Thursday, July 2, 2015

Celebrate Michigan Manufacturing and American Quality!


celebrate michigan manufacturing this 4th of july
The Fourth of July is right around the corner and, right along with it, is the ushering in of vacation season. With a large embrace, we welcome the summer sun, day trips to the lake, and time with family and friends. But, in addition to the “fun things” associated with Independence Day – BBQs, playing horseshoes, and attending parades – it’s a great time to think about what is important to us as Americans: hard work, our personal liberty, and of course, the dedication of our servicemen and servicewomen.

A History Rich With Manufacturing
While we should always be proud of our great nation, patriotism is especially high as we near the Fourth of July. As a bastion of democracy for more than two centuries, Americans take pride in the economic growth of the United States. And they should! It is important to recognize that manufacturing has been a key part of it every step of the way.

Manufacturers have helped the United States through most of the challenging times confronted as a nation. It was the manufacturing capacity of the United States that proved decisive in World War II. Who can forget the mass production of the Liberty Ships that transported vital supplies across the oceans? Or the vast number of Grant main battle tanks that swept through Europe on its way to liberation? Only America had the manufacturing infrastructure to accomplish such things. The world was a better place because manufacturers played a vital role!

Manufacturing’s Comeback
Although it’s great to hail manufacturing’s place in history, we have reason to cheer by today’s standards because Michigan’s manufacturers know what it’s like to fight back from the brink. After being counted down and out during the recession, we found ways to become more innovative, competitive and efficient. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows manufacturing jobs have grown by 4.5% for the year ending May 31, 2015. We have reason to celebrate as a nation: The U.S. is still a powerhouse of manufacturing, as over 17 million Americans are employed in this sector.

The Re-Shoring Trend
There has been a revival in manufacturing in this country, as many companies begin to “re-shore” its operations. The reason? People are realizing the power of American quality in manufacturing. New off-shoring has declined by over 70% since 2003, while reshoring has increased by over 1,500%.

  • the number of engineering doctorates granted in 2012 was triple the amount granted in the 1970s, and
  • the cost of manufacturing steel was actually 2.1% cheaper in the United States rather than China.

The weakening U.S. dollar against other world currencies makes the United States a more attractive place to manufacture. So for those who predicted the doom of U.S. manufacturing, you may need to eat humble pie. The U.S. may not be able to always compete with foreign competitors in price, but we will always win when it comes to quality… quality that comes to us through perseverance and innovation!

If you are interested in poising your company to play a part in this economic resurgence, MMTC can help. Our experts can help your company be more efficient, sustainable and competitive. For more information, contact us at 888.414.6682 or via email at inquiry@mmtc.org.  


Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.mmtc.org.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Workforce Engagement: How Important Is It To Your Organization?

Workforce engagement can be interpreted as the execution of discretionary effort. It can be seen as a combination of commitment to the organization and its values, plus a willingness to help colleagues. It is important to note it is NOT the same as employee satisfaction. Thirty years of research tells us a satisfied employee is not necessarily a productive one.

Employee Engagement Types
Highly Engaged Employees are truly connected and committed to their organizations. They can be described as “the good soldier” and believe in the organization's goals. They are likely to accomplish more, be involved in continuous improvement, and help out colleagues. Typically, these employees are not looking for a new job.

Moderately Engaged Employees are good employees that come to work every day, are on time, and do a good job. At times they become enthusiastic, but are usually ambivalent. These employees are generally happy and probably not looking for a new job.

Slightly Disengaged Employees come to work and do the job, but that’s about it. They are not interested in helping or improving and come to work because they need a paycheck. They may be looking for a different job.

Highly Disengaged Employees are actively disengaged from their job and their organization. They are dissatisfied with their work and/or the organization. Unfortunately for the employer, they may not be looking for another job. They often feel justified just coming in to work everyday and appearing to work, while they actually do little or nothing at all. Identifying a disengaged employee may be difficult, as casual observations will not necessarily detect them.

Workforce Engagement & Your Business
As an employer, it is important to understand that engagement cannot be taught, required, or be the single reason for discharge. Workforce engagement has a direct effect on an organization’s performance and profitability. Data collected by Gallup and Towers Watson shows how an organization is affected by low and highly engaged employees:


In addition, disengaged employees:

  • Have a direct, negative impact on your bottom line
  • Undermine the productivity of engaged coworkers
  • Cause disruption and dissatisfaction, killing morale
  • Negatively affect customer satisfaction

Look to the Future
Now, more than ever, it is important to find and keep engaged employees. Data collected by MMTC, from hundreds of responses to our workforce engagement survey, tells us employees are looking for things like opportunity, respect, communication, accountability, and security. The future of your organization depends on your ability to provide what your engaged employees are looking for. Are you up to the task?

MMTC Can Help
MMTC uses a three-component model of engagement to describe the active use of cognition, emotion, and behavior to form the underlying foundation for engagement. To learn more about how MMTC can help you build and repair employee engagement, call 888.414.6682 or click here.


Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.mmtc.org.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Become more Marketable with Green Manufacturing


become more marketable with green manufacturing
Kermit the Frog famously says, “It’s not easy being green.” With all do respect to Kermit, it’s easier than you think!
The “green” movement is the sister of sustainability. Sustainability, or green manufacturing, means working within the means of natural ecosystems without causing harm to others or jeopardizing future needs. It also means reducing environmental impact and cultivating renewable resources.
For Michigan’s manufacturers, green manufacturing focuses on using less energy, fewer production materials and less packaging. Waste is inevitable in most production processes, but green manufacturing creates safer waste products which are less harmful to the environment and uses sustainable materials that are renewable and not finite.
The many benefits of green manufacturing can be broken down into two main categories: Business Benefits and Environmental Benefits.
Bottom-line Performance
Heightened awareness of environmental issues is driving demand for green products. Many consumers want products that are produced with green processes. Going green is nice, but not if it hinders your ability to compete in the realities of the marketplace. With the right approach and defined goals, green manufacturing holds potential economic benefits including long-term cost savings and process efficiency improvements. Green manufacturing can also grow your customer base and existing sales.
A variety of lower costs can also be byproducts of green manufacturing. Reduced energy consumption cuts energy bills, which is a sore subject for many manufacturers. Waste removal and storage are often reduced as well. Green compliant companies can also take advantage of various tax credits for federal income tax purposes.
Let’s look ahead to the future! Green manufacturing and sustainability are important issues to younger generations who may look to purchase products from environmentally responsible companies. Many consumers and suppliers feel a personal responsibility to preserve the world. Improved customer loyalty often results from green manufacturing. Green techniques can also be used in marketing campaigns with the goal of attracting segments of the market that were previously untapped.
Environmental Impact
If the manufacturing community focused more on green manufacturing, future generations will most likely benefit from:
      Fewer landfills
      Improved air and water quality
      Use of renewable energy sources
      Reduced impact on the overall environment


MMTC offers onsite consulting and assistance to help you become a green manufacturer. Onsite consulting can range from individual or small group training and mentoring to complete implementation projects throughout the facility.
If you are interested in transitioning your company to green operations, or would like to consult with an expert about your company’s potential, call 888-414-6682 or email inquiry@mmtc.org


Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.mmtc.org.