Blog posts from May, 2015

Students: The Future of Manufacturing

May 22, 2015 by MAGNET Ohio

How many career options promise reduced college debt, above-average salary, high-tech facilities, and a wide societal impact? Careers in manufacturing provide opportunities for engaging, rewarding, and far-reaching work. One of the biggest challenges in the manufacturing world today is conveying the benefits of manufacturing jobs to current students – a message necessary for increasing interest and closing the skills gap in the manufacturing sector. As a partner of Ohio Dream It. Do It., MAGNET works to connect current manufacturers and educators with students interested in the manufacturing field, with the goal of engaging and inspiring the next generation. A great example of MAGNET’s work was showcased at the National Robotics League’s recent competition on May 15th-16th at Baldwin Wallace University. In this competition, Beaumont School tied for first place in the "Best Engineered Robot" competition. What does this have to do with our work? In the process of designing their robot, the Beaumont robotics team needed guidance and access to manufacturing parts. The team reached out to us, and we in turn introduced the team to Talan Products. Talan, a metal stamping and manufacturing company, mentored and supported the team as it developed its robot. The resulting product, needless to

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Ideation: A Beginner's Manual

May 18, 2015 by MAGNET Ohio

You have a company that’s experienced some success, but you feel you need more. You want to excel in innovation, but lack the resources to do so or have trouble determining a starting point. We understand these challenges firsthand - and we can assist you in reaching your goals of gain and growth. Before settling into the ideation process, a company must examine its potential in three categories: growth market, mature market, and declining market. These phases determine what can be done to enhance product leadership, customer relations, and existing products. Innovation in these core areas can maximize profits in both the top and bottom line, which is important for all manufacturers, regardless of size. At a recent MAGNET event, many companies voiced struggles in these areas, expressing challenges in increasing profits, improving client relationships, and modifying existing products. If you have experienced such challenges, MAGNET is here to provide you with the strategic tools necessary for achieving newfound growth. One of these is ideation, a systematic approach to the creation and use of new concepts and ideas. As part of the lengthy process of innovation engineering, ideation serves as a structure for solving conflicts in the realms of design,

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In Manufacturing, Emphasize the "Why"

May 08, 2015 by MAGNET Ohio

Innovation can be defined several ways. It’s the cornerstone of developing top and bottom lines; it’s the process of doing new and inventive things through market, workforce, and more. There’s room for innovation in every aspect of your organization - and it is your responsibility to use this vital tool for growth. True innovation requires more than standard problem solving. It is inherently proactive, a habitual practice that should be incorporated into your company’s core value system. Leaders should urge their employees to set aside time for brainstorming and developing ideas, thereby harnessing creativity to enhance the workplace. Investing in innovation is investing in organizational growth. For those who don’t know how to start the journey to innovation, begin with "why". Why do you do what you do, and what purpose does your organization have? If you went out of business tomorrow, what would happen to your industry? The importance of these questions cannot be understated, as they provide employees with a common goal and inspire commitment to success in the workplace. At a recent event, MAGNET asked manufacturers how well they thought their organization’s "why" was articulated, the driving force behind their actions and decisions. The numbers blew us

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MAGNET Announces New CEO, Ethan Karp

May 05, 2015 by MAGNET Ohio

The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) announced Monday, May 4 that they have selected a new Chief Executive Officer to replace Dan Berry, who is retiring in June. Dr. Ethan Karp, currently serving as the organization’s Vice President of Client Services and Marketing, will assume the CEO role starting May 15, 2015. "We tremendously appreciate how Dan has positioned MAGNET for increased social and economic impact over the last five years. Built on new investments in staff as well as a wealth of deep partnerships like those with WIRE-Net and Jumpstart, we fully believe that Ethan will take MAGNET to new heights," said Felix Brueck, Chairman of the MAGNET Board and former McKinsey Director. "Since Dan announced his retirement in February, the Board has actively interviewed potential candidates for his replacement. While there were many qualified candidates, none had the business acumen, technical know-how, ability to build partnerships and teams, and clear vision for MAGNET that Ethan brings." Dan has been given the title of President Emeritus and will join MAGNET’s Board of Directors while continuing to consult with MAGNET. "We are fully confident that Ethan will continue to lead MAGNET by increasing the organization’s impact on Northeast Ohio’s

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Alfe, Jergens, and Animal Oralectrics Find Success in Innovation and Ideation

May 01, 2015 by MAGNET Ohio

Ideation and innovation are more than buzzwords- they are core concepts that are integral to organizational growth. As such, they are tools we utilize every day at MAGNET. As a strategic approach to solving problems, ideation is more than just brainstorming. In fact, our engineers, growth advisors, and experts at MAGNET use a strategic four-step process: define, discover, develop, and deliver. A company must begin with the "define" stage, where it clearly states needs, product audience, organizational strengths and other relevant factors. A research based phase, the define phase is used primarily to solve root problems before development begins. The discovery and ideation stages play an essential role in seeing a product from concept to completion. Initial designs and mechanics are generated, risk analyses are performed, and stimulus mining takes place, leading to a developed idea. This idea can then be guided through industrial design and development as well as rapid prototyping, market testing/feedback, quality systems, and supply chain. After necessary touches have been added and all logistics have been finalized, the product is ready to be delivered. Much of the work during this stage is reflective of sales needs, launch capacity, and promotional channels, all of which are determined

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