Archives for the ‘Supply Chain’ Category

Creating a venue for low-pressure manufacturing connections

More than 70 manufacturers and partners attended the February 24th Manufacturing Matchmaking event in Sugar Grove. Hosted by IMEC, Chicago Metro Metals Consortium, Valley Industrial Association, and Kane and Kendall Counties, the buyer-supplier forum provides a low-pressure opportunity for manufacturers to connect with a variety of potential business partners in one location. From the very small to medium and large Illinois-based manufacturers, all of the participants are able to identify an opportunity for growth and/or new sales.

“We really enjoyed meeting other manufacturers and building a new network.”

Matchmaking manufacturers for supply chain success

Manufacturing matchmaking has been on the forefront of the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center’s event calendar continuing now into its second year.  IMEC has been reaching out to a diverse group of partners throughout the state in an effort for manufacturing representatives to meet with potential new customers and suppliers.  IMEC is positioned to help manufacturers increase sales opportunities and gain a footing in regional and global supply chains.

Manufacturing MatchmakingThe matchmaking and networking events  have a structured opportunity to network with potential customers and suppliers by sharing information, samples and more; similar to “speed-dating” but for suppliers and end users.

SIU Releases Reshoring Report for Innovation and Growth

SIU ReshoringOur partners at Southern Illinois University’s Office of Economic and Regional Development recently compiled a report for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

“RESHORING An Opportunity for Innovation and Economic Growth in Southern Illinois” report is linked for your review.

Making Connections: Bolingbrook Manufacturing Matchmaking

The latest Manufacturing Matchmaking event brought together more than 35 organizations focused on manufacturing competitiveness yesterday.

Manufacturing firms represented capabilities in industries like automotive, medial devices, military and defense, mining, aerospace, construction equipment and many more. Participating manufacturers were hoping to identify future sales or procurement opportunities with others in attendance and many positive interactions were reported through initial evaluations.

MEP Supply Chain Optimization Program Releases Vitality Quiz

Supply Chain Vitality QuizAre you vital as a manufacturer? A new quiz by Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Supply Chain Optimization program looks to provide a quick glimpse into a manufacturer’s vitality. This simple, 10-question quiz will help you to benchmark your abilities regarding strategy, alignment, collaboration, and ultimately optimization within the company’s supply chain.

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.

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

Buy America Transit Supply Chain Connectivity Forum

The Buy America Transit Supply Chain Connectivity Forum is designed to bring large transit OEMs and Tier 1 Suppliers together with smaller, capable and interested U.S. manufacturers in an effort to facilitate the use of a higher percentage of domestic suppliers in transit products and systems. The Forum will provide a venue for smaller manufacturers to learn what products are needed and find out more about investments they need to consider when entering the transit industry.

Thankful for Effective Supply Chains

HolidaysAccording to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 28th annual survey, the average cost of a classic Thanksgiving Day dinner for 10 people declined $0.44 from 2012. Now, there just has to be effectiveness and efficiency in those supply chains for that to occur. As you’re enjoying the upcoming holiday celebrations, bite into your pumpkin pie and festive jellies and contemplate these questions posed by our MEP supply chain expert, Terry Weiner.

When was the last time you really looked at how effectively your supply chain is performing? I mean, really looked into all of the aspects of cost, performance, quality, and value.

Is the supply chain performing to the specifications of your Supply Chain Strategy?

Do you even have a Supply Chain Strategy, and if so, is it in alignment with your corporate strategy?

Are your suppliers aware of the supply chain strategy and do they know what their part is in helping to achieve it?

Shamrock Plastics achieves ‘gold’ certification

Shamrock Plastics, a Peoria-based plastic thermo-forming manufacturer recently celebrated the achievement of becoming Gold Certified – a supplier excellence program through Caterpillar.  The company is one of only 68 manufacturers achieving this certification of the more than 9,000 suppliers worldwide.  This is quite a success for our local Shamrock Plastics.

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