Marlin Wire’s Congressional Show-And-Tell

By February 28, 2008Human Resources

paperwork.jpgCongressional hearings can sometimes be snoozefests. But Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire Products, knows how to add punch to the process.

Greenblatt, whose Baltimore company manufactures made-to-order wire and hook products, testified on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers before the House Small Business Committee.

The hearing was on the need to fix the Paperwork Reduction Act to ease the blizzard of regulatory paperwork businesses have to contend with. The chore of filling out Internal Revenue Service and other documentation is so onerous, Greenblatt and executives at other companies often have to hire outside consultants to do the work.

That money could go to other things, like hiring new workers or research.

Instead of just talking about the problem, Greenblatt showed lawmakers the problem. He displayed a photo of two of his workers standing in front of boxes of all the paperwork he has to fill out in a year.

The stack of boxes was more than six feet high, taller than his employees.

“We have grown 33 percent in the last two years and tripled in the last 10 years,” he said. “We are adding people. We want to keep adding people, not adding paperwork.”

All that paperwork is stifling American competitiveness. According to a NAM report, structural costs for manufacturers in the United States were 31.7% higher in 2006 than for our major trade competitors.

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