Enterprise Minnesota kicks off Pathways to Business Growth, a project to help 10 Minnesota manufacturers double their earnings in two years.
Over three years, 25 Minnesota-based manufacturing companies are expected to double their earnings through Pathways to Business Growth, a program administered by Enterprise Minnesota with a $515,000 grant from the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
The program will implement a series of integrated solutions to jumpstart innovation and sustainable growth, leading to new products and services, new customers and markets, and ultimately a doubling of earnings.
Enterprise Minnesota will work with 10 companies in 2011, 10 companies in 2012 and five companies in 2013. This year's manufacturers include The Aagard Group, Absolute Quality Manufacturing, Alexandria Pro-Fab Company, Akkerman Inc., Automated Equipment, Fiserv Solutions Inc.,
Ideal Aerosmith, Innovance Inc., Pequot Tool & Manufacturing, and Ultra Machining Company.
Enterprise Minnesota's program is one of 22 projects across the U.S. to be awarded a grant from National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). The national grant is designed to enhance the productivity, technological
performance and global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.
Each manufacturer will engage in various training initiatives with Enterprise Minnesota, including a business assessment, strategic planning, innovation and idea mining services, organizational and leadership development, and marketing strategy. Based on its experiences with
each company, Enterprise Minnesota will then create a set of industrywide best practices for working with manufacturing companies to achieve profitable growth, which NIST/MEP will share with other MEP centers across the U.S.
Mike Simpson, director of systems operations for NIST/MEP, sees Minnesota manufacturers' dedication to sustainable growth through integrated solutions such as Enterprise Minnesota's CEO Peer Councils as a model for other states.
"What you see in Minnesota is a vision for where we want to take manufacturers. What's missing is the mindset of leadership and for business leaders, having a vision for growth in their own manufacturing companies. We want to take and replicate that thinking throughout the
country," Simpson says.
Jaclyn Gardner, communications manager for NIST/ MEP, agrees, adding that Enterprise Minnesota's establishment of a best practices manual for achieving profitable growth among manufacturing companies will be invaluable in other MEP centers' ability to help manufacturers
throughout the U.S. to experience the same success.
"What makes this [project] unique, even against all of the projects that we gave grant money to through this grant, is that it's creating a method to the perceived magic of helping companies assess, implement and coach," Gardner says. "It's quite a challenge, but it's
very exciting because once you have a method, then you can replicate it."