Friday, April 21, 2017

Proud to Manufacture in Michigan?

Yes We Are!


By: Michael McGray

For decades, Michigan’s manufacturers have played a vital role in our state’s economic development. In 2012, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) wanted to honor the diverse contributions of our state’s manufacturers by starting a Proud to Manufacture in Michigan (PTMIM) campaign. Participating manufacturers were invited to display a Proud to Manufacture poster in their facilities and received a complimentary profile page in a special directory. Due to the positive response to the campaign, the official Proud to Manufacture in Michigan program was launched soon after.

Today, with nearly 650 members, the PTMIM program has become a valuable resource for Michigan manufacturers to network with other companies that support or provide services to manufacturers. Besides the added exposure, PTMIM members can gain access to critical information that pertains to the manufacturing community including: cybersecurity preparedness, ISO standards, technology trends, lean principles and more. In every aspect, the goal is to continue to raise awareness of Michigan’s vibrant manufacturing community and the full range of products made in our state.

All members receive an official “Proud to Manufacture in Michigan” certificate and poster to display in their facilities and the program logo to exhibit on their websites. Through generous support of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, PTMIM membership and benefits are free.

PTMIM dedicates a section of its website to an online directory for manufacturers and their products. State manufacturers can sign up for free to get a company profile page where they can share their logo, description, contact information, company news and pictures or videos of their products. Both the general public and businesses looking for suppliers can use this helpful directory to research Michigan-made products and support our state’s economy. A special “Featured Manufacturer of the Week” is highlighted on the website and social media sites.

The LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter platforms allow followers to conveniently interact, ask questions and stay current with industry news. The PTMIM program recently launched a blog on its website to invite subscribers to support the objectives of the program by sharing their expertise and establishing themselves as subject matter experts.

PTMIM also partners with meaningful groups such as The Shop Rat Foundation—a non-profit organization whose mission is to ignite interest in manufacturing careers among youth. Plus, PTMIM advocates for volunteer opportunities such as mentoring. Initiatives like these help the next generation learn about the numerous manufacturing opportunities in Michigan.

Are You Proud to Manufacture in the Great Lakes State? 
Join Proud to Manufacture in Michigan today! Click here.


In other PTMIM news, The Center is pleased to host the following event in May:

Proud to Manufacture in Michigan “Makers Mingle”

In celebration of Michigan manufacturing, PTMIM members will attend an expert-led event focused on manufacturing resources, upcoming industry trends and requirements that may impact business. Special guest and member, Christie Wong Barrett from the Mac Arthur Corporation, will be among the speakers.

Friday, May 12, 2017
9 AM – NOON
The Center
45501 Helm St.
Plymouth, MI

For more information, click here.

Meet Our Expert

Michael McGray
Information Systems Manager


Michael McGray is a founding member of Proud to Manufacture in Michigan and currently serves as its Program Director. He has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry. Since 2011, Michael has been The Center’s Information Systems Manager. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Eastern Michigan University.








Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Help Wanted: Millennial Manufacturers

How to Recruit Top Talent


By: Russ Mason



With its aging demographic, the U.S. manufacturing sector will have more than three million jobs available by 2025. According to Forbes, millennials are projected to make up 50% of the U.S. workforce by 2020. However, nearly two million of these positions will go unfilled—due to the existing skills gap and the prevailing perception about manufacturing careers. In order to tackle this pressing issue, manufacturers must identify millennials who can successfully work in manufacturing and ignite a desire in these young minds to work in the field.

The good news is that most millennials are willing to learn; they just need the interest, knowledge and opportunity to effectively engage in manufacturing duties. Here are three key ways for manufacturers to attract millennials:

Education – Many manufacturers have been utilizing multiple learning platforms, open online courses, training programs, and hands-on opportunities in order to lure talent with extensive technical skills. Companies also have been leveraging apprenticeships so participants can gain firsthand experience about the work life of a manufacturer. 

A recent program provided by the Hudson Valley Technology Development Center encouraged students from the State University of New York at New Paltz to intern at a manufacturing facility. The students were able to witness all aspects of manufacturing and gain additional technical skills through valuable real world training. The strategic partnership between the university and HVTDC has successfully filled numerous manufacturing positions—all with millennials. 

Recruitment – So, how did some of these manufacturing companies turn learning programs into internships which segued into full-time positions? Manufacturers must understand millennials, their values, needs and goals and consider them when they define and frame job opportunities. The typical millennial is interested in:

Working for a winning organization
Quality of life
Positive impact on society
Future growth, education and financial worth

Most millennials want an opportunity for personal development, the ability to make impactful decisions and work for a high-performing, collaborative company. Most importantly, they want to make a difference. Therefore, manufacturers must offer short-term and long-term opportunities for the millennial. This typically would include elements of capability development (education, training, and mentoring) coupled with a collaborative environment that encourages participation.

Because all manufacturers are in similar situations, they must offer something that differentiates themselves from others. Manufacturers must offer opportunities that specifically reflect what matters to millennials, e.g.:

Pride in their organization (vision, performance, culture, workplace)
Work that makes the most of their skills (current or future), and provides the resources, 
  information, authority and training necessary to perform at their best
Opportunity to work in teams, voice opinions and be recognized
Family work environment
Flexibility – clear instructions, concrete targets, but leave the where and how open to them

Improving the Image of Manufacturing – The hardest aspect of recruiting is perception. When millennials think of a career in manufacturing, the immediate image that comes to mind is one of hazard, dirt and hard labor. Manufacturing companies must actively strive to erase this image and replace it with one of innovation and accomplishment. Manufacturers can make the job position more attractive through the following efforts:

Be prepared to describe what a career with your manufacturing company can offer
Do a better job of telling your story
            - Raise the image of manufacturing by describing technology trends and innovation 
              demands
            - Ensure your brand, and your message, is one of a high-performing company that 
              has a clear vision, constructive culture and an effective leadership team
Be involved in the community
Improve the organization and cleanliness of your workplace

For those of us in the manufacturing space—we are all change agents. Do your part to help dispel myths. Raise awareness about career opportunities. Start a discussion about how state-of-the-art equipment has reinvented the typical work space. Together, we can bridge the manufacturing gap.


