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Finding energy efficient products made in the U.S. is easy with the Building Clean website

Building CleanThe Building Clean database lists more than 2500 U.S. facilities manufacturing energy efficient products in the key energy and water efficient product sectors of appliances, HVAC, insulation, lighting, plumbing, roofing, and sealants – plus an added section on certified water filtration systems. You can search by product type, market sector, locality (both state and zip code), manufacturing tier, and the product’s material composition. Included is information on chemical hazards associated with certain products and those that are certified by third parties as healthy.

The Little Things that Matter at Work: The Inspiration of Positive Psychology

Written by Maria Moran, IMEC Regional Manager

Given the constant change and challenges we face as leaders, some foundations are so solid that they are truisms. Yet, sometimes we deserve a few reminders.

A Fresh LookPositive Psychology

Survival of the fittest instincts run through us all. We are wired to look for the negative in an effort to protect ourselves. What if we created a culture that trained teams to recognize the positive first? Would solutions be created more efficiently? What if you created a vibrant business by changing the lens that your business is viewed through by its employees?

Affecting perception: 8 ways to advance the image of manufacturing

A positive perception of manufacturing is critical for the future success of an organization’s talent recruitment, development, and overall industry advancement. Craig Giffi and Michelle Drew Rodriguez, manufacturing experts from Deloitte, share the latest on advancing the image of manufacturing in celebration of MFG Day in America.

workforce perceptionAmerican public perception of manufacturing, and where Americans see the manufacturing sector is headed, is optimistic. That’s according to a recent study conducted by Deloitte, the National Association of Manufacturers, and The Manufacturing Institute.[i]

Market Monitoring – As Easy as 1, 2, 3…4

Market Monitoring

Written by April Glosser, Thrive Market Intelligence

Effective Market Monitoring can provide early warning of threats, advance notification of opportunities and deliver a significant advantage over your competitors.

Here is a quick 4-step process to begin Market Monitoring in it’s simplest form:

You Need Lean Maintenance to Make Lean Manufacturing Succeed!

Written by Lawrence Bouvier, CMRP
Vice President – Fuss & O’Neill Manufacturing Solutions

Is equipment downtime holding you back from achieving Lean Manufacturing success?

We all have heard of the seven wastes addressed in Lean Manufacturing, but did you ever consider that if you applied similar principles to equipment health, you’d want a discipline to create Lean Maintenance?

Overproduction, Inventory and Waiting are three of the seven lean wastes that can come as a result of equipment failures.  A good maintenance process will keep these to minimum levels.  So, how can we achieve this?  The only way is to minimize the amount of maintenance and repair that we perform on machines!

Cybersecurity – It’s Just One Piece of a Comprehensive Information Security Program

By John Remsey, IMEC Senior Technical Specialist

Cybersecurity has become a hot topic within manufacturing over the past months, especially for the Defense supply chain with the federal government increasing their emphasis on addressing threats to the security of information.  In December 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) released a rule to the Defense Acquisition Federal Regulation Supplement (DAFRS) that requires government contractors to implement the requirements of National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171 by December 31, 2017.  With this deadline fast approaching, conversation, and urgency, to become compliant is increasing.

Community Consolidated School District 93: A Progress toward Excellence Success Story

Before the Baldrige Framework for Excellence

CCSD93 is a pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school district that serves roughly 3,900 students in nine schools throughout the villages of Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, and Hanover Park, Illinois. Before beginning its Baldrige journey in the mid 1990’s, CCSD93 was the fastest growing district in Illinois, and administrators were hyper-focused on adding space and staff. The district lacked the ability to devote significant time on personnel development. As a result, CCSD93 consistently produced good students, but was not thought of as a leader in academic achievement or professional development opportunities for the staff – a challenge that needed to be addressed to retain the workforce who senior leaders hoped to develop into excellent leaders. Strategically, CCSD93 had good goals in place, but was not as competitive as it could have been and did not position itself to become the world-class district senior leaders knew it could be.

Going Beyond Customer Satisfaction: Measuring Customer Loyalty

Written by Steve Schiera, IMEC Regional Manager

Net Promoter Score (NPS) can be a valuable tool for measuring customer satisfaction, increasing customer lifetime value and reducing customer turnover. The happier your customers are the more referrals you will get and the more successful and profitable your business will be.

Because loyalty is so important to profitable growth, measuring and managing it makes good sense.  The saying “What gets measured gets done” is extremely relevant with customer satisfaction.  Many organizations have no method to obtain this critical information and many existing customer survey approaches have not proven to be very effective. Their complexity makes it difficult to get responses from your customers and they often generate flawed results.

By substituting a single question for the complex black box of the typical customer satisfaction survey, companies can actually put results to use and focus on the task of stimulating growth.

This Market Intelligence Tool Can Save Your Business

Written by Jim Dunbar, IMEC Marketing Coordinator

How much to do you know about your current market position? How are you gaining knowledge about the marketplace to launch a new product? What about expanding your current product line into a new market?   Maybe you even want to diversify into several new markets.  There are numerous reasons you should know your current and future marketplaces and they are enormously beneficial to the health and growth of your business.

When Engaged Employees Prosper, Businesses Succeed

How do you use employee engagement to retain key employees?

Written by Ashley Beaudoin, IMEC Technical Specialist and HR Specialist

As manufacturing advances, companies report sizable skill gaps. The need for a qualified skill set is essential for success.  In order to keep a business growing, qualified candidates need to surface while key employees are retained.employee engagement

Leaders are familiar with the basic understanding of employee engagement. However, do they know just how engagement affects the workforce?

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