Did you know that completing just the first "S" (Sort) of the 5S strategy may double your productivity? As you are thinking about navigating uncertain times and maintaining your productivity and quality levels, 5S can help!
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.”
IMEC is helping to bridge the manufacturing skills gap through an innovative new approach. The recently launched Skills Gap Analysis project is expected to help participating manufacturers plan their future workforce requirements and strengthen their communities. Recognizing the urgent need for a project like this in many Illinois manufacturers, IMEC’s president, Dr. David Boulay explains: “One of the biggest issues for managers in the manufacturing sector today is knowing what knowledge and skills workers will need beyond today’s work. We’ve seen the same series of events occur across many of our client companies: changing customer preferences lead to new products, which then leads to changing the way the work is done.”
It is awe-inspiring to walk into today’s manufacturers and see the efficient and productive way things are made. Yet, even though the United States remains one of the most productive countries, manufacturing productivity has remained flat over the past decade. This should be a major concern. Productivity is a vital foundation for stronger companies, rising standards of living, and vibrant communities.
Imagine the strides your company will make as keep pace with manufacturing technology.
Exciting things are in store for Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) in the coming year! If you haven’t heard already, IMEC recently announced the revolutionary Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher program for SMMs to invest in R&D and technology adoption.
SMMs are vital to the economic well-being of Illinois, and to continue a thriving manufacturing industry in the state, the Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher will lead to a total of $2.5 million in investments to assist with approximately 50 projects in the next year.
This is an original article taken from the NIST Manufacturing Innovation blog.
Productivity matters. It matters a lot. Yet it often seems that folks talk about productivity, but don’t do anything about it. At least, it feels that way to me when I go outside of the MEP National Network™, where we’re always focused on enhancing manufacturing productivity. And you could say that productivity is a personal crusade for me, as is evident in blogs I’ve written over the last few years.