Sunday, 22 January 2017 14:35

David Hawker discusses a year of change

David Hawker, President of The Wire Association International, Inc. David Hawker, President of The Wire Association International, Inc.

As way of Introduction, I’m David Hawker and will be serving as the President of the Wire Association International for 2017. I’m currently the Vice President and General Manager for Nexans Energy Cable division with plants in Canada and the US servicing the North American market.

I hope everyone had a relaxing break over the holidays and if my previous experience in the plants is any indication, too many shut-down projects were started, everyone’s moving a little slower as they put on weight and the start-ups aren’t going as smooth as promised. All part of our day-to-day life in manufacturing.
 
There’s no doubt that 2017 will be a year of change, the US election guaranteed that and Twitter will have to add new data-centers which will be great for our Data-cable division.  If we look back over 2016, I think most cable companies will say that it was a year of divergence.  I think our ferrous businesses had a successful year due to strong demand (record demand) in the automotive sector and another year of strong consumer demand. The data cable industry continues to experience strong growth as higher and higher data transfer rates are achieved. The fiber businesses all seem to be running strong.  Weakness in industrial cable demand impacted a lot of the traditional cable companies, headlines of reductions of capital spending and projects being deferred and cancelled occurred every day.  Those plants that could pivot to other markets were able to blunt the impact, but still a challenge.

Our industry is mature and most products are in a evolutionary, not revolutionary stage. A businesses success relies on its ability to leverage its key assets, people, machinery and materials better than a competitor to survive and flourish for the long haul.  Investments in training, knowledge, and development of our people is sometimes not a priority as we are chasing daily manufacturing issues.  If you spend all day fighting fires, you never get to the mode to eliminate the fire hazard in the first place.  Hard wired is a product of WAI that provides a resource to develop knowledge and knowledge is key to leveraging your people to excel.  I’ve worked in a number of plants and visited even more, very few problems are seen for the first time and most solutions are known.  I ask you to use the WAI, use the Webinars, use Hard wired, participate in the development of our industry and our people so we can continue to have a strong manufacturing prescence in North America for our products.  A strong manufacturing base provides good jobs, strong community support and opportunities for the next generation.  Let’s make sure we give them the tools and knowledge to improve our businesses.

Thanks and here’s to a successful 2017.

Last modified on Monday, 23 January 2017 10:12