IMEC: Illinois Next Generation Manufacturing Study Launches

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Study to examine manufacturing progress in post-recession economy, Update 2009 results Illinois Manufacturers Encouraged to Participate

A groundbreaking study that examined the readiness of the state’s manufacturers to compete in the global economy has been refreshed and launched to the state’s manufacturers. The 2011 Next Generation Manufacturing Study will evaluate the progress Illinois companies have made in weathering the economic downturn and implementing the world class operating strategies that will enable them to succeed over the next decade.

The web-based NGM Study questionnaire can be taken at http://www.NGMStudy.com. Manufacturing owners, CEOs, or senior-level executives are eligible to participate. Participation in the Study is confidential or anonymous and takes 20-25 minutes to complete. Deadline for participation is June 21, 2011.

Study participants who participate confidentially will receive a Next Generation Performance Report showing how their organization compares to other manufacturers (all participants as well as manufacturers of similar size and scope) in the key strategic areas. The strategies explored by the Next Generation Manufacturing Study include customer-focused innovation, superior processes/improvement, human-capital management, supply-chain management and collaboration, sustainability, and global engagement.

“The first study revealed that the companies focused on making progress across the six Next Generation Manufacturing strategies generally outperformed their competition,” said John Brandt, CEO of the Manufacturing Performance Institute (MPI), a global research firm that is conducting the Study.    

IMEC President David Boulay said the 2011 NGM study will be a scorecard to evaluate the progress Illinois manufacturers are making in re-building their companies to pre-recession levels.

“We know that manufacturers in some sectors experienced as much as a 70% decline in sales,” said Boulay. “However, many of these same companies also invested in shoring up their processes and becoming more efficient to improve margins. The NGM study will enable manufacturers to see how they’re doing compared with others in Illinois and throughout the United States.”

Boulay noted a result from the 2009 study indicating that only one in sixteen Illinois manufacturers provide their employees with at least 40 hours training each year. “The evolving needs of industry and the impact of advanced manufacturing technology and globalization require continuous learning,” said Boulay. “In other countries, where the real competition is, we see a much higher level of investment in on-going worker preparation. It will be interesting to see if this has improved in Illinois.”

The national sponsor of the Study is the American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC), an organization composed of all of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers in America. MPI Group, an internationally recognized research firm that specializes in manufacturing issues, is conducting the Study and compiling the Reports.

Illinois partners for the study include the AAIM/Employers Association, Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing, Valley Industrial Association, the Tooling and Manufacturing Association, and several regional economic development organizations throughout Illinois.

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Tucker Kennedy
IMEC (Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center)
(888) 806-4632
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