Assessments enable manufacturers to fine-tune their operations in busy times
By Lynn Shelton
Enterprise Minnesota's Vice President of Marketing
(Lynn Shelton, vice president of marketing, Enterprise Minnesota)
Manufacturing executives are often like firefighters, constantly snuffing out one crisis after another. They also know that attending to these daily urgencies prevents them from stepping back and guiding the long-term strategic direction of their companies. Are they pursuing the most profitable goals? If not, why not? Are their operations efficient? How can they assess whether things are going “right” and where improvements could be made? Where do they want to take the business? And how do they get there?
Add to that the fact that business is exceptionally good for manufacturers. Most respondents to the current State of Manufacturing® (SOM) survey conducted by Enterprise Minnesota reported an “almost surreally high level of optimism with expectations of record revenues, record profitability, record-level of investment in their companies, and increased wages.” While these are certainly good things, they don’t slow down the daily fires—they add to them. One way many executives are coping with these conflicting pressures is through working with Enterprise Minnesota to assess their company’s strategic health at multiple levels.
We offer six assessment offerings designed to meet each organization’s current needs and questions, explains John Connelly, vice president of consulting at Enterprise Minnesota. Each assessment area is a starting point, but they are all interconnected. So improvement in one particular area can lead to improvements in other areas.
These assessments include:
- Finance, a broad category that can cover many areas, and may include a financial analysis to help an organization understand patterns in its financial health, as well as where its finances are trending.
- Enterprise Value determines a company’s current value and the significant factors that could affect it.
- Quality Management Systems (QMS) compares an organization’s practices to ISO standards.
- Lean/Continuous Improvement assessments examine ways to make operations more efficient and agile.
- Leadership analyzes an executive team’s skillset and strengths, and identifies gaps.
- Revenue Growth includes many angles, such as mapping out improvements to increase revenue or steps to staking out a stronger competitive advantage.
Which assessment a company chooses can be driven by market conditions, the maturity of the company, or a host of other factors. “In the last few years, we saw a lot of interest in the Quality Management Systems assessment because of the ISO 9001 upgrade,” Connelly notes, adding that the ongoing worker shortage has led to increasing popularity of Lean assessments. “They identify ways an organization can work smarter, more productively and more efficiently.”
Tom Pesch considers an Enterprise Minnesota assessment like a health check-up for his business. Pesch is vice president of operations at Pinnacle Climate Technologies, a manufacturer of heating, cooling, and ventilation solution products in Sauk Rapids. “The doctor can tell you that you need to eat better and exercise, but the challenge is actually changing your habits. The assessment is only as good as what you do with it.”
Pinnacle knew the company had strong operations, but it knew there was room for improvement. So it contracted with Enterprise Minnesota for a lean assessment, funded by the State of Minnesota. “We thought a fresh set of eyes could help us identify opportunities and prioritize our efforts at getting more efficient, especially with our material flow, inventory and warehousing,” Pesch says. “Although everyone works hard and works well, that only gets you to a certain point.”
Look for the full story in the upcoming issue of Enterprise Minnesota® magazine.
The Value of Peer Councils
**Exclusive to Minnesota manufacturing executives**
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Shoreview Community Center
4580 Victoria St. N
Shoreview, MN 55126
Experiencing the value of Enterprise Minnesota peer councils; networking with CEOs.
Evan Francen, CEO of FRSecure, an expert in information/cyber security.
CEOs and executives who will share their reflections on the value they get out of peer councils:
- How to work “on” the future of your business, rather than continually working “in” the day-to-day of your business.
- How to make good business decisions and take smart risks to do things differently.
- New thinking and actions for retaining and investing in your employees to maximize productivity and keep the talent you already have.
- Candid and confidential conversations about business challenges and opportunities and learning from experts about key business solutions.
View the agenda
This event is free of charge to Minnesota manufacturing executives. Registration is required.
To register please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.