Premium Associate Member Spotlight: MetLife

Premium Associate Member Spotlight: MetLife Interview with MetLife National Association Sales Director Geoff Vandal

This article appeared in the July 2019 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

During a time of ultra-competitive business growth and a talent supply too shallow to meet talent demand, it can feel like every manufacturer is going it alone. MetLife is a business that’s built its reputation on bringing industry together on the principle that there is strength in numbers and common challenges can be solved when many companies move in one direction.

“We have a dedicated channel within MetLife that focuses on providing great services and competitive benefits to small manufacturing firms,” explained Geoff Vandal, MetLife’s national association sales director. “We are able to wrap an affordable benefits package around the member’s health care and workers’ compensation coverage.”

As a leading benefits provider in the U.S. with over 100 years of history and a key focus on supporting small businesses, MetLife’s ability to offer best-in-class solutions for Michigan manufacturers is nearly unsurpassed. Through the MetLife/MMA partnership, that “strength in numbers” buying power allows for more product options and greater rate stability than many small- to mid-sized manufacturers could access on their own.

“Our partnership with MMA has resulted in tremendous cost savings for manufacturers. Even in a time of rising prices, MMA members have seen three consecutive years with rate increases of 0 percent across all lines of MetLife coverage,” said Vandal. “There’s no guarantee that this will last, of course, but you have to ask, how likely would those benefits be available without manufacturers working together?”

But why should manufacturers benefit by “working together,” when talent is in such short supply?

“With a tight employment market and 22 percent of manufacturing employees expected to retire over the next decade, there will be continued competition for good workers,” Vandal acknowledged. “Benefits are a proven way to make the difference between a skilled worker choosing to work for you or your competitor. While your costs reduce thanks to the buying power of many companies coming together, MetLife still designs each program according to what will best address the needs of your business.”

Thoughtfully designed benefit plans can help attract the very best candidates, from baby boomers to millennials, to come work for you. What are the questions a manufacturer should be asking to maximize their talent attracting potential?

“I’d say to any manufacturer, you need to be asking two key questions when starting to shape a benefits plan,” Vandal said. “First, ‘what is it my current employees truly value about the benefits programs we offer today?’ and ‘what more could we deliver to help better attract and retain talent?’”

MetLife’s available in-house research can help benchmark what employees across different industries are looking for when balancing their career trajectory with the need to provide financial wellness for themselves and their families.

“You face a built-in disadvantage when you try to do on your own what others are doing together,” Vandal pointed out. “With today’s technology, we can provide service to clients from quote to claim irrespective of where they are and with the savings in place to help them dedicate resources to other key areas of their business. I’d encourage any manufacturer on the rise to explore what’s out there — they don’t have to go it alone.”

Premium Associate MemberMetLife is an MMA Premium Associate Member and has been an MMA member company since April 1995. Visit online: