Are you a manufacturer that: Has ideas for new products or innovative processes that could deliver double-digit growth? Needs help in developing and realizing your growth potential? Is ready to work closely with experts through the entire commercialization process, from vetting to launch? Wants to be "Meaningfully Unique" in a commodity world? If your answer to all these questions is "Yes," we at MAGNET want to reach out to you. This year, MAGNET is formally launching a comprehensive new program called Partnership for Regional Innovation Services to Manufacturers (PRISM). This is a long name for a program with a simple purpose: help small- to medium-size manufacturers in Northeast Ohio thrive in today’s global marketplace. PRISM is a new business model and natural evolution of MAGNET’s original mandate. The concept is simple: Help manufacturers realize their growth plans faster, cheaper, and with less risk while creating a continuous flow from innovation thru launch. With PRISM, participating manufacturers will be able to leverage all Northeast Ohio’s many regional assets to create sustained manufacturing growth for Ohio. PRISM clients will have easy access to MAGNET’s well-documented 4-D innovation process, an entire network of partners, including economic development organizations, government agencies, universities, service providers
That’s Personal Board of Directors, of course. Well before the entrepreneurs I coach require a Board for the companies they are creating, even before the Board of Advisers they pull together to help build their company, it can be helpful to have a Personal Board of Directors. This is a concept that isn’t limited to entrepreneurs, either. Just about anyone trying to make a change in their life can benefit. When I talk with entrepreneurs about creating a Advisory Board for their start-up, we generally talk about three roles: people who can have money to invest, people whose skills can add value to the start-up, and people who can bring potential customers into the fold. A PBoD is a bit different and doing a quick search on the topic pointed me to this article on the Fast Company website. When putting together a PBoD, look for: 4 to 6 people you think you could learn from a Clarifier who asks tough questions a Connector who leads you to other people a Challenger who helps you act boldly a Wise Elder or Sage a couple "free agents" For more suggestions on how to take advantage of a PBoD, click over
Pittsburgh, June 24, 2011—Today, at Carnegie Mellon University, President Obama launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), a national effort bringing together industry, universities, and the federal government to invest in the emerging technologies that will create high quality manufacturing jobs and enhance our global competitiveness. Investing in technologies, such as information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, will support the creation of good jobs by helping U.S. manufacturers reduce costs, improve quality, and accelerate product development. The President’s plan, which leverages existing programs and proposals, will invest more than $500 million to jumpstart this effort. "Today, I’m calling for all of us to come together- private sector industry, universities, and the government- to spark a renaissance in American manufacturing and help our manufacturers develop the cutting-edge tools they need to compete with anyone in the world," said President Obama. "With these key investments, we can ensure that the United States remains a nation that ‘invents it here and manufactures it here’ and creates high-quality, good paying jobs for American workers." (Read more…) Related documents: White House Press Release: President Obama Launches Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, June 24, 2011 Full text of the President’s June 24, 2011 remarks in Pittsburgh Archived video of the President’s
On May 4, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published a feature on the launch of PRISM, the Partnership for Regional Innovation Services to Manufacturers. The partnership is being led by MAGNET and is supported by several other economic development groups. PRISM will help Northeast Ohio manufacturers identify the help that they need to grow as well as give them access to the organizations and information that they need to achieve their business goals. Read it online: Connecting Northeast Ohio manufacturers to their future, by Greg Krizman, Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 4, 2011.
As your company prepares to diversify into an adjacent market of its current business—or, as it prepares to adapt existing products or services to enter a brand new market—be sure to take a long, hard look at your company’s organizational strengths and weaknesses. Here are several important questions to ask before you take that leap: How do you go to market right now? What are the expectations of your new market as to how you reach them? What is your current manufacturing capacity? If you hit a home run in your new market will you be able to keep up with the additional volume? Do you have a robust and effective Quality Management System in place now? The answers to these questions, especially the last one, may well be critical to your success in a new market. Look carefully before you leap Recently, an Ohio manufacturer saw an opportunity to diversify its customer base by expanding from its traditional industrial users to specialty users. The company’s managers carefully researched the new target market. After identifying the key players, they decided to hire salesmen from their target competitors to help them succeed in the new market. Despite this advance preparation, when they
I recently attended the NorTech Innovation Awards and it was exciting to see all of the great technologies coming out of Northeast Ohio and the products that are able to solve important problems because of those technologies. This event highlights the important role that technology can play in innovation. But it’s important to note that innovation does not always require the latest technology, even in manufacturing where technology and engineering play such a key role. Some manufacturers offer maintenance services for their products. Others offer a unique industrial designs. These are just a couple of examples of opportunities for manufacturers to differentiate their business without adopting or developing brand new technology. I appreciate these kinds of innovations as much as those based on the advancement of technology, because they both accomplish the same thing—creating value for customers. I’d love to hear about your company’s experience with innovation for growth. Comment below or send me an e-mail. We are very interested to find out what is working for companies in today’s new economic reality. And I look forward to learning about more innovations in manufacturing by regional and local companies at the 2011 MANNY Awards, co-sponsored by Inside Business magazine and
Today I toured a manufacturing facility that is on a solid growth trajectory. The company has hired twenty people in the last quarter without any difficulty. People are anxious to get back to work. The plant manager has been feeling very confident about the economy since the 3rd quarter of last year. In the meantime, the stock market has rebounded—although lately it’s been a roller coaster. The unemployment rate is coming down. Meanwhile, the price of gasoline is higher every day. Some folks anticipate a widespread but weak recovery. While others are bracing themselves for a double dip recession. I’m with the group that’s envisioning a widespread, if sluggish, recovery. What indicators are you tracking? Are you hunkered down for a double dip or betting on the recovery? Comment below or email me at email@example.com. We’re interested to hear how this recovery is affecting your manufacturing company!
The Toledo Blade announced today that Toledo’s deputy mayor, Dean Monske, is leaving that post to take over as president of the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP). RGP is a private-sector funded economic development company focused on growing opportunities for companies in the Northwest Ohio region. Being new to MAGNET (I joined the staff as of the first of the year), I’ve learned in a very short time that there is a veritable alphabet soup of organizations, like the RGP, MAGNET and others that exist to help manufacturers. Before joining MAGNET I spent 22 years in positions at various manufacturers. I suspect that, just like me only a couple of months ago, most people in manufacturing are too busy getting parts out the door to even be aware of, let alone make time to investigate all of the resources that are available. MAGNET exists to help manufacturers in Northern Ohio improve, grow and transform their business. Let us know what’s holding you back and we’ll help you identify the right resource, whether that’s MAGNET or one of our partner organizations. If we don’t have the answer, we’ll introduce you to someone who does. Comment below or e-mail me. We’re always interested
Northeast Ohio manufacturers looking to enter growing new markets should mark the mornings of March 22 and March 29 on their calendars. Why? To attend either of the launch sessions of the New Markets Initiative, a joint project of MAGNET and WIRE-Net, that will introduce manufacturers to expanding markets and position them to become part of those supply chains. More detailed information to come. In the meantime, sign up for one of the two launch events today!