep draw metal stamping project that would be best handled by a provider that truly understands the customer experience and is committed to your success? Contact us! Email or call 203-758-4448, X25 for sales and engineering.



Convirtiéndose en el contratista de manufacturación preferido para clientes en México. (English version below)


Por Anthony Romero – Gerente de Ventas & Aplicaciones de Ingeniería.


30 de septiembre de 2019.

Debido a que no sólo está impulsado por los precios de las materias primas, pero los costos de transporte y la eficiencia de fabricación, así es como el mercado de embutición profunda de estampado metálico está cambiando constantemente. Para garantizar que nuestra empresa está reconociendo y adaptándose a esos cambios, asistimos a una serie de eventos comerciales cada año.

PMP tuvo la oportunidad de viajar a una conferencia de la Asociación de Formación de Metales de Precisión (PMA por sus siglas en inglés) en Querétaro, México el pasado mes de agosto. En este interesante e informativo evento se habló del mantenimiento de prensas, la lubricación, los sistemas integrados, la seguridad de operación y otros temas relacionados con el estampado de metales. Todos los temas fueron presentados por personas altamente calificadas en el campo como Bob Braswell (Consultamex), David Lara (Flex Systems) y Pedro Martínez (Tower Metalworking) por solo mencionar algunos de ellos.

Sin embargo, las sesiones sociales para el establecimiento de contactos (networking) también fueron muy importantes. En esas interacciones se hizo evidente el alto grado de sofisticación y atención al detalle de nuestros colegas mexicanos en la industria del estampado de metales.

Conectando con nuestros clientes y prospectos Latinoamericanos

Después de la conferencia, nuestro equipo se embarcó en una gira cubriendo estados en el centro de México, incluyendo Aguascalientes, San Miguel de Allende, San Luis Potosí, y Querétaro, visitando varios clientes y prospectos en la región.  Aunque hay muchas herramientas disponibles para la comunicación digital, no hay nada como conocer a alguien en persona y estrechar la mano. Esa conexión personal es especialmente importante en la cultura Latinoamericana. De hecho, la siguiente cita muestra esta relación:  “En la amistad, al igual que ocurre en los negocios, las relaciones deben reportar beneficios a ambas partes y como sucede en toda vinculación estrecha, implican respeto, confianza y dependencia mutua” (Integración Empresarial – Consultoría)  

Observaciones sobre las necesidades de estampado de metales de embutición profunda en México

Algo que llamó la atención durante nuestros viajes fue la complejidad de geometrías y aleaciones metálicas de alta tecnología diseñadas para el proceso de embutición profunda que fueron puntos de plática con nuestras contrapartes mexicanas.

No hay duda de que nuestros vecinos del sur están diseñando componentes intrincados donde la experiencia y conocimiento técnico de Prospect Machine Products pueden ser muy útiles. Esto se hizo aún más claro durante una sesión de almuerzo con discusión técnica organizado en las facilidades de uno de nuestros clientes donde los miembros del público hicieron muchas preguntas interesantes.




(Foto de izquierda – Presentación técnica de PMP)-San Miguel de Allende – México


Relaciones sólidas en toda América del Norte

En PMP, estamos orgullosos de nuestra entrega a tiempo, excelente calidad del producto, soporte de ingeniería, precios competitivos, y lo más importante, la estrecha relación de cliente a proveedor con todos nuestros clientes Norteamericanos, desde Canadá hasta México y en todo Estados Unidos.

¿Tiene un proyecto de estampado metálico de embutición profunda que sería mejor manejado por un proveedor que realmente se preocupa por su éxito? ¡contáctenos! Envíe un correo electrónico Email o llame al 203-758-4448 X25 para ventas e ingeniería.