Monday, August 27, 2012

Diversify Your Customer Base with Process Improvements and New Market Strategies

During the economic downturn, many manufacturers sought to reduce production costs, eliminate waste and increase lead times. While these initiatives are important, it’s also critical for Michigan’s small and medium sized manufacturers to identify new market opportunities and grow sales. In today’s market, innovation is the key to manufacturing success.

Omega Plastics
Michigan manufacturer Omega Plastics is an example of how innovation and production efficiencies can create impressive bottom-line results. Innovation has always been a driving force for Omega Plastics, a world leader in tooling and injection molding solutions for prototype and low-volume production applications. 

In recent years, the automotive industry had become very volatile and constant pressure to cut prices left little appeal for the manufacturer. In 2002, about 90% of the company’s customer base belonged in the automotive industry, and the owners of the company searched for ways to increase innovation and find new niches in diversified industries.

In 2007, Omega Plastics began working with MMTC. A new strategic plan was developed through MMTC’s Leadership-in-Action Innovative Strategic Planning. The plan included a focus on more profitable market opportunities, including medical devices and consumer packaging.

Streamlining of tool production and the adoption of lean manufacturing principles were also implemented at Omega Plastics with MMTC’s assistance. Product variations were addressed with the adoption of lean manufacturing principles and six sigma problem solving techniques. Kaizen events pinpointed waste on the office and on the shop floor.

MMTC helped Omega Plastics get on track and stay there. Omega Plastics is now a world leader in tooling and injection molding solutions for a variety of industries. The industries that they serve include medical (65%), consumer packaging (10-12%), automotive (12-15%) and security and safety products (8%). They have experienced nearly 200% growth since 2007.

To start improving growth strategies for your organization, click here to learn how you can get started. Contact MMTC for more on training classes, seminars or more information. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

The State of Manufacturing in Michigan

Michigan’s manufacturing sector has bounced back beyond expectations. While presented with numerous challenges during the economic downturn, our state’s resilient manufacturers used innovation to overcome difficulties and lead the way to recovery.

Proud to Manufacture in Michigan
In 2009, manufacturers in Michigan accounted for nearly 16 percent of the state’s total output. The sector employed 12.3 percent of Michigan’s workforce and manufacturing compensation was 74.5 percent higher than other nonfarm employees in the state. Total manufacturing output was $58.2 billion with the motor vehicle sector accounting for $21.6 billion.

After losing 47 percent of its manufacturing workforce between 2000 and 2010 due to economic factors, Michigan’s manufacturers are once again on the path to success. In 2011, the sector gained 26,300 manufacturing jobs. This impressive growth figure is almost 12 percent of all new manufacturing jobs nationwide.  By the end of 2010, manufacturing accounted for 94 percent of Michigan’s exports.

Our industry has also made a positive impact on Michigan’s overall state economy. In 2011, Michigan’s economy experienced 2.3% growth, the 6th highest percentage growth rate in the nation. NewsWeek named Michigan as the number one Best State for Job Growth, with 32% of employers expanding their workforces.

As the nation continues to recover, Michigan’s outlook for manufacturing looks strong. 84 percent of Michigan manufacturers say they anticipate hiring additional workers in 2012. Michigan’s manufacturers also reported that they are more likely to remain in Michigan and expand their businesses in state as opposed to relocating.

It is clear that Michigan manufacturers are resilient, strong and a cut above the rest. If you are one of the great manufacturers in our state, we encourage you to join the Proud to Manufacture in Michigan Program at no cost. For more information about how MMTC can help you become more innovative and competitive, click here to find out more about our services. 

Image by A Look Around Here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hello everyone and welcome to the Proud to Manufacture in Michigan Blog - your manufacturing community resource center!

The Proud to Manufacture in Michigan Blog is dedicated to providing the manufacturing community with important information about manufacturing, innovation, growth, lean and other topics within the industry. In addition, blog entries will provide quick tips on how companies in the state can become more competitive and profitable. This blog will act as a forum to discuss important issues within manufacturing, which is one of the United States’ strongest industries.

Proud to Manufacture in MichiganThe Proud to Manufacture in Michigan Blog is an extension of the newly launched Proud to Manufacture in Michigan program. MMTC wanted to honor the contributions of our state’s manufacturers and launched the Proud to Manufacture in Michigan campaign last year. Manufacturers were invited to display a Proud to Manufacture in Michigan poster in their facilities and the groundwork was set for the first annual Proud to Manufacture in Michigan Conference and Celebration to be held this August 15th and 16th Click here to find out more details about the premiere manufacturing event of the year.

Proud to Manufacture in Michigan will further support our state’s manufacturers by raising awareness of Michigan’s manufacturing community and the products made in our state.

MMTC offers personalized consulting services which are fitted to the needs of clients. MMTC strives to develop more effective business leaders, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for growth and profitability. MMTC operates through a cooperative agreement between the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the Department of Commerce. 

MMTC’s state partner is the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The MEDC is a public-private partnership serving as the state’s marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, tourism, film and digital incentives, arts and cultural grants and overall economic growth. Founded in 1999, MEDC also developed and manages the state’s Pure Michigan brand. 

We’re excited to launch this blog for the manufacturing community. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments and we’ll be sure to address anything you need!