Managing Productivity

Posted by IMEC on Jul 9, 2020 10:32:45 AM

This is an original article by Ken Voytek, Chief Economist at NIST MEP. 

I’ve made it my personal crusade to keep a focus on the fundamental importance of productivity to manufacturers, to the MEP Program, to the MEP Centers that do the daily work of helping small manufacturers boost their performance. It may seem strange to read a post about productivity given the current environment, but it remains important to both national economic and business success. Indeed, productivity will be even more critical as we recover from the current health and economic crisis. Currently, there is significant excess capacity of both capital and labor that we can reengage to help the economy grow faster and return to full employment and capacity utilization of plants as equipment is more fully used. In his 2004 book The Power of Productivity, William Lewis argues the real solution is not necessarily more capital or working smarter (although these things certainly help), but rather how a company organizes and deploys its capital and labor.

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7 Manufacturing Digitization Challenges — and How to Overcome Them

Posted by IMEC on Jul 6, 2020 9:14:15 AM

Written by Celia Paulsen, NIST.

Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered robots, 3D printing, the Internet of Things (IoT)...there’s a whole world of advanced manufacturing technology and innovation just waiting for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) who want to step up their digital game. Unfortunately, manufacturing digitization can present some fundamental challenges, like added cybersecurity risk.

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Is it Really Still Business as Usual?

Posted by Mary Hallock on Jul 2, 2020 1:50:24 PM

Have you had a chance to sit back and think about how the pandemic has changed your long term business goals? Although we are still not out of the woods yet, now may be a good time to think about revising your strategic plan to account for the recent disruption.

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The Value Adding Associate

Posted by Shankar Anant on Jun 30, 2020 4:26:35 PM

During these unprecedented times, one group stood out for their contributions to society. Those at the frontlines! Nurses, doctors, grocery store clerks, and manufacturing associates. “Production” associates, as this recent article points out, deserve our appreciation for providing us with the goods and services we need. Arguably risking themselves in the process!

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Strengthening your Quality System Post COVID-19

Posted by Jesse Brady on Jun 26, 2020 2:19:29 PM

As Illinois manufacturers settle back into a “new normal” there is no shortage of responsibilities weighing on our minds. One area that can easily get overlooked as we move through this uncertain time is your Quality Management Systems (QMS). With our focus elsewhere, new procedures or training can get implemented without proper documentation. We can get behind on our internal auditing schedule. Or we lose sight of action items from prior meetings and audits.

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Restarting Your Facility

Posted by IMEC on Jun 25, 2020 3:44:17 PM

Written by Larry Bouvier, Vice President of Fuss & O'Neill Manufacturing Solutions.

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Cover Smart. Do Your Part. Slow the Spread

Posted by Mary Hallock on Jun 25, 2020 12:55:15 PM

If you could do one thing to prevent someone from contracting COVID-19, would you? If you could do one thing to help put the economy back on the path to recovery, would you? Well, you can! And, it’s a simple thing to do. Anyone can do it. But a lot of people aren’t.

If it is that easy, why isn’t everyone doing it? Good question. But here is all you have to do – wear a mask. It’s that simple. It doesn’t have to be fancy – a simple cloth face covering can make a big difference.

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10 Points of Concern During a Recession

Posted by Mike Lyle on Jun 12, 2020 3:54:31 PM

While it's impossible to pinpoint the timing of an economic pullback or recession, it is possible to take steps to help protect your business during such an event, as well as create ongoing resilience and prepare for the upswing!

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Common Themes from Employee Engagement Pulse Surveys to Guide Leaders as Employees Return to Work

Posted by Ashley Beaudoin on Jun 9, 2020 10:58:43 AM

This article is co-authored by Ashley Beaudoin and Lisa Kenney.

COVID-19 continues to disrupt organizations worldwide and uncertainty remains at an all-time high as leaders and members of the workforce begin to rebuild the new normal.

As companies transition back to normalcy, it is important for leaders to gain insight from employees to make sure the workplace and company culture return to a place of stability as quickly as possible.

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Trim-Tex Team Takes on Six Sigma Green Belt Training

Posted by IMEC on Jun 3, 2020 1:46:47 PM

This is an original article, written by Trim Tex.

The story of every successful manufacturer is one of nonstop self-improvement. What may have been an effective process five or 10 or 20 years ago — or, for a manufacturer with a history as long as Trim-Tex’s, 50-plus years ago — may no longer be the best road forward. To provide customers with the best possible products and services, sometimes it can take a manufacturer shattering its own status quo. And sometimes that may take a little extra education. This is exactly what some folks here at Trim-Tex are doing, by enlisting in Six Sigma “Green Belt” certification training.

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