Friday, January 3, 2014

It’s a New Year: Learn from Yourself and Others

Happy New Year! The ball has dropped, the champagne has been popped and Auld Lang Syne has been sung. We hope you had a safe and enjoyable New Year’s Eve with your family and friends.
happy new year 2014

If you’re a Michigan manufacturer, it’s particularly an exciting time. Our industry is gaining some great momentum, providing new opportunities for businesses to develop and grow. The Institute for Supply Management’s monthly PMI index is widely regarded as the key economic indictor for growth in our field and the last reading for 2013 was 57%. Readings over 50% indicate industry expansion, so this was a great reading. Notably, this was the seventh consecutive month of growth!

While all of 2013 was a great year for expansion, the second half of the year was particularly strong. As Chad Moutray, Chief Economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, pointed out, “the manufacturing PMI measures averaged 56.3 in the second half of 2013, a nice improvement from the 51.5 average seen in the first half of the year.”

The beginning of a new year is always an exciting time. It’s the perfect opportunity to reflect upon your previous successes, and yes, your setbacks, and then set forth an action plan to become better. It’s also critical to gauge what other manufacturers are doing… how are they improving and growing… what can I learn from others in my field?

Learn from Yourself – Benchmarking and Planning

In an earlier blog entry series, we discussed the importance of benchmarking and transformation planning. Simply put, you can’t improve until you gain key insight into how your organization is doing. This extends beyond a review of your expenses and revenues… this about identifying your specific strengths and weaknesses. Learn from yourself by obtaining metrics that will help you develop a strategic plan for growth.

If you’re interested in reading the two-part series: Part 1 and Part 2.

Learn from Others – Success Stories

Manufacturers from around Michigan are increasing efficiencies, expanding their product lines and implementing sustainable business practices. For example, Omega Plastics implemented new production efficiencies and new market strategies to diversify their customer base. The company landed $60,000 in new sales.  

Read success stories about Michigan’s manufacturers and get inspired!

Let’s make 2014 the best year yet!


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

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