Lynn Shelton

The North Star State

The Weekly Report – January 11, 2021
Manufacturers who focus on purpose, process and people can thrive in turmoil.

The sometimes-seismic changes in manufacturing over the past year provide a useful reminder that the wisest way to thrive in a state of change is to focus on what really matters — your “North Star.”

To that end, three Enterprise Minnesota consultants have put together a roadmap for the days ahead. By leveraging the three Ps of purpose, process and people, they say, manufacturers have a great chance at locking in a fourth P: profitability. Consultants Steve Haarstad, Abbey Hellickson and Greg Langfield will flesh out their findings in a virtual presentation Jan. 28, geared especially for manufacturers in southeastern Minnesota.

They say the optimal starting point is Purpose, your “core reason for being.” Aligning everything you do with your core values can help keep you on track and