Proactive Marketing for Manufacturers Graduates Gain Marketing Smarts, Plans for Growth and Newfound Industry Allies
Five Minnesota manufacturers are now smarter marketers and industry allies, thanks to their participation in Proactive Marketing for Manufacturers, an Enterprise Minnesota consulting engagement to help manufacturers gain competitive market advantages and growth opportunities.
The service gathered multiple company representatives from American Peat Technology, Darter Plastics, M&M Precision Machining, W.F. Scarince and Wyoming Machine for four half-day sessions over three months. The sessions introduced the basic tenets of marketing, and then helped participants develop their own marketing plans by analyzing their companies' strengths, weaknesses, customers and competition. In between sessions, Enterprise Minnesota business growth advisors Deb Bly and Roger Hurd visited each business to help them apply what they learned.
Matt James, owner of M&M Machining, says Proactive Marketing sharpened his company's marketing strategy. "I now look at sales and marketing as two completely different entities. Marketing is the map that you build so that you can focus your sales efforts. Proactive Marketing really refined target markets we want to go after," James says. "We were able to develop a marketing plan that we feel comfortable in and confident about."
Jason Hammerback, vice president and general manager of Darter Plastics, agrees. "We can now think strategically about tailoring our message more to individual customers, rather than going out and trying to attract everyone," he says.
Participants said Proactive Marketing's group dynamic enabled them to learn from each other's experiences and to trade tips on how to respond to common business challenges.
"The group format brought participants together that have the same concerns and problems he has in terms of trying to grow a business," says Mark Krezowski, executive advisor at American Peat. "That was a huge benefit."
Watch for a feature story highlighting Proactive Marketing for Manufacturers in the January 2013 issue of Enterprise Minnesota magazine.
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Welding School Set to Open in Owatonna
Cody Huber wants to give people the opportunity to develop skills for a field that is looking for workers not only in Owatonna, but across the country. Huber, regional sales manager for Huber Supply Welding Outfitter in Owatonna, said the business will start hosting a welding school in January. Classes are slated to begin Jan. 23. "We're starting it because there is an extreme shortage of welders not only in our area, but across the whole United States," Huber said. "In 2010, the shortage was around 200,000. In 2006, 50,000 welders retired but only 25,000 entered the workforce." Huber said welding is a high-paying job that often starts with welders making $45,000 per year when benefits are included. He said a lot people don't really understand what welders do today. Owatonna People's Press article continues
Enterprise Minnesota Looking for Service Delivery Consultant
Enterprise Minnesota is seeking a talented business professional to join its statewide team.
MnTAP Taking Proposals for Summer Program
The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is currently seeking project proposals from Minnesota businesses for its 2013 summer intern program. Businesses interested in reducing waste and improving energy efficiency are encouraged to apply for an intern in 2013. Each year, the interns are chosen based upon their outstanding educational background and leadership capabilities. Proposed projects are evaluated for reduction potential, specific goals achievable in three months, relation to previous projects, application of results to other Minnesota businesses, and company interest and commitment. Projects should focus on identifying specific options for reducing waste and increasing energy efficiency. Proposals are due to MnTAP by February 1, 2013.
MnTAP article continues
IRRRB Approves Rebates for Taconite Plants
The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board on Thursday approved more than $9 million in taconite tax rebates to mining companies as part of a longstanding program to encourage reinvestment and improvements. The program will give back nearly 15 cents per ton of taconite produced for projects that contribute to the long-term development of taconite operations — and long-term stable employment — if the company also invests its own money. This year’s rebates will pay for part of an estimated $21 million in upgrades at six mining operations.
DuluthNewsTribune.com article continues
Essar Steel in Talks on Iron Pellets Production
Essar Steel Minnesota is in serious discussions with steelmaker Nucor Corp. for possible expansion of a value-added iron ore pellets and is talking with several other companies as well, an Essar official said Thursday. Steve Rutherford of Essar Steel Minnesota gave an update to Iron Range Resources Rehabilitation Board officials on the $1.5 billion project, which has been making progress building a production facility to produce iron pellets. Rutherford also told the board that there are 91 company employees working now, with another 30 hires expected in the first quarter of 2013 and a total of 300 new hires for the year in the third quarter. Some 1,200 construction jobs also are expected to be created as well.
VirginiaMN.com article continues
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Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Webinar
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