ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System: Eliminate Workplace Hazards and Improve Business Performance

Posted by Simone Erskine on Jun 6, 2018 3:48:33 PM

Did you know that 2.78 million fatalities occur in workplaces around the world each year? Keep your company from becoming part of a statistic and reduce your work related fatalities and injuries; learn about the new ISO 45001, released in March 2018.

By embarking on the adoption of ISO 45001, an occupational health and safety management system, you can begin to transform workplace processes that can often lead to work-related tragedies and injuries. This new standard builds on the OHSAS 18001 framework, while integrating health and safety responsibilities into the management of an organization. The new standard also focuses on risk management, which will help organizations become more proactive in ensuring safe work environments and earn the reputation as a “safe place to work”, leading to reduced injuries and increased productivity.

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Made in Illinois Featured Company: AAA Tool and Machine Company

Posted by Marketing Support on Jun 6, 2018 12:35:00 PM

 


AAA Tool and Machine Co. is a full service tool design and build shop as well as a metal stamper.  They work closely with each customer to understand their unique needs in order to provide the desired solution. Along with this, they also specialize in design and build of metal stamping dies, tooling, and fixtures of all types.  AAA utilizes the latest software in order to design the most robust tooling.  They also support a variety of machining capabilities (including EDM) to provide individual details or production machining jobs.  To support their metal stamping operation, they have 7 presses (Minster and Bliss) ranging from 45 Ton up to 200 Ton presses.

AAA Tool and Machine Co. has been in operation since 1967.  Due to this, they have developed long term relationships with many of their customers based on the ability to deliver strong solutions.  AAA Tool and Machine Company’s mission is: “To provide the highest quality products and services at a competitive price.”

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Don’t Risk Losing your DoD Contracts!

Posted by Simone Erskine on Jun 5, 2018 11:30:32 AM

 

In a world where information security threats are constantly looming, it is important for companies – and required for manufacturers with Department of Defense contracts – to ensure they are protected and compliant. With the December 31, 2017 deadline for U.S Department of Defense’s cybersecurity compliance behind us, government contractors are required to demonstrate compliance in order to keep their contracts and gain new ones in 2018.

“Manufacturers have a variety of tools available to help pursue comprehensive organizational security, starting with cybersecurity. The first step is to determine one’s existing cybersecurity protections and tools and identify easy gaps to fill. Taking protective steps can decrease the time and resources spent on a security breach.”  - John Remsey, Senior Technical Specialist (IMEC)

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Help Us Welcome Two New Members to "Team Marketing"

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on May 30, 2018 11:33:00 AM

This month, IMEC welcomed two new Marketing Coordinators to our statewide team of excellence-focused specialists.

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It's Not Too Late to Plan for 2018: The Power of Goal Setting

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on May 29, 2018 1:03:00 PM

Written by Randy Slechta, CEO and contributed by Jeff Johnson, President - Leadership Management International, Inc.

Question #1: Did you accomplish your most important goals in 2017?

Research shows that only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions.

Question #2: Have you set your goal(s) for 2018?

If so, do you really, really, really want to achieve your 2018 goal(s)?

If your answer is absolutely, then you have to be willing to make some changes to ensure this happens. I find that almost everyone has good intentions to achieve the goals they have set. Most people start the new year optimistic that this will be a good year, this will be the year they finally achieve those important goals. 

Yet 92% fall short. Why? There are of course many reasons, but I find there are a few big stumbling blocks that trip up most people. If you can overcome these obstacles, you can almost guarantee yourself success.

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Smarketing: Funny Name, Serious Benefits

Posted by Mary Mechler on May 29, 2018 10:19:00 AM

If I asked you to think of the two best things ever put together, you might immediately think of pairings such as peanut butter and jelly, biscuits and gravy, or fish and chips. But what combination really surpasses all others? Smarketing.

Smarketing  is the term used to describe an integrated sales and marketing team that effectively works together in a harmonious fashion. It has a funny sounding name, but when Smarketing is in full effect, the impact is serious.

Smarketing may not seem as ground-breaking as fish and chips on the surface, but consider this: Are your company’s sales and marketing teams rarely on the same page? This could be detrimental to your organization as it is nearly impossible to increase revenue and expand your client base when these departments are not integrated. Revenue and client growth can only happen when both teams work together toward shared goals that benefit the entire company.