Meet Our Expert

Russ Mason
Lean Program Manager


Russ is a Lean Program Manager for The Center’s Business Solutions Team. His areas of expertise include: change leadership and management development, sales and operations planning, management operating systems and supply chain effectiveness. Russ has more than 18 years of broad-based consulting and 16 years of manufacturing experience in a variety of industries and functional levels. He has held senior level management positions in operations, materials, quality and more. To read Russ’s full bio, click here.





Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Five Memorable Phrases to Sustain 5S

By: Chuck Werner


As a manufacturer, you should be keenly aware of the importance of 5S methodology for improving workplace performance through standardization. The ultimate goal of any 5S initiative is the successful implementation of the fifth step, SUSTAIN. To ensure this, it's critical that the actions in the first four steps (SORT through STANDARDIZE) are aligned with maintaining the gains.

Here are five quotations (one for each of the steps) to remember throughout the 5S process:

SORT – “DO YOUR HOMEWORK!”

This timeless saying is attributed to the first parent who EVER had a child with homework. The important part here is for the team to do their homework about their designated area. This will help ensure that the purpose, mission and goals are clearly understood.

An effective first step paves the way for the entire activity to succeed. Without it, many mistakes likely will be made during the sorting process since necessary items will be removed, and items that are not maintained properly might be misused.

SET IN ORDER – “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?”

This phrase was first uttered by Paul Marcarelli in a Verizon commercial back in 2002. It’s a great reminder that setting up an area during a 5S event is an interactive process. In order for team members to be the most productive in their work environment, they need to be asked on a regular basis about what works best for them. Otherwise, the area will immediately begin to morph back into its original setup, since team needs were not taken into account.

SHINE – “WHAT YOU ACCEPT IS WHAT YOU TEACH”

A key point, and title of the 2006 book by Michael Cohen, this saying perfectly calls out one of the mistakes often made during the SHINE step in 5S. Quite often, the team is so busy removing the dirt, grime and other contaminants from the work area that they forget to identify the sources of them. Tool changes, equipment condition, maintenance activities, material drop off and pick up, and many other activities can contribute to the area falling below the standard. If these other sources of general disarray are not considered, the area teams will lose motivation quickly since they will see themselves as maids, not as area owners.

STANDARDIZE – “K.I.S.S. (KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID)”

First used in training by the United States Navy in the 1960s, this phrase summarizes the key criteria needed to standardize during a 5S implementation. The most brilliant plan—if complex, time-consuming, and onerous—is doomed to failure before it even starts. Keep standards visual, expectations achievable and audits simple and timely.

SUSTAIN – “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”

This quote from the 1996 movie, “Jerry Maguire,” reminds us that people are more likely to buy into what they see as having value to them. As two of the main characters learn, there are some things that may not seem to have great worth in the beginning, but turn out to be of the utmost importance and value later. In the end, this idea is what sustaining is all about; helping the area teams achieve a level of workplace standardization that creates an environment that is safe and more enjoyable, a job that is made easier by the benefits of 5S and the level of ownership necessary to sustain it.

Your business needs 5S structure to perform at its peak. Future success can hang by a thread when required and established standards are not met and maintained. The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) can help your manufacturing facility work more efficiently and drive growth. To gain a better understanding about our full range of consulting services, click here or email at cwerner@the-center.org.


Meet Our Expert

Chuck Werner
Lean Program Manager and Six Sigma Master Black Belt

Chuck Werner has 27 years of experience in manufacturing, most of it as a Tier I automotive supplier. He achieved his certification as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt in 1996 and his Master Black Belt certification in 2011. Additionally, Chuck is a certified ISO/QS9000 Lead Assessor, Training Within Industry (TWI) Master Trainer and is certified in OSHA Compliance and Accident Reduction. To read his full bio, click here.







Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Developing a Strategic Plan: How to Avoid Common Stumbling Blocks

By: George Singos


You’ve made the decision to write a strategic plan. You’ve assembled your team, invested the time, done the analyses and have a document in the works. Congratulations! You’re on your way to vaulting your business ahead of the competition.

Even with the best of intentions, obstacles can still arise. Here are seven common stumbling blocks to watch out for—and the steps to take to correct (or avoid) them:

Stumbling Block #1: The wrong view of where you are today.

Corrective Step #1: Make sure you perform both external and internal audits to get a complete picture of the competitive market and your true place in it, as well as your real—not perceived—strengths. Let numbers be your guide.

Stumbling Block #2: Strategies that don’t align with objectives.

Corrective Step #2: Make sure your strategies serve your goals. For example, it’s not enough that your production team wants new equipment to increase capacity—it only counts if your goal is to increase capacity.

Stumbling Block #3: Lack of accountability.

Corrective Step #3: Check your team members. Is every one of them prepared to take responsibility for their sector? Are all areas represented? If there’s a department or division that is going to be responsible for executing strategy against an objective, there must be a contributing member on the team prepared to be vested with this knowledge and responsibility.

Stumbling Block #4: Goals that can’t be measured or quantified.

Corrective Step #4: Every goal, every strategy in support of an objective, needs to have a number by it—even if it isn’t one that is considered quantifiable. Figure out the appropriate, measurable unit for each objective, and then devise a test for it, if necessary.

