6 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a CRM

Posted by Shayla Kripalani on May 31, 2019 11:07:00 AM

This is an original article written by Megan Robinson, the VP of Marketing at @Revenue.

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MEP National Network: Cobots Level the Playing Field

Posted by Simone Erskine on May 28, 2019 10:29:47 AM

This is an original article, written by Buckley Brinkman, the Executive Director/CEO of the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing and Productivity (WCMP).

Reluctance to Employ Cobots Driven by 4 Common Misconceptions

It has been nearly six decades since the first industrial robots rolled on to a General Motors assembly line in Trenton, New Jersey. Today, a new generation of collaborative robots is changing how the manufacturing sector operates. These semi-intelligent machines are driving growth and improving efficiency not only for the GMs of the world, but also for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) as well.

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Made in Illinois Featured Company: Obsidian Manufacturing Industries

Posted by Marketing Support on May 22, 2019 2:05:00 PM

Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. is a SBA certified woman-led small business that offers a diversified selection of manufacturing products and services with its brands. Their price competitive solutions are appealing to customer’s industrial needs, whether it is workholding, material handling, precision rotary surface grinder applications or OEM equipment repairs and spare parts.

Several of their product lines have robust historical records with one dating as far back as 1916. This information has helped them serve their vast customer base with products and services that have an emphasis on durability, outstanding craftsmanship, and value. Brands include Arter Precision Grinding Machines, Magna-Lock USA, MagnaLift and Power-Grip.

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Transforming the Workforce in the Era of AI Expansion - A MAPI Foundation Research

Posted by Simone Erskine on May 21, 2019 3:10:00 PM

The following is a description of MAPI Foundation's research on how AI is transforming the workforce, written by MAPI Foundation.

Manufacturing leaders are seeking strategies and solutions to address a burning question:
How will AI transform the workforce – the people, roles, skillsets – in the next 5 years?

THE CHALLENGE

Predictive maintenance, human-robot collaboration, and generative design are a few of the applications of artificial intelligence remaking manufacturing. Expectations continue to rise for AI to unlock elusive productivity gains. Industry leaders are adapting to the technological change — AI and related Industry 4.0 and IIoT technologies — that will continue to reshape their workforce, either through the automation and replacement of some workers or upskilling and new roles of others.

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MEP Program Shows 14.4 to 1 Return to the Federal Treasury

Posted by IMEC on May 17, 2019 9:55:02 AM

WASHINGTON D.C. – 

A recent study by the W.E. Upjohn Institute found the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program generates a substantial economic and financial return of 14.4:1 for the $140 million annually invested by the federal government.

The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a federal public-private partnership that provides small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) technology-based services these firms need to grow and thrive in today’s economy and create well-paying manufacturing jobs. The MEP Program is managed by NIST and the U.S. Department of Commerce and is implemented through a network of 51 MEP Centers located in every state and Puerto Rico. These MEP Centers are not-for-profit organizations that employ a network of more than 1,300 industry experts who work directly with manufacturers to improve productivity and enhance U.S. competitiveness.

Using the national REMI® model, along with the results from the FY 2018 NIST MEP client impact survey conducted by Fors Marsh, the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research study finds that economic returns are substantially higher than previously reported by the MEP Program due largely to broader economic effects. Every quarter, an independent firm surveys manufacturers six months after they receive MEP assistance to measure the impact they have achieved from MEP Center services. In FY18, MEP clients reported $16.0 billion new and retained sales and the creation or retention of 121,042 jobs.

The Upjohn study reports that the $140 million invested in MEP during FY 2018 generated a 14.4 to 1 increase in federal personal income tax ($2.02B/$140M federal investment). The study looked solely at personal income tax and not business taxes and provided a conservative estimate of the return.

The Upjohn study finds more jobs were generated by the MEP Program than directly reported by its clients. In addition, the study notes that more than 238,000 additional jobs existed in the U.S because of MEP Center projects last year than would have without the Program. This estimate includes direct, indirect, and induced jobs generated by MEP projects. These jobs support additional manufacturing employment critical to U.S. supply chains and jobs outside of manufacturing. Lastly, the Upjohn study also examined additional areas of economic impact not previously reported by the MEP Program; personal income is $15 billion higher and GDP is $24.9 billion larger, translating to an increase of $2.02 billion in personal income tax revenue to the federal government than would be reported without the Program.