Once a company acknowledges the importance of this partnership, they can start working on making improvements in their planning. This process might begin with asking the question, how can both teams work together more efficiently? The answer lies in communication. Tear down the silos! If your company is fortunate enough to have a sales and marketing team, it could benefit your team and your company to open up communication and discuss the following topics. Or, if you make up the entire sales and marketing team, then have this conversation with yourself (just make sure no one else is around to witness you talking to yourself).
  1. Understand what a perfect client looks like. Where are they located? Which industries are they in? How are their decisions made? Who makes the decisions, and what are the most common objections?  Have the sales and marketing teams work together to determine what the perfect client looks like, get a list together and determine who your top 100 prospective clients are.  
  2. Sales Team: Show the Marketing folks what the sales funnel looks like. How many touches (any time a prospective client sees your name) does it take for a client to agree to a meeting? How many meetings does it take to provide a proposal? How many proposals does it take to get a sale?  After you do the math (see, you thought you would never use algebra in your sales career), the marketing team will know exactly how many touches it will need to make in order to hit the sales goals of the company. Hopefully by going through this exercise, efficiencies and bottlenecks will be identified.  Now you are getting somewhere...
  3. Get together and discuss what and how frequent these touches should be.  Examples of touches are phone calls, educational blogs, emails, LinkedIn connections, educational events and postcards. Both teams should work to determine the frequency of touches. With an established, consistent plan for implementing touches in place, potential clients will be made more aware of your services for when the need eventually rises (also referred to as drip marketing). 
  4. Build a robust website. It is up to the marketing department to make sure prospective clients have positive experiences with your branding and website. Beyond having an initial touch, prospective clients will look at your website and determine if they want to meet with your sales team based on what should be a professional, educational, easy to navigate and inspiring website.
  5. Have a story. Why choose your company over the competition?  Let prospective clients know why they should work with you. Leave out phrases like "we have the best people, best product/service and best on-time delivery." These characteristics should be assumed about your company, as you wouldn’t still be in business if you didn’t offer good service. Ask your employees to think of a few important elements to add to your story, and share it with your friends, family and business confidants to test its effectiveness.

With all of this integrated communication and work in place, there is no reason your company shouldn’t succeed in reaching prospective clients, getting leads and staying competitive. 

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Retaining Talent and Building "A Great Place to Work"

Posted by Stephen Schiera on May 25, 2018 2:41:13 PM

Using the Stay Interview for Retention and Culture Development

As companies are fighting for talent in a tight labor market there is a need for them to look at how they are retaining their best people and developing a culture that others want to join.  Too many times managers are focused on the negative aspects of managing people and do not take the time to develop the talent that's right in front of them. 

Today, departing employees are asked their opinions and experiences on their way out the door. These “exit” interviews can reveal some information about why people are leaving, however, the interviews are typically guarded and are certainly too late to affect retention. Instead, the "stay" interview is targeted at retention, exactly as its name implies. These simple conversations take the pulse of employees' current experiences, attitudes and opinions in a more routine cadence, enabling leadership to implement improvements before they have lost a valuable asset. 

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Made in Illinois Featured Company: Float Rooms USA

Posted by Marketing Support on May 11, 2018 11:02:00 AM

Float Rooms USA focuses on providing relief from the physical and mental stress that people endure each day.  The company's co-owners found floatation to be the ultimate way to quickly revive body and mind.  The company's mission is to provide the highest quality products, which are functional, and designed to appeal to a wide range of consumers, with various styles and tastes. 

Float Rooms USA focuses on making floating optimal for all users.  The company has float rooms, float pods, and float orbs to facilitate ease with all types of circumstances; from providing wellness to encouraging lucid dreaming.

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Made in Chicago Featured Company: Bel-Mar Wire Products

Posted by Marketing Support on May 10, 2018 10:52:28 AM

Established in 1972 on Chicago’s northwest side, Bel-Mar Wire Products is a proven leader in the custom display manufacturing sector.  The company serves a wide-range of diverse industries including commercial, retail, food & beverage, snacks & confections, souvenir & gift, tools & hardware, and healthcare.  Their diverse background makes them a one-stop-shop for any display-related needs ensuring high quality craftsmanship with the utmost precision and attention to each detail delivering unsurpassed turnaround times for its clients.

Bel-Mar Wire Products is proud to be a local Chicago business for 45+ years providing the community with local jobs and contributing to Chicago’s economic growth also operating as a woman-owned business.

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Unlocking Global Growth Opportunities with ExporTech

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on May 9, 2018 2:42:01 PM

Calling all Chicago metro manufacturers with an eye on global sales!

Are you struggling to take advantage of growth opportunities in global markets?

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

If YES… ExporTech could be the answer.

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