Stumbling Block #5: Strategies that don’t work across divisions or departments.

Corrective Step # 5: Construct your goals so departments work with, not against, each other. For example, if your strategy is to increase capacity for engineering to upgrade systems, but the purchasing department’s goal is to avoid incurring new expenses, the divisions have been set with cross-purposes.

Stumbling Block #6: The blame game.

Corrective Step #6: No business owner or manager wants to hear, “We couldn’t get it accomplished because they fell behind.” Sometimes, this can be avoided by carefully constructing strategies across departments to reach concrete goals. Quite often, departments that depend on each other to attain certain objectives will have to develop smaller, finite cross-departmental plans to make the larger objective attainable. Remember, they should be developed early on.

Stumbling Block #7: Not using your road map.

Corrective Step #7: What’s the most important thing about your strategic plan? It’s usable! Your strategic plan should begin to look like a well used road map. Chart your progress against it, measure your goals and revise when necessary. The last place your strategic plan needs to be is in a binder on a shelf. Schedule group reviews at least quarterly to see if all responsible and accountable team members are on the same page.

By being aware of these common challenges, and creating tactics that avoid or overcome them, you’ve given your strategic plan much higher odds of succeeding. For help in designing a plan that will move your business forward, contact gsingos@the-center.org.

In other news:

The Center is pleased to host the following business operations event in April:

EXPLORE: Enhancing Business Operations

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
8:30 AM – 10:30 AM
45501 Helm St.
Plymouth, MI

For more information, or to register, click here.


Meet Our Expert

George Singos
Business Leader Advisor

George Singos is a Business Leader Advisor for The Center. He has more than 30 years of manufacturing experience in various capacities. For the past 20 years he has focused on sales and marketing management both domestically and internationally.

To read George’s full bio, visit click here.







Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org.

Friday, March 24, 2017

On the Go with Gregg Peterson . . .

Lessons in Lightweight Materials


By: Gregg Peterson


My name is Gregg Peterson, and I’m on a mission to inspire the usage of lightweight materials as I assist U.S.-based SMEs. What drives this passion? I’ve devoted my career to the advancement of the technology and have repeatedly witnessed its benefits—from long-term cost savings to major reductions in fuel consumption.

As the industry evolves, my enthusiasm for educating and mentoring the next generation of engineering pioneers escalates. Part of this process includes speaking to the talented SAE-sponsored university racing teams. Join me on my journey to help propel lightweight innovation. Let’s go . . .

Inspiring Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) University Chapters

The Center supports the SAE University lecture series which highlights the many challenges of meeting the 2025 emission and fuel economy requirements. As part of my job, I constantly review new technologies available to meet these standards including lighter materials, cutting-edge joining methods and alternative manufacturing processes—all of which I am eager to share with engineering students on college campuses across the nation.

Driving Innovation at Kennesaw State University

I was honored to present my first SAE lecture at Kennesaw State University, located near Atlanta, Georgia. Kennesaw State, formerly Southern Polytechnic State University, has 35,000 students and a state-of-the-art engineering building complete with well-equipped labs. What I found to be even more impressive than the facilities were the students.


The Kennesaw State SAE Formula race team has about 50 members, most of whom attended my lecture. I centered my presentation on a specific vehicle study that is funded by the California Air Resources Board and utilizes steel, aluminum, magnesium and composites to achieve weight savings while doubling the torsional rigidity of the baseline steel SUV. My material included animated crash simulations for the multi-material SUV that is 40% lighter than the baseline steel intensive vehicle. These crash simulations include 35 MPH frontal (FMVSS 208), side impact (FMVSS 214), roof crush (FMVSS 216) and 50 MPH rear impact (FMVSS 301). It was great to see so many eager students ask me questions.


Following the lecture, I had the pleasure of going on a tour of their facility and race garage where they were designing the next generation KSU race car. I saw first-hand how lightweight ingenuity is taking shape at the collegiate level. The team has designed and built virtually every part of the car, including the frame, suspension and carbon fiber body panels. They’ve printed plastic 3D parts from their CAD files and trial fit the parts prior to machining them in metal. With the engine dynamometer, they fine-tuned the power output, and in the aerodynamics lab, they refined airflow for cooling and drag. I spent several hours with the team reviewing their latest improvements for the upcoming race season and offered some helpful suggestions.

I want to extend a special thank you to Sarah Carter, the race team captain, for coordinating this wonderful visit. I think it was an insightful experience for everyone involved.

The Good News Continues

The Center has donated the SAE honorarium to the Kennesaw State race team. This means that The Center is now an SAE Formula race car sponsor! This talented group of students will make this contribution go a long way.

Until next time…


Meet Our Expert

Gregg Peterson
Principle Materials Engineer

Throughout his 40+ year career, Gregg has embodied the true spirit of engineering innovation and excellence. An accomplished engineer, inventor, mentor of emerging talent and successful entrepreneur, Gregg brings an impressive array of expertise and enthusiasm to every endeavor he pursues. His expertise includes ferrous and non-ferrous body structure design and originality, aerodynamics, software controls and manufacturing. Gregg is dedicated to increasing the efficiency of any machine including: cars, planes, wind turbines, agricultural equipment and military fighting vehicles. To read Gregg's full bio, visit: www.the-center.org.



Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Energy-Saving Tips for Manufacturers

By: Dale Wicker



Manufacturing processes require vast amounts of energy including: heating, cooling, lighting, office equipment and the production line itself. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that energy costs continue to be a major expense for manufacturers.

