Lean manufacturing uses many lean tools to improve production and efficiency by getting the most out of each resource. The goal of lean manufacturing is to find better ways to do things – requiring less effort, less time, and fewer resources.
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.
What is the post-Covid 19 workplace going to look like? How will companies thrive? In some ways, it could be a very different world from as recently as 2019; or it could be more of the same as the past decade or two. Or the past century. The march of productivity has been going on for a very long time.
In times of uncertainty, it is best to focus on the things we can control. So as organizations face a slowdown in incoming orders or employee absenteeism, now is the time to address those nagging equipment issues. Companies can stay productive and have confidence that when things get back to normal, they will be ready since they’ve used this time to complete equipment overhauls / preventative maintenance projects. As with any project, following a structured procedure is key. Follow the steps below to ensure an efficient and productive project.
During this time, we need to be more alert than ever. In many cases, the demand from our work has increased, our families continue to need our love and support, and we as individuals need to make sure that we are mentally focused.
During these days of rapid change and long isolation, it is easy to lose sight of the organization's longer-term needs. Now is a good time to slow down and assess your organization’s strengths and challenges so that when we do return to a new normal, you’ll be able to upscale quickly with employees who are clear about and committed to your mission and vision.
This is an original article by Scott Rempala, President of Mighty Hook and member of IMEC's Board of Directors.
It’s fashionable these days to promote corporate culture as a means to ensure long-term business growth. Promoting is one thing, but making culture a priority requires a systematic approach that permeates everything a business does. We refer to our systematic approach as PTP—Process, Training, and People.
Manufacturers across the state are taking advantage of IMEC’s Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher program! Just last November, IMEC announced a leading-edge economic development program to help small and medium-sized manufacturers accelerate technology adoption in their products and processes. Awarding up to $25,000 in matching funds, Illinois manufacturers can obtain external technical assistance to solve technology adoption challenges.
This article is contributed by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Exporting opens a literal world of opportunity for Illinois manufacturers as 95% of global consumers are outside of the United States. Despite this fact, only 1% of America’s small businesses are active exporters.
“The idea of selling products outside of the U.S. can be daunting for many companies that may have negative perceptions about foreign market opportunities, the export process, and funding resources,” said Margo Markopoulos, Director of the Illinois Office of Trade & Investment. “Fortunately, the State of Illinois has a robust international trade network that companies can tap into for confidential, customized, and complimentary services created to help Illinois manufacturers successfully promote and sell their products overseas.”