Feeling Stronger Every Day

The Weekly Report – January 10, 2022
Manufacturers’ prospects are good, but public/private partnerships can contribute stability to their futures.

We were pleased to read that a report from Creighton University economist Ernie Goss recently concluded that the robust success of Minnesota’s manufacturing sector has outstripped 10 other states in the region and is poised to continue that success.

Goss oversees the highly regarded Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a monthly report that uses economic data and interviews with supply managers to track the performance and prospects of manufacturers in nine states (Arkansas, the Dakotas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma).

In a StarTribune interview he attributed part of manufacturers’ success to stimulus packages under both Trump and Biden, which in part may be true. Yet I wonder if that conclusion might send the wrong message to policymakers.

Is it too soon to talk politics? Probably. (Maybe always!). But as we approach Minnesota’s legislative session which begins on January 31, and with the next election only 10 months away, I’m hopeful that the COVID economy has taught some valuable lessons to policymakers and community leaders. First and foremost, the Goss research reaffirms for them that Minnesota’s manufacturers are the source of stable, high-quality professions that contribute to the cultural and economic wellbeing of their communities, and to the state as a whole.

Next, I hope they understand that the path to success for manufacturers is blocked by serious obstacles. We learned from our 2021 State of Manufacturing® that some of the biggest issues faced by Minnesota manufacturers are the worker shortage, the unpredictability of supply chains, and the occasional lunacy of pricing. Not one of these constraints is the fault of manufacturers and their employees.

And finally, state and federal policymakers should see how they can play at least a partial role in calming these circumstances. There are no easy solutions. I think most manufacturers would prefer that the government go about solving problems more creatively than a mere transfer of money.

There has never been a better time for public/private partnerships within communities, government and manufacturers. The beginning of this is communication.

*   *   *

A team from Enterprise Minnesota traveled to Dassel last week to host our first in-person manufacturing workshop since before the outbreak of COVID-19. I’m delighted to report that it was a smashing success on several fronts. Twenty-two manufacturers registered, and we had 25 show up. (When does that happen?) Our Michele Neale gave her usual phenomenal presentation, Developing Your Leaders from Within, and she had the audience eating out of her hand (well, not literally). Attendees gave her fours and fives, our top marks.

Want more? Steve Haarstad will present his popular revenue growth workshop, Profiting from Revenue Growth, via Zoom this Wednesday, January 12 at 9:30 a.m. Registration currently sits at 40 manufacturers and counting.

Click here to learn more and register for this workshop

Events Calendar

January 12 – Profiting from Revenue Growth
Expert Steve Haarstad will address ways to generate business growth by growing your bottom line. Learn growth planning fundamentals and how to create a Seven-Step Growth Action Plan. Online via Zoom  Learn more and register

February 9 – A Model for Manufacturing Excellence Using ISO 9001
ISO Certification and audit expert Keith Gadacz will be discussing the concepts of the business management system ISO 9001:2015 and how it can take your operation from average to excellent. Online via Zoom  Learn more and register

February 24 – Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement
Join us IN PERSON in North Branch, MN for a manufacturing workshop with expert Ally Johnston on ways to integrate lean thinking throughout your organization by developing a culture of continuous improvement. At Lakes Region EMS in North Branch  Learn more and register

See more upcoming events

Industry News

Miller Manufacturing announces integration of new facility in Anoka
The producer of farm, ranch and pet products is expanding its manufacturing capabilities by adding injection molding to its mix. January 10, PRweb.com  Read more

Anatomy of a deal: Bringing business to Eyota, MN
Sometime in May, dirt will start moving on the west side of Minnesota Highway 42, bringing a new manufacturing plant to the city of Eyota, and with it, 20 new jobs for the town. January 6, Post Bulletin  Read more

State manufacturers rallied in 2021
Rebound is a credit to the employers and workers, but challenges remain for manufacturing sector in Minnesota. Featuring a quote from Enterprise Minnesota president Bob Kill. January 4, Star Tribune  Read more

Duluth-area business sector strong and optimistic 
Progress and development within the business sector is strong across northeast Minnesota, with several large investments and improvements underway in and around Duluth. January 2, Duluth News Tribune  Read more

– – –

Enterprise Minnesota is dedicated to helping Minnesota manufacturers grow profitably. If you are interested in receiving The Weekly Report to your inbox, please visit our subscription page.

Learn more about Enterprise Minnesota.