Yet, when it’s time to reduce expenditures, businesses often will try other cost-cutting measures first, rather than scaling back on their energy consumption. It’s time to alter this thinking—and focus on energy-saving initiatives that will significantly reduce expenses and positively impact your bottom line. Here’s how…

Process Heating

Process heating is required to make most consumer and industrial goods, and it is responsible for more than one third of the energy use within a manufacturing facility. Manufacturers can save energy within this area by:

Assessing heat transfer surfaces
Controlling exhaust gases
Ensuring proper furnace installation
Evaluating air-to-fuel ratios
Installing waste heat recovery systems
Reducing steam demand
Upgrading boilers to the latest energy-efficient models
Utilizing alternative fuels with higher combustion efficiency

Lighting

Since most manufacturing facilities tend to be well-lit, it’s critical that energy-efficient lighting is properly installed. Lighting alternatives include:

Using florescent or LED fixtures
Utilizing daylight as much as possible through skylights and clerestories
Adjusting the levels of light and turning off lights during the slow/off hours

Consumption Periods

Electrical rates can vary based on the time of day energy is consumed. Manufacturers can strategically use this factor to their advantage by adjusting operating hours accordingly. They also can use electricity at optimal operating hours by avoiding “rate peak periods” which usually occur in the afternoon and early evening hours.

Employee Efforts

To make conservation efforts more successful, all employees must be on board with your plan. Emphasize the importance of reducing energy consumption and encourage the following: turning off lights, machines, equipment, etc., when not in use. Getting the staff involved also will enable them to come up with their own strategies for reducing energy costs, fostering the idea of continuous improvement throughout a manufacturing facility.

By following these tips and focusing on the areas mentioned above, manufacturers can see significant savings on their next bills!


Meet Our Expert

Dale Wicker
Quality Program Manager


Dale Wicker is a member of The Center's Quality Team. He manages and delivers training and assistance to organizations in the areas of quality improvements and environmental management systems. Some of his projects involve support with the implementation of a Quality Management System including: ISO 9001, ISO/TS 16949, AS 9100 and ISO 14001. Dale also conducts training and provides consulting on the supporting tools of Quality Systems. To read Dale’s full bio, visit: www.the-center.org.






Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Do You Know Who Your Customers Are?

By: Dave Nelson


We’ve all seen the memorable customer service sayings: “The customer is always right,” and “A satisfied customer is the best strategy of all!” framed on conference room walls and posted in cubicles. These phrases are not mere decorations; they’re words to live by and should be applied both internally and externally throughout your entire organization. Here’s why…

I have the pleasure of working with small to medium-sized manufacturers in the automotive, medical and aerospace industries. Whenever I tour a manufacturing facility, I often ask the people I meet (from supervisors to operators on the factory floor), “Who is your customer?” Most likely, the response I get involves their external customer. I rarely get an answer that involves their internal customer. Sometimes, I just get blank stares and puzzled looks, which is especially troubling to me.

Everyone should know who their internal customers are and why they’re important. If you satisfy your internal customers, the company will satisfy external customers. This philosophy is one of the core building blocks for establishing a lean and engaged culture. Teaching this simple mind-set can lead to greater efficiencies and reduce bottlenecks—without adding a lot of new steps, procedures, etc.

Recently, I was at a factory and noticed that the shipping person kept walking back and forth between his work location and one of the work cells. After inquiring about this, I learned that the work cell in question repeatedly did not provide all of the required paperwork upon completion of a run. Time and again, the shipping person had to hunt down the paperwork so he could complete his job and ship the product. Seeing this as an opportunity, I asked the work cell, “Who is your customer?” As I expected, I got the typical replies about their external customer. So, I rephrased the question and asked the group, “Who is your internal customer?” That questioned garnered some blank stares and a muddled reply by the plant manager.

I went on to explain that while they have many internal customers, the most important one is the shipping person. When they don’t provide the necessary documents on time, they aren’t properly completing their job. I also told them that if their company treated their external customers this way, they wouldn’t stay in business very long.

Afterwards, I helped facilitate a conversation between the work cell team and the shipping department about needs and expectations. When I revisited the facility a few months later, I discovered that the person in the shipping department didn’t have to work overtime anymore. The work cell team also had taken the initiative to have the “internal customer” conversation with their material handler. The end result? The teams are working smarter and efficiency has vastly improved.

In conclusion, I would like to modify the phrase I mentioned in the first line of this blog. It should say, “The best strategy of all is to focus on having both internal and external satisfied customers!”

The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) can help your manufacturing facility work more efficiently and propel growth. To gain a better understanding about our full range of consulting services, visit www.the-center.org or email directly at dnelson@the-center.org.


Meet Our Expert

Dave Nelson
Senior Business Solutions Manager


Dave is a member of the Business Solutions Team and works closely with manufacturers in Wayne and Monroe counties. He is a seasoned professional with expertise in identifying new opportunities for clients and increasing market penetration. Dave also has extensive experience in generating/growing new business and recommending intangible services. To read Dave’s full bio, click here.







Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org.

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Message for Management: Leverage Your QMS to Maximize Success

By: David Bradley


If executed properly, a business plan can help increase profits and the likelihood of your organization’s long-term success. Do you know that your Quality Management System (QMS) was designed to work in conjunction with your business plan? It’s true. ISO 9001 expects top management to take an active role throughout the entire process, otherwise the results will be less than stellar. Below are some helpful tips to enable your organization to reach its QMS goals:

• Business plan: There are several areas where the ISO 9001 standard refers to “the purpose and strategic direction of the organization.” The intent is that the QMS is aligned with (or better yet, integrated into) the organizational business plan. The QMS is the desired tool to achieve strategic goals.

• SWOT: SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is not required for ISO 9001, but it is a great way to look at your organization and the business environment in which it operates. Periodically performing a SWOT analysis could meet several requirements in the standard and will be beneficial for the organization as well as its long-range goals.

