Archives for the ‘Business Growth’ Category

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.

Bringing Diversity to Manufacturing

Written by Melissa Basa, IMEC Regional Manager

With more than 500,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in the United States in recent years, much has been hypothesized and written about the cause(s). If we consider the words of Warren Buffet, who in 2013 told Fortune Magazine that America has built our prosperity using only 50%Diversity of our talent and left an entire gender out of the equation for most of our history, we see that a solution is very much within our reach.  But balancing the gender equation and bringing more women into manufacturing doesn’t require the same approach as increasing the ranks of men.  Let’s look at an example (or three) from my Alma Mater.

In 2016, Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering was the first US national research university to graduate an undergraduate class of engineers that was more than 50% female.  Compare this to the national average that has yet to break 20%.  But gender parity didn’t happen for Thayer overnight and it certainly didn’t happen without intentional cultural changes.  I believe Thayer’s successes could be those of America’s shop floors as well.

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.

Tri-State Manufacturing Conference Focuses on Manufacturing Success

manufacturing conference

The first Tri-State Manufacturing Conference for Illinois, Iowa and Missouri will take place March 15 to help companies of all sizes learn more about emerging trends in the new era of manufacturing.

The event will take place at John Wood Community College in Quincy, Illinois, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Key educational, business and economic development partners from three states have joined forces to create the conference to help regional manufacturers develop employees, processes and technology to grow business and expand into new markets.

Metro Chicago Exports and IMEC seek manufacturers for ExporTech cohort

Calling all manufacturers with an eye on global sales!

Are you re-actively selling to international customers who find you, rather than taking a proactive and strategic approach to international sales?

Are you struggling to take advantage of growth opportunities in global markets?
If YES… ExporTech could be the answer.

Are your Accounting Practices Value-Added?

An example of how an accounting approach may hinder continuous improvement efforts

The Accounting concept of Standard Costing was developed in the 1920’s, and its application has remained fairly constant.  Manufacturing was noted for minimal product variation (“You can buy a Model T in any color, as long as it’s black”) and long production runs creating lots of inventory whose financial value had to be estimated. Lean principles have changed the manufacturing world significantly, with shorter set-up times and significantly less inventory.  Meanwhile, Accounting still spends time analyzing and understanding labor, material and overhead variances; often generating thousands of related transactions and accrual entries.  In the Lean world, these are Non Value-Added activities; the customer is not willing to pay more for our cost variance analysis excellence.

How do your leaders drive Performance Excellence?

So you think you are ready to pursue a Baldrige award?

Your organization leaders may start reviewing the criteria for achieving an award and see that it is quite overwhelming. This article is written to give you some insight into one very important piece of the criteria – Leadership and creating a successful organization.

The Leadership category asks HOW SENIOR LEADERS’ personal actions guide and sustain their organization. It also asks about their organization’s GOVERNANCE system and HOW their organization fulfills its legal, ethical, and societal responsibilities. This is all about continuous improvement for your enterprise.

Small businesses deserve their own Morning Bell

What is the Morning Bell for Small Business?

The Morning Bell for Small Business is a campaign designed to celebrate the hard work you do and show how important small businesses are to thriving communities.

Chase for BusinessBig business has its own bell to start the workday and Chase thinks small businesses deserve one, too! Chase for Business is inviting a different small business to ring its own bell every day. Small businesses have many unique ways to ring their bells, whether it is a cow bell on a farm or a ding of a cash register at the local coffee shop.

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