“Another year with extraordinary results! MEP centers across the country are undoubtedly fulfilling their duties in helping small and mid-sized manufacturers create competitive futures by empowering them to excel,” said Dave Boulay, PhD, President of the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center and Chair of the American Small Manufacturers Coalition. “As highlighted on this report, the impacts these organizations are contributing and the benefits to our economy are not just impressive - they are imperative to the sustainability of manufacturing.”


To view the study in its entirety, please visit: https://research.upjohn.org/reports/239/

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Incident Response Plan: The Tool You Hope You Never Need

Posted by Simone Erskine on May 15, 2019 12:55:00 PM

This is an original article written by Isaac Wright, a Cybersecurity Analyst and Trainer at Alpine Security.

It’s no question that in cybersecurity, defense is the best defense. In the constantly changing threat landscape, the tie often goes to the attacker, and businesses are forced to act like turtles putting up shells of security to ward off threats.  That is not always a bad thing; using a well-constructed defense- in- depth plan can greatly limit the likelihood of a successful attack.  I would like to believe we can get to a 99.99% level of security.  Even if that were true, that extra .01% keeps me up at night. What do we do if the controls fail? How do we respond then? What do we do the other 1% of the time? Once we find out that our emails have been hacked, or our money has been stolen is not the time to ask, “what now?” Even worse, what do you do when you suspect that an insider has embezzled funds and the evidence is located on their computer? Though we invest in and rely on our security controls, it is unfortunately not always enough.  We must have a plan for the .01%.

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Made in Chicago Featured Company: Sunrise Hitek Group

Posted by Marketing Support on May 15, 2019 12:35:59 PM

Sunrise Hitek is an Inc. 5000 company established in 1988 and offers speedy and innovative marketing execution for the world’s leading brands. Sunrise employs the most advanced equipment and technology, such as G7-certified HP Indigo & UV flatbed presses, digital die-cutting, and specialty coating/lamination, to create best-in-class color printing, packaging, trade show & display graphics, and promo products. A privately-owned enterprise, the company is based in Chicago and sells products worldwide.

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Made in Illinois Featured Company: The Chocolate Factory

Posted by Marketing Support on May 9, 2019 10:38:39 AM

The Chocolate Factory was established in 1977 as a family run business in Southern Illinois. They started by making gourmet chocolates and later added items like fudge and ice cream. The Chocolate Factory prides itself in their handmade novelty and gourmet chocolates.

Some of their top products include: boxed & assorted chocolate, chocolate novelties, sugar-free chocolates, custom chocolates, and fudge.

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A Practical Guide to Value Stream Mapping - Part 5, with Full E-Book

Posted by Greg Thompson on May 3, 2019 8:57:14 AM

Current State vs. Future State VSM

Current State is intended to represent conditions that are present today. Not ideal conditions or how it is supposed to be, but as close to reality as possible. Future State should be your goal, your blueprint, your roadmap; this is your destination. It should be optimistic, but not unrealistic. We generally plan for a timeframe of 6 – 12 months to get to Future State. There are times an interim map is drawn, which I often call “Current State with kaizens.” Kaizen is the Japanese translation for ‘good change’. The interim map with the kaizens can be a bit messy, but it helps represent the transition from Current State to Future State. There are times when the Future State isn’t structurally different than the Current State, and the Future State is the Current State with kaizens.

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A Practical Guide to Value Stream Mapping - Part 4 of 5

Posted by Greg Thompson on May 2, 2019 8:22:00 AM

Can I facilitate the VSM myself, or should I use an outside resource?

Short answer: Sure. You probably can facilitate it yourself; and should if you’re comfortable with it. VSM isn’t rocket science. But, depending on your level of experience with lean / VSM and company dynamics, there may be advantages to using an outside resource.

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