Ford planning $150 million investment for metal stamping plant

Ford will put $150 million toward its metal stamping plant in Buffalo, N.Y., to increase its manufacturing capacity, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The auto manufacturer is expected to generate 350 jobs at the plant to develop metal parts for vehicles. These new workers, who will mostly be working entry-level jobs, will join a current workforce of 650. The stamping plant is expected to create supplies that will eventually be used for auto assembly at a factory in Oakville, Ontario, where different Ford models are manufactured including the Ford Edge and other vehicle models.

"We produce crucial components for several key vehicles in Buffalo," said Paul Kosaian, Ford director of manufacturing for stamping operations, according to the Detroit Free Press. "With the help of our [United Auto Workers] and government partners, we were able to secure additional jobs and keep Buffalo stamping competitive."

As a sign that domestic manufacturing in the auto industry is strengthening, Ford has a goal of adding 12,000 hourly jobs by 2015 and has met 75 percent of this target so far, according to the Detroit Free Press. Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president for the National Ford Department, said the stamping plant is expected to exhibit workers' commitment to operational excellence.

Strategies for expanding manufacturing capacity

Ford is following one strategy as described in Forbes: increasing production capacity. By increasing its capacity, the auto maker has the ability to mitigate any bottlenecks, which may have included providing supplies to its assembly plant. In addition, Ford can invest more in its existing resources to help its employees produce more vehicle units.

"These additional jobs are the direct result of the dedicated effort our UAW members display every day at facilities all across the country, and serve as another reminder of the resilience of American workers and our nation's manufacturing sector," Settles said, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Another strategy companies can follow to reduce manufacturing costs while maintaining a high rate of productivity is transitioning to higher margin product lines. By choosing to produce products that have proven to be highly profitable, Ford can focus its resources on items it know it will sell in the market. Small business manufacturing companies can also adhere to this strategy as they grow their business without injecting more capital into their operations. If these strategies do not work, companies can also resort to having their current employees work overtime, though this may not be sustainable in the long run.

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