Manufacturing study identifies strategies for success
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Indiana's Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a part of Purdue University's Technical Assistance Program, and the American Small Manufacturers Coalition have released a study that suggests manufacturers focus on six strategies as keys to success going forward.
The 2011 Next Generation Manufacturing (NGM) Study of 800 U.S. manufacturers found that nearly six of 10 could have a new leader in the next five years, presenting the opportunity for manufacturers to solidify leadership and direction for years to come. The number is a 5 percent increase from the first study in 2009.
Nearly 60 percent of the manufacturers said sustainability is important or highly important to their future, up from 35 percent in 2009. Many are responding to customer demands for greener products, while others recognize cost-control opportunities such as reduced energy consumption and the reuse of materials.
The six strategies for improvement are customer-focused innovation; a system for recruiting, developing and retaining talented employees; annual productivity and quality gains that exceed competition; supply-chain management and collaboration; sustainability; and global engagement.
'The six strategic areas assessed in the NGM Study can help Indiana manufacturers thrive in the next generation," said Dave Snow, Indiana MEP director. "MEP is available to help small manufacturers identify strategic development priorities and overcome challenges within their operations. That will be key to the manufacturers' future growth and contribution to Indiana's economy as well as the nation's."
A majority of U.S. manufacturers surveyed said they look for outside help in a range of areas, such as regulatory compliance and business development.
Furniture maker Smith Brothers of Berne partnered with Purdue TAP in early 2009 to examine how to cut costs. Some changes were small: a mandate that all lights and equipment be shut off when not in use. Others were large: creation of a company-wide sustainability team. The result: Smith Brothers saved an estimated $35,000 in the first year.
'With the help of Purdue's Green Enterprise Development Program, we learned how to package our energy and waste costs into a single measurement tool," said Melissa Fey, Smith Brothers sustainability facilitator. "Now when we develop a new chair or sofa, we examine how to use less material. Many of our customers are impressed that our company is making such a commitment to improve the environment."
More information on the NMG Study can be found at http://www.smallmanufacturers.org/2011NGMStudy
More information on Indiana MEP is available at http://www.mep.purdue.edu/
Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, email@example.com
Source: Dave Snow, 317-275-6811, firstname.lastname@example.org