• Quality Policy deployment: ISO 9001 has always required a Quality Policy. ISO 9001:2015 looks to the Quality Policy to be the bridge between the business plan and the shop floor. How the Quality Policy is deployed is critical to the success of the organization.

Integration into operations: The intent of ISO 9001 is to have your QMS requirements and activities a regular part of your operations, not a stand-alone or off-shoot.

Cascading of leadership: Senior management has to ensure that their commitment to the QMS is cascaded down the management chain. Each lower level is expected to demonstrate their leadership in regards to the QMS. It is senior management’s responsibility to ensure that lower management does in fact exhibit leadership.

Risk-based thinking: We have always considered risks when dealing with jobs. ISO 9001 takes this thinking to a deeper level. The consideration of risks is carried throughout the entire business and operations.

Interested parties: This has been part of ISO 14001 for years. An interested party is a person or organization that can affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision or activity. Interested parties can be either internal or external.

Employee knowledge: ISO has a new requirement for maintaining organizational knowledge. Top management needs to understand what knowledge is necessary throughout the organization, how to keep from losing that knowledge and acquire new knowledge.

Employee awareness: Management needs to ensure that employees are aware of requirements, the benefits of improved performance and the consequences of deviation from requirements. These consequences could be either to the product, to the organization, to the customer, to the end user or even to the employee.

Documentation: ISO 9001 no longer separates documents from records. This can cause confusion within the organization. Management must make sure that the organizational methods for dealing with documented information is clear and lacks uncertainty.

• Change management: The intent is that companies implement change in a controlled fashion. Change introduces a risk of unwanted variation that puts the product at risk. Top management is expected to have plans and programs in place to reduce unwanted variation of change in both planned changes as well as unplanned changes (think contingency plans).

By mastering these areas, management can accomplish much of what ISO 9001 is striving to achieve. Along the way, the organization will be in a better position to reach both short- and long-term goals and do what the business was created for—generating revenue.


Meet Our Expert

David Bradley
Quality and Environmental Services Program Manager

David Bradley has been The Center’s Program Manager in QMS for 18 years and is a member of the Quality Team. His expertise includes ISO 9001, TS 16949, AS 9100, ISO 13485 management systems, Automotive Core Tools, ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems and OHSAS 18001 programs. He is a Certified HACCP Manager and has completed SQF training. To read David's full bio, click here.







Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org.

Friday, February 24, 2017

HPP: The Future of Food Preservation is Now

Bacteria are Feeling the Pressure


By: John Spillson

High Pressure Processing, or HPP, has gained a great deal of popularity lately driven by foodies demanding higher quality products, increased shelf life and “clean” processing (products made without, or with very few, non-natural ingredients or additives). This preservation process has been known to triple the shelf life of many food products without the use of chemicals, and without reducing the taste or flavor profile of the product itself.

A key ingredient for food manufacturers.

According to the FDA, HPP takes cold food products and subjects them to pressures higher than those found in the deepest oceans—typically, pressures between 100 and 800 MPa (megapascal) are used to destroy the bacteria that can spoil food. This is the equivalent of 20 miles below the ocean! Bacteria, yeast and mold are not able to survive these immense pressures, leaving only high quality, healthy food.

Another advantage of HPP is that it doesn’t use heat in any way, so taste is not compromised. Not only does this increase the flavor and attractiveness of the product, it also makes supply chain issues much more manageable because small processors who rely on quick turnarounds and large channels of distribution will benefit.

Processing the numbers. 

Currently, there are more than 200 HPP units across the United States. While Michigan is quickly becoming a major food processing player, there are zero HPP units available for use by local processors. The only known unit in the state is used by Garden Fresh, now owned by Campbell Soup Co. The typical unit will cost about $3 million—a significant barrier to entry for most small to mid-sized food processors. Like most industries, about 60% of the units in operation will co-pack for others.

In a toll manufacturing arrangement, a company provides its raw materials or semi-finished goods to a third-party service provider. The service provider, who often has specialized equipment or infrastructure, provides a subset of manufacturing processes on behalf of the company using those materials or goods for a fee. Unfortunately, the nearest “tolling” center to Michigan is located in Pennsylvania where there are three units. Otherwise, you’ll have to travel to Wisconsin to have your products processed.

HPP on the menu.

What are some of the most favorable products for HPP? Soups, salsas, hummus, juices and cold salads such as chicken and tuna salad are all excellent choices. While much of the expense is based around the manual loading and unloading of the HPP machines, this cost likely will come down as process improvements are made.

While food safety scares and recalls should be on the decline, newer more accurate tests are finding more contaminated and adulterated products. As a result, HPP will continue to gain attention by both food processors and the public seeking a safer food supply.

Food for thought.

One of the best things that should happen to the food processing industry in Michigan would be the opening of a HPP tolling center where local food businesses can take advantage of this revolutionary shelf life-extending technology. As the food processing industry in Michigan continues to grow, the need for this type of equipment becomes even more evident.

Hungry for smarter manufacturing?

If you’re a small to medium-sized food processor and want to maximize efficiency and minimize waste throughout your operations, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) is your homegrown resource. To learn more about our Food Processing services, visit www.the-center.org, or contact me directly at jspillson@the-center.org.


In other food news…

The Center is pleased to participate at the following food events in March:

Michigan Celebrates Food and Agriculture Gala
March 2, 2017
5:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Greektown Casino in Downtown Detroit
Michigan Celebrates Food and Agriculture Gala


2017 Pure Michigan Agribusiness Summit
March 9, 2017
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi
2017 Pure Michigan Agribusiness Summit


Meet Our Expert

John Spillson
Food Business Development Manager


John Spillson is a member of The Center’s Food Team. For more than 20 years, John owned and operated his own food processing company, taking a family recipe of rice pudding into five states. This experience has given him extensive knowledge in production, sales, food safety, marketing, warehousing and logistics. To read John’s full bio, visit www.the-center.org.







Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org.

Friday, February 17, 2017

How Manufacturers are Improving Cost Identification and Management Estimates

By: Robert (Rob) Stauffer MBA, PMP


Improving cost identification is one of the most crucial elements involved in driving your
organization towards operational excellence and success. With the manufacturing sector evolving to a whole new level of functionality, manufacturers now are finding themselves under pressure to optimize budgets, quality and efficiency, while keeping up with the latest technological trends and adapting to market conditions.

Manufacturing facilities must have an effective cost estimate system in place that is up to date with both the latest technologies and processes. A well respected method commonly used is Activity Based Cost Management. Often referred to as ABC Costing, it differs from Traditional Costing (Cost Accounting) in several ways.

Traditional Costing 

Generally, manufacturing companies have utilized Traditional Costing in the past to assign manufacturing overhead to units produced, assuming that the volume metric is the fundamental driver of overhead costs. The problem with this method is that accountants only assign manufacturing dollars to products, failing to allocate costs associated with producing the item. As a result, estimates for cost of goods sold and gross margins can vary drastically when using this method in comparison to using ABC Management. Although Traditional Costing is easy to implement for companies—especially ones that provide a single product—it is considered outdated since a large number of machines and computers are now used in manufacturing facilities. It also does not address other cost drivers that contribute to the total capital expenditure of an item, which can lead to poor management decisions and profit losses.

Activity-Based Costing 

In comparison to Traditional Costing, Activity-Based Costing (ABC Costing) provides a more accurate view of a product. ABC Costing assesses and determines all activities associated with producing an item and allocates a cost to the activity. The allocated cost is then assigned to the products that require this activity for production and completion. This method is highly beneficial because it eliminates the allocation of irrelevant costs to a product and increases a company’s ability to maximize profits. Additionally, ABC Costing allows for transparent interpretation of costs, enabling internal management to better understand overhead budgets and plan accordingly.

Activity-Based Management

Activity-Based Management (ABM) is highly recommended for manufacturers for a number of reasons. First and foremost, ABM was born in manufacturing. Its superior benefits were noticed early on in product manufacturing settings and continue to assist manufacturers by:

●     Accurately identifying profitable and unprofitable products.
●     Discovering and eliminating needless expenses.
●     Easily pricing products to achieve acceptable and profitable margins.
●     Identifying the discrepancies between true value added activities and non-value added
       activities

The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) can assist in implementing an efficient Activity-Based Cost Management System, enabling you to accurately gather data about your operating costs and diagnose any problems. To learn more about our Cost Identification and Management Mentoring services, visit www.the-center.org, or contact me directly at rstauffer@the-center.org.



Meet Our Blogger

Robert (Rob) Stauffer MBA, PMP
Senior Lean, Costing and Project Management Consultant


Rob has been on The Center’s Lean team for 10 years. He has trained and mentored Michigan companies in the entire portfolio of Lean Six Sigma strategies and methods specializing in financial analysis, costing, strategic planning and Lean applied to the healthcare industry. He also works with clients on product development, product launches, transactional office processes and sales of technical programs. To read Rob’s full bio, visit www.the-center.org.







Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org.




Friday, February 10, 2017

Using Your ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System to Implement the 2015 Requirements

By: Andy Nichols


Ch-ch-changes...




The 1974 David Bowie song suggests the singer has to “turn and face the strange,” and at first sight, some of the new requirements for ISO 9001:2015 might look like a “Space Oddity.” There’s the addition of “risk,” nothing about any documented procedures, quality manual or even that the role of the “management representative” is missing. And, what about the new layout? The so-called “Annex SL” structure expands the requirements, numbering from 4 through 8 to 4 through 10? Definitely strange for some! With the clock already started to tick away on the deadline for the upgrade, is your organization now “Under Pressure”?

If you use your current ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System, you have all the tools at your fingertips to plan and implement the revisions:

Quality management system planning – 5.4.2

“Top management shall ensure that

The planning of the quality management system is carried out in order to meet the requirements given in 4.1…and,”

“the integrity of the quality management system is maintained when changes to the quality management system are planned and  implemented”

Management Representative – 5.5.2

“a) ensuring that processes needed for the quality management system are established, implemented and maintained…”

Management review – 5.6.1 General

“This review shall include assessing…the need for changes to the quality management system…”

Review input 5.6.2

“The input to management review shall include information on

f)  changes that could affect the quality management system”

There is, however, a challenge for implementation in that organizations simply don’t go home on Friday, after switching off their 2008 QMS, and arrive the following Monday to a new, 2015-based way of managing Quality. ISO 9001 also indicates what has to be considered in the transition:

Quality management system – 4

“The organization shall establish, document, implement and maintain a quality management system…in accordance with the requirements of this International Standard”

“These processes shall be managed by the organization in accordance with the requirements of this International Standard”

A key part of planning is going to be the use of the organization’s “Management Review.” If the organization adopts “P, D, C, A” as its methodology, the review becomes a platform for management of change, instead of just being something “ISO” requires.

WARNING: An organization which carries out their Management Review or Internal Audits once per year may wish to consider that, when set against the available transition 18 month window and the P, D, C, A cycle, more frequent internal audits and reviews will be needed to maintain control and assure a successful recertification!

