SUPPLY CHAIN CENTER: Why this new IMEC Creation is Important for your Business

Posted by Adrian Garces on Sep 13, 2023 11:06:30 AM


We are thrilled to share the exciting news of the launch of the IMEC innovative Supply Chain Center! In the short time that the center has been alive and active, we have been actively fostering and nurturing meaningful business partnerships between manufacturers and suppliers. The center aims to become a one-stop shop for manufacturers who are in search of an easy-to-use and effective platform designed to find your business new opportunities or suppliers!  

In a time where global supply chain disruptions are increasingly prevalent, the impact on small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) in Illinois must be considered. At IMEC, we aim to address the challenges associated with offshoring production by promoting domestic sourcing as the primary option. Our approach? The center works as an extension of your business; consider it as having extra arms and legs, doing the ground-level work of finding capable avenues of growth in your supply chain by engaging with manufacturers around the clock. This allows you to focus on what you do best... running your business! 

No matter how you choose to leverage the Supply Chain Center, read about why this initiative is crucial is taking your company to the next level.  


Why Is This Important for Buyers?  

In the aftermath of transitioning manufacturing operations to a post-pandemic environment, manufacturers find themselves engaged in a race to establish resilient, localized, and diversified supply chains. Several pressing challenges have emerged for manufacturers, including: 

  1. Escalating Transportation Costs: Higher transportation expenses have become a significant concern, impacting manufacturers as they strive to transport goods efficiently and economically. 
  2. Container Shortages and Congestion: Manufacturers are grappling with the scarcity of shipping containers and congestion issues experienced at ports, leading to delays and disruptions in the movement of goods.
  3. Labor Shortages: A persistent issue confronting manufacturers is the scarcity of available labor. This shortage affects critical areas such as trucking, warehousing, and other aspects of the supply chain, resulting in operational delays and inefficiencies. 
  4. Expanding Supply Chain Spread: Manufacturers are contending with the expanding sprawl of their supply chains, characterized by extended networks and intricate dependencies. This growth increases the complexity and vulnerability of the supply chain, necessitating proactive measures to ensure resilience and reliability. 

Considering these crucial factors, it is essential to assess the safety of your supply chain amidst the turmoil that has plagued the global supply chain in recent years. While small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) may initially save money by offshoring their production to foreign countries, the growing frequency of supply chain disruptions poses an imminent threat to their businesses. In such a context, saving a few dollars becomes inconsequential compared to the paramount importance of ensuring security. 

Re-shoring production and streamlining supply chains offers manufacturers significant advantages, including enhanced flexibility and agility to tackle disruptions, reduced transportation costs, improved coordination, and the opportunity to foster closer relationships with nearby suppliers. Establishing trust and transparency with suppliers and business partners is vital to any successful enterprise; and what better foundation for trust-building than collaborating with suppliers within arm's reach who are just a call away and share similar business ethics? 


Why Is This Important for Suppliers?  

For those unaware, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has joined forces with key organizations such as the Departments of Transportation, Energy, and Defense and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Together, they aim to identify business opportunities for small manufacturers nationwide. 

While you can refer to the section above that highlights the significance of this initiative for buyers emphasizing the numerous benefits that accompany domestic sourcing, it is essential to acknowledge that these benefits can only be realized when suppliers actively seize the opportunity and demonstrate their readiness, ability, and eagerness to pursue new business prospects. 

As manufacturers adapt to the post-pandemic reality and consumer demands stabilize, there has never been a more opportune moment to foster growth and scale your business. By doing so, suppliers become an integral part of a robust ecosystem of local manufacturers, contributing to the fortification of the manufacturing sector in Illinois and, ultimately, strengthening our economy. 

With every additional manufacturer willing and able to become a local supplier to those manufacturers on the domestic sourcing market here in Illinois, our local database becomes stronger, fostering easier and faster connections than ever before.  

Aside from the endless business potential here in Illinois for suppliers, we will also be connecting capable manufacturers to MEP’s extensive network of nationwide MEP centers as they, too, look to fill voids in the manufacturer’s supply chain.  


Open Opportunities  

The MEP network, comprised of MEP centers nationwide, is actively seeking suppliers. As part of the network, IMEC takes great pride in facilitating connections between Illinois manufacturers and other prominent entities. Open opportunities abound, including those from the EPA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other esteemed manufacturers and agencies in the United States. 

In addition to linking local suppliers with nationwide openings, we ensure that the requests from buyers (project submitters) are posted on our dynamic list, which is updated every Monday at 12 p.m. CT and accessible to all. This feature empowers suppliers to roll up their sleeves and proactively explore opportunities to expand their businesses. Furthermore, our web page serves as tangible evidence that buyer requests are not simply received and disregarded; we want manufacturers to know that we are actively listening and committed to showcasing their projects online while diligently vetting potential matches behind the scenes. 



With the scene set, we at IMEC are ready and willing to accept the challenge of creating new and innovative avenues for connecting local manufacturers to suppliers. By clicking the link below, you can fill out a short questionnaire that an IMEC specialist can use to scout potential suppliers in the region or connect your manufacturing capabilities with an open project, ultimately finding your dream partnership. Not only that, but you’ll also have access to many resources that all deal with supply chain optimization.  


Don’t wait; click here to start strengthening your supply chain today! 

Adrian Garces

Written by Adrian Garces

Topics: effective supply chains, manufacturing, supply chain, supply chain connectivity, supply chain optimization, supply chain management

    Subscribe to Email Updates:

    Stay Connected:

    Posts by Category