Lynn Shelton

Opportunity Knocks Twice

The Weekly Report – August 31, 2020
Our State of Manufacturing® survey was cut short by COVID-19, but the timing of the do-over could not be better. WE’RE ZOOMING OUR FOCUS GROUPS! You’re invited.

Enterprise Minnesota’s upcoming State of Manufacturing® do-over promises to provide the most interesting data in the survey’s 12-year history.

You may know that COVID-19 upset our earlier attempt to capture data when the President declared the national pandemic emergency right smack in the middle of our pollster’s schedule of phone interviews with Minnesota’s manufacturing executives. What we got back was interesting but hardly an accurate snapshot in time.

So, we moved it to the fall when we predicted there might be more stability in the economy. (The joke’s on us!) We think the timing will yield fascinating results, both in the survey and in the focus groups. NOTE: Please consider participating in our focus groups, which we will present via Zoom. A schedule of dates and times is available here:

Find a Focus Group and register by clicking here.

As you might expect, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how COVID-19 is affecting Minnesota’s manufacturers, and we hope to probe some of the peculiarities that confront manufacturers in this environment. The 2020 recession differs from 2009 in a couple of significant ways. First, the 2009 downturn appeared to be more egalitarian in that it hit everyone with relative equality. The damage from the COVID economy is more selective. If you are in pharmaceuticals or food, you are doing OK. If you are in the supply chain for, say, automobile manufacturers, not so much.

The second factor is more insidious. The only real certainty for most manufacturers in this surreal marketplace is that they don’t know what’s going to happen next. The easy assumptions about the predictable strength of the post-2009 economy are not in play in 2020, not even close. COVID-related questions and uncertainties continue to keep manufacturers from planning their way into the future.

How well will public health officials predict and track the spread of COVID infections? Will it mutate into something else again? Will it just dry up and die? Will masks prevent the spread? Does temperature monitoring do any good? Are social distancing tactics effective or practical on the manufacturing floor? Will American pharmaceutical companies develop, manufacture, and distribute a vaccine? Will it work? When? How will school openings affect employee attendance? And perhaps more ominous, how will government actions react to changes in the environment?

There are many more, but that will give us a chance to prime the pump of the conversations.

Please sign up!

By the way, we will roll out the results at a virtual event 9:30-11 a.m. Nov. 5.

Sign up for our Nov. 5 State of Manufacturing event here.

Bremer Bank_ad_2020

Events Calendar

September 11 – Leading Through Daily Dialogue (part I)
Continuous improvement expert Greg Langfield will be demonstrating how managers can use CI to better communicate with shop floor employees and work smarter, not harder to meet customer demands. Online via Zoom  Learn more and register

September 17 – Sustaining Daily Dialogue (part II)
Join Greg Langfield for part 2 of his Continuous Improvement workshop on how to sustain your CI efforts for long term success. Online via Zoom  Learn more and register

September 9-13 – State of Manufacturing® Focus Groups
Manufacturing executives are invited to participate in the 2020 State of Manufacturing® Focus Groups. Choose a single session that fits your schedule, one hour in length. Online via Zoom  Learn more and register

September 23 – Elements of Managing a High Performing Business: ISO
Expert David Ahlquist will show you how a business management system like ISO can provide the framework to stay in control of your organization and navigate change. Online via Zoom  Learn more and register

See more upcoming events

WIDSETH architecture and engineering

Industry News

Tennant Company celebrates its 150th anniversary
What started as a woodworking business has grown and evolved into a global player providing robust floor care and cleaning solutions. Congratulations to Tennant on this impressive milestone. August 31, Industry  Read more

Worthington manufacturer now offering youth face shields for classrooms
As children across the country begin to return to school, Bedford Industries has launched two new sizes of face shields. August 27, Brainerd Dispatch  Read more

Giant electric trucks generating excitement on the Iron Range
Under a proposed pilot project to regulators, Minnesota Power is looking to bring electric mining trucks to the region’s taconite and iron mines. August 17, US Energy News  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.