Next Generation Leaders…Envisioning the Business through a New Set of Eyes

Newbold_Rob_LowRes_ColorWritten by Rob Newbold, IMEC Manufacturing Specialist

It started for me when my dad asked me to program the VCR as a teenager.  For the first time, I could see that my knowledge set, experience at electronics, and willingness to test ideas was greater than his.  Now that I’m a dad, I realize it may have been that he was just too tired to get behind the TV to make all the connections and wanted to give me a sense of accomplishment.  Depending on which eyes you see a situation from can provide a very different set of outcomes.

Southern Illinois Occupational Safety & Health (SIOSH) Day is Oct 30th

Written by Lori Amerman, IMEC Operations Coordinator and OSHA Authorized Trainer

The Southern Illinois Occupational Safety & Health (SIOSH) Day conference will be on October 30th in Carterville, Illinois.  We are excited to announce a full line up of presentations from the U.S. Department of Labor and Illinois Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health programs.

Safety and HealthA series of blogs will be produced to share resources on the topics to be presented.  This should help prepare company safety teams to gain a better understanding of tools available and prepare staff.

2014 Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Summit

In January 2013, Walmart announced a ten-year plan to spend an additional $250 billion on U.S. made products. A key upcoming event for this initiative is the 2014 U.S. Manufacturing Summit, to be held August 14-15 in Denver, Colorado. The Summit addresses the challenges that some suppliers have identified in finding key domestic “value chain providers” – those that make and sell materials, components, technologies, or services to manufacturing possible – for their products.

IMEC welcomes two new Regional Managers to the Metro East

Welcome the newest members of the IMEC team, Lisa Kenney and Doug Moehle

Doug-MoehleDoug Moehle comes to IMEC with more than 28 years of experience in Operations Management and Quality Assurance, primarily from the metal stamping industry. With extensive experience in all facets of operations and quality including the implementation of Lean Manufacturing, Continuous Improvement and Quality Assurance systems, Doug is proficient at converting customer needs and business objectives into operational strategies. Specific skills and expertise include operations leadership, six sigma, lean product development, TPM, planning and scheduling, capacity modeling, budgeting and cost control, and safety improvements.

Hitachi Foundation previews upcoming Chicago workforce initiative at SIPI Metals

Excerpt from The Hitachi Foundation blog. The Hitachi Foundation is partnering with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), and several local funders through the Chicagoland Workforce Funders Alliance to launch a new initiative aimed at growing the number of high-quality manufacturing jobs in the Chicago region. 

From Scrap Metal to Precious Metal: Chicago’s SIPI Metals Creates Great Products and Great Jobs

logo1b.aiChicago has been at the epicenter of American manufacturing throughout the 20th century. Today 3,700 firms account for more than 100,000 jobs and over $30 billion in annual sales. Despite its endurance, the Chicagoland manufacturing sector faces challenges – securing a skilled workforce, adapting to new technologies, and bringing innovative products to market. To strengthen its position for the future, the region will need to build on lessons from what works among exemplary firms like SIPI Metals Corporation.

Is your company’s market position helping you flourish or flounder?

Market PositionGlobal competition, OEM pricing, delivery and quality demands, and other threats to a profitable market position require more strategic marketing plans that focus on the right products and services reaching the right customers in the right way at the right time. Without planning, success can be a result of luck.

Companies need to have a balanced distribution of profitable customers, products and sales methods focused on value to the customer, and a position in the marketplace that supports their strategic plan.

Continuous Improvement Specialist Brings Knowledge and Enthusiasm to IMEC Clients

Megan Falconer

Welcome the newest member of the IMEC team, CI specialist serving the Greater Chicagoland area…

Megan Falconer, a Technical Specialist with the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, has four years of manufacturing experience as a Product Engineer, Materials Coordinator, Quality Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, and Process Engineer in both the steel and plastics industries.  APICS certified, Megan has also completed course work and training in Six Sigma Green Belt and lean tools and methodologies.

Search Engine Optimization for Manufacturers

North Branch Works and IMEC are co-hosting an upcoming breakfast forum and discussion on Search Engine Optimization for Manufacturers on June 17th. The morning event will be held at WaterSaver Faucet in Chicago and feature web design and social media expertise from Orbit Media.

Why should you care about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Some companies think they’re immune to SEO because you may manufacture a very niche product and don’t have much competition. Why would you need some tech gimmicks to vault your name to the top of a search engine list?

Lean Six Sigma Specialist Brings Experience to IMEC Clients

Welcome the newest member of the IMEC team, Lean Six Sigma Specialist serving northeast Illinois…

John Cosentino, IMEC SpecialistJohn Cosentino, a Technical Specialist with the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, has 26 years of manufacturing experience as a Project/Program Manager, Operations Manager, Vice President of Operations, and Continuous Improvement Manager.  A Certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Champion, John has also completed course work in Lean Tools and Methodology, Lean Accounting, and is a Certified Personal and Executive Coach.

Walmart Made in USA Open Call

Over the next 10 years, Walmart will spend an additional $250 billion on U.S.-made products as part of its commitment to domestic manufacturing and American jobs. With this Walmart Made in USA initiative top of mind, Walmart will be hosting the first ever domestic manufacturing Open Call Summit on July 8th in Bentonville, Arkansas.Walmart Made in America

Current suppliers that want to present new categories will be featured alongside suppliers with US manufacturing capabilities who are currently not doing business with Walmart. They’ll have a chance to meet with senior leaders, buyers and Walmart executives. Typically the vendor rooms are open by appointment only – so this is the first time that Walmart has put out an open invitation to all suppliers – to come on one specific day. They’re expecting hundreds of companies to attend and pitch their products.

The Open Call Summit will be focused on new business development on products and categories that are made or grown in the US. Applicants will be evaluated on the ability of their items to meet Walmart customer needs including:

·         Product: design, quality and innovation

·         Price: competitive costing, value, EDLP (Every Day Low Prices)

·         Strategic fit within merchandising strategy

·         Ability to execute: production, logistics, etc.

For applicants, proposed items must be able to qualify as US Country of Origin $3m+ in annual cost shipments (suppliers with less than $3m in revenue may be interested in Walmart’s Local Supplier Program). The review process will close on June 6th – if applicants are selected for the Summit, they will be notified by June 17th. Find the “Open Call Registration” link below to learn more about event times, logistics, and more!

Helpful links:

Walmart’s Commitment to U.S. Manufacturing

Learn How To Become a Walmart Supplier

Open Call Registration

prev posts