Blog posts from April, 2011

Symposium focuses on the future of innovation in Ohio

April 26, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

Plain Dealer Business Reporter Robert Schoenberger is covering the two-day high-profile symposium called "Building the Ohio Innovation Economy" which is being held at the InterContinental Cleveland April 25-26, 2011. Here’s an excerpt: "CLEVELAND, Ohio—Ohio’s economic future depends teaching companies how to develop and then build new products here, academic and business leaders said Monday at a symposium to discuss innovation. ‘Being No. 1 in the world in developing new ideas is no longer enough,’ said Sridhar Kota, assistant director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He added that American businesses too often develop the big ideas and then have them built overseas. ‘A lot of product and process innovations come up as you go from idea to product, and we’re losing that.'" MAGNET Board Chairman, James W. Griffith, who is President & CEO of Timken Co., also addressed the Symposium attendees. "‘I am a believer that we can change this trend’ of lost manufacturing jobs, said James Griffith, president and chief executive of Canton-based steel and bearings company Timken. ‘I am a believer because we’ve done this at Timken.'" Read the complete article "Symposium focuses on the future of innovation in Ohio," by Robert Schoenberger, Cleveland

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Freshwater Cleveland profiles MAGNET President & CEO

April 21, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

In this week’s issue of the online magazine, Freshwater Cleveland, MAGNET’s president and CEO, Dan Berry talks with reporter Gene Monteith about the current state of manufacturing in Northern Ohio. "When it comes to adapting to today’s marketplace, the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network — aka MAGNET — is a manufacturer’s best friend. The Cleveland-based organization helps companies uncover new products, new markets, and new opportunities for growth. As one of Ohio’s Edison Technology Centers, MAGNET is tasked with creating jobs and promoting the growth of both established and early-stage manufacturers and technology companies. Gene Monteith spoke with MAGNET’s president and CEO Daniel E. Berry about how manufacturing is faring these days." Check out the complete feature article!

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April 2011 MAGNET Insider available now

April 18, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

This month’s issue of MAGNET Insider is available now. A very busy conference season coming up for manufacturers in Northern Ohio, with lots of opportunities to learn about growing new markets. Be sure to scroll down to "Save the Date" for advance notice of four important meetings through September.

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Continuous Improvement Part 2: It Starts with the Customer

April 14, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

For Continuous Improvement to be effective and sustainable, it requires a systems approach involving the entire organization. Management should guide the organization in four fundamental areas to ensure success: 1. Purpose – maximizing customer value 2. Process – continually improving speed and defects for factory and office 3. People – involving people in improving the process, providing knowledge and tools 4. Sustainable culture – encouraging change, communicating success and results The purpose of Continuous Improvement is to maximize customer value, by understanding and solving the customer’s needs and problems.  Watch this clip from Lean expert Jim Womack: "It’s about solving customer problems with fewer resources, solving more customer problems, growing the business …" — Jim Womack. But, how can we know our customer’s needs and problems? One approach is to track customer complaints and dissatisfaction. Although this approach may give a short term impact, the absence of complaints or problems does not necessarily mean the customer is satisfied. Another shortcoming of this approach is that it is reactive and action is not taken until after the problems occur. To understand the customer’s true needs and wants, it is important to proactively listen, identify alternatives, implement solutions and receive feedback on

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In order to engage youth, we need to come together

April 12, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

In Brig. Gen. Robert E. Mansfield Jr.’s blog, Exciting American Youth About Manufacturing: Maybe it’s time to think about a ‘Future Manufacturers of America’ organization from March 31, 2011 he states the obvious point that "In order to excite the youth of America about manufacturing in the modern age, we need to raise the awareness of the youth."  No one argues this and everyone in the industry sees it as a need. However, his next point and one that I have continued to make myself is, that despite the many good programs across the country that attempt to address the awareness and image issues as well as the curricular ones, including MAGNET’s own Dream It. Do It. Program, the problem remains that the programs that exist are not well coordinated.  What we end up with and what we have today are pockets of excellence and hope.  Programs that reach a few, when we need them to reach many, duplicative services and overlap and at the same time gaps and areas that go unaddressed. We need local, state and national organizations that are currently competing for financial resources and employer buy-in, in a time where both are limited to collaborate and

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