If we take, as an example, the dropping of the requirement for a Quality Manual – and put it as an input to Management Review – management would need to:

a) Consider the effect of no longer having a Quality Manual
        • On the organization
        • On customers’ needs and expectations
        • On regulatory compliance

b) Consider the value of a Quality Manual to the organization
        • As a means of communicating quality policy, quality objectives, the scope of the
          management system, exclusions and any justifications, etc.
        • Describing the sequence(s) and interaction(s) of the processes of the quality management
          system

Having reviewed this, the ISO 9001:2008 requirements then go on to indicate what should happen:
   
Review output 5.6.3

“The output from the management review shall include any decisions and actions relating to

a) Improvement of the effectiveness of the quality management system and its processes…

c) Resource needs”

It may well be that management decides to keep the quality manual as “documented information” (another requirement which has changed terminology) in light of perceived customer needs and expectations. A further decision may be to improve the format of the existing quality manual so it doesn’t simply follow the ISO 9001 layout, since no-one in the organization reads/understands it! Of course, in deciding to do that, someone will be assigned to the tasks associated with those decisions.

You’re Not “Absolute Beginners”

We’re nearly halfway through the three-year transition period given to organizations to revise and recertify their Quality Management Systems to the ISO 9001:2015 requirements. Engage the various requirements of your current Quality Management System, and by using them as they were intended, you’ll see a big benefit. Unconvinced? Call 888.414.6682 and speak to one of our experts here at The Center.

The next 18 months may prove a golden opportunity to make much needed improvements, and you could be “Dancing in the Street” after your ISO upgrade audit!



Meet Our Blogger

Andy Nichols
Quality Program Manager

Andy has 40 years of expertise in a wide variety of roles and industries, with a focus on quality management systems in manufacturing organizations. In addition to his ISO 9000 Management Systems experience, he has worked extensively with ISO/TS16949, ISO/IEC 17024 and ISO/IEC 17025.

His broad practical knowledge of ‘Quality Tools’ includes: SPC, FMEA, Quality Circles, Problem Solving, Internal Auditing and Process Mapping. He also has been an IRCA and RABQSA accredited Lead Auditor. To read Andy's full bio, visit www.the-center.org.



Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org.
.






Friday, February 3, 2017

Rescue Your Website Before It’s Too Late!

Five Steps To Superhero Status

By: Charlie Westra




Superheroes hold a special place in our culture. Whether you fall into the Batman camp or see Superman as the consummate crusader, these caped characters all have a distinct persona, carefully crafted around a position of strength and superiority. In the world of manufacturing, battling the forces of competition requires a similar strategy of building a powerful and positive image. Quite often, it starts with how a company appears online.

When your customers or prospects visit your website, what type of message are you sending? Strong and capable, or outdated and irrelevant? Can you imagine Spider-Man cruising around in a rusty old pickup instead of swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper? Now with that image in your head…

Here are five reasons why regularly upgrading your website is NOT optional. It’s my version of the Fantastic Four, plus one:

1. VISUAL APPEAL – Captain America wouldn’t be as amazing without his shiny starred shield. In real life, your customers should be impressed when they visit your website. Are those images too small or too grainy to see any real detail? Or do you have pages of text, but barely any compelling photos? (No, a picture of your building is not compelling.) Let visitors know you’re a progressive, modern company that invests in technology. Include eye-catching elements, images and videos that engage your audience.

2. CONTENT – No one wants to watch an Avengers movie without thrilling action sequences, just like no one wants to visit a website with dull content. Ask yourself the following questions: Does your most recent case study feature a company that is no longer in business? Did your social campaigns lose traction after a relative stopped posting for the company? Does it seem that no one gave a second thought to editing and formatting? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, now is the time to act. Find something that will bring people back to your website. (Think sequel!) Need talent? A careers section may be a good option. Have spare parts available? Add a catalog to your site.

3. SECURITY – You need armor. (No special suit required. Promise!) Website security often is overlooked. On average, it can cost a business nearly $2,500 to repair after a security breach. You might think hackers aren’t concerned about a company like yours, right? Wrong! Injected malware can cause serious damage. At a minimum, find out which type of protection you have. If you don’t have any, make sure you have a back-up copy of your site and invest in an appropriate defense. It could save you thousands of dollars, and your online reputation. Consider an SSL certificate to help safeguard any data transferred online.

4. MOBILE COMPATIBILITY – Superheroes don’t just work in an office, and neither do your customers. Consider the importance of mobile-friendly sites. Importantly, Google now prioritizes mobile sites in search rankings. People will generally stay longer on sites that are easier to view and navigate on smaller screens. Why? Because navigation buttons are easier to click, the text is clearer to read, plus scrolling and larger imagery are used.

5. SEO – Did you perform well in search rankings optimized for a late ‘90s audience—when Clooney was Batman? Or worse yet . . . Keaton? Are you fighting to show up on (yawn) page 13? Correct placement and designation of appropriate page-specific keywords is of the utmost importance. Crafting engaging and effective metadata titles and corresponding description tags takes time and skill. Don’t trust it to a fly-by-night company. (Tony Stark would disapprove.)

The Ending (It’s Really Just the Beginning)  

Before the new Wonder Woman movie hits theaters, let’s clear up two common misconceptions. First, you don’t need a budget the size of a Hollywood blockbuster for your website to look incredible. Secondly, beware of the “set it and forget it” mentality. A website is supposed to be a living tool. It should evolve as you introduce products/services and integrate new capabilities and technology.

Don’t settle for a website that is just “good enough.” Strive for stardom. After all, an effective web presence is one real-life super power that any business can achieve. Need help? Consider a resource that understands manufacturers—the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center. Contact me today at cwestra@the-center.org.


MEET OUR BLOGGER

Charlie Westra
Growth Services Program Manager


Charlie Westra is a Program Manager for The Center. He assists clients with the development and implementation of online growth strategies that are designed to increase online traffic, revenue and engagement. To read Charlie’s full bio, visit www.the-center.org.


Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Set Up for Success: Implementing a Culture of Continuous Improvement


Implementing a Culture of Continuous Improvement

“How can we do better?” It’s an ongoing question for business owners and managers. 
In order to lead your organization towards sustained success in 2017, it’s imperative that you look for new ways to optimize organizational processes and operations. This will help leverage your company’s competitive advantage. 

Start by introducing a culture of continuous improvement. After all, you need the right tools in your tool box to build something the right way. And when it comes to having the best tools for the job, the following three elements should be included:

Engaged Leadership

Engaged leadership is undeniably the most important ingredient when it comes to creating a culture of continuous improvement. For a business to thrive, organizational leadership must be actively engaged in the development of employees through training and influence. They must lead by example, empower others to express ideas and emphasize the importance of making small, incremental improvements on a regular, daily basis. Achievements must be gathered and celebrated and should NEVER go unnoticed, as it is crucial that employees are positively reinforced to sustain the methodologies. 

A Consistent Improvement Methodology

There are various lean and continuous improvement tools that a manufacturer can use to become more efficient and productive. Embracing an open and transparent corporate culture will enhance the willingness of the employees to use the appropriate tools for the various challenges and targeted improvements. Not all tools need to be used at the same time; significant improvements can be made by using some of the tools such as: 

5S
A3 
Cellular Flow Manufacturing
Hoshin Kanri 
Kanban Pull System
Poka-Yoke
Set-up Reduction
Six Sigma DMAIC Methodology
Total Productive Maintenance
Value Stream Mapping

Remember, implementation should be simple, consistent and disciplined, not overwhelming. By simplifying the continuous improvement process for your employees, they will be able to clearly define what needs to be accomplished and focus on moving forward to new tasks, ideas and opportunities. If the process becomes complicated, your employees will become susceptible to errors, confusion and eventually, they will gradually abandon the processes adopted. 

Enabling Technology

Having older, traditional technologies can make it harder to manage and monitor your progress. Special continuous improvement software eliminates this risk and enhances the visibility throughout all functional levels of an organization. The software enables employees to connect with one another, influencing them to collaborate, communicate and increase productivity. The software is structured with a variety of features including: 

Structured Improvement Management
Active Notifications
Engagement and Impact Reports
Built-in Recognition

Need further assistance?

The Center is your best resource for a wide range of lean manufacturing consulting services and training courses to help manufacturing organizations resolve issues, optimize business processes to maximize efficiency and reduce costs. To learn more, visit us at http://www.the-center.org/Our-Services/Operational-Excellence. 


Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org

Friday, January 20, 2017

On a Positive "Note"... The Value of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Database

By: George Singos

What do most manufacturing sales reps normally do when they get a sales lead? A lot of them grab a sticky note and put it on their computer with the best intentions of following up—until the sticky note falls off, and it’s nowhere to be found. Then, the lead is history.

There has to be a better way, right? There is. It’s called a customer relationship management (CRM) database. If you already use a CRM, you understand what a game changer it can be. If you don’t use one yet, it’s time to get on board.

CRM Defined.

According to Wikipedia, CRM is an approach to managing a company’s interaction with current and potential future customers that tries to analyze data about customers’ history with a company and to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.

Five Key Benefits for Manufacturers.

Integrated with Microsoft Outlook, a CRM database will conveniently put all of your action items, contacts, quotes and important client data in one place—and help you easily manage and analyze it throughout the entire lifecycle. The main goals are to improve relationships with your clients, increase retention and drive sales growth. Here are five major benefits for manufacturers:

1. Organization
All client interactions should be documented. Thanks to CRM technology, it can become a reality; storing all of your contacts, meeting notes/discussions, plus other pertinent information in one convenient location. Since it’s cloud-based, all key staff at your organization have actionable data at their fingertips.

2. Better Communication
Communication is paramount to success. Whether it’s a pressing issue or a new product launch, your entire team will have the information they need and your clients expect. When you have a CRM database, it’s possible for your team (sales manager, administrative assistant or the CEO) to stay in the loop.

3. Improves Service

Your time (and your clients’ time) is valuable. If a client contacts your office with a concern, he or she is not going to be satisfied unless the issue is handled in a courteous and timely manner. With a CRM, as soon as the client contacts your company, key employees will have access to this helpful information and will be able to handle it in an appropriate manner.

4. Automation of Daily Tasks
Whether it’s getting a lead or cultivating a relationship, the sales process isn’t always easy. Along the way, there are possibly dozens of small, time-consuming tasks that must be completed—from filling out forms to sending emails. With a CRM, you are able to automate the little things so you can concentrate on the important things, e.g. closing the sale.

5. Win Rate Optimization

Do you know your win rate historically? You should. Win rate is the ratio of sales you’ve won in relation to the amount of leads that have been generated. Having a CRM is the simplest way to effectively measure your win rate and the ratio of leads to closed sales. When you focus your attention on your win rate, you can effectively break it down by each stage, test new strategies and be able to correctly identify where you get the best return on investment.

Getting Started.

Typically, a CRM database can be implemented in about a day. (Yes, this includes training!) If you already have a proper contact list, implementation will be even faster. 

Remember, CRM databases can be easily modified to fit your company’s specific needs. Best of all, you’ll never have to worry about losing revenue as a result of incomplete data (or a lost sticky note) again.

Want to get started? The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) is your best resource for a CRM database. Contact me today at gsingos@the-center.org.


MEET OUR BLOGGER

George Singos
Business Leader Advisor


George Singos is a Business Leader Advisor for The Center. He has more than 30 years of manufacturing experience in various capacities. For the past 20 years he has focused on sales and marketing management both domestically and internationally.

To read George’s full bio, visit http://www.the-center.org/About-The-Center/Our-Team/Growth-Team/Singos





Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed 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.the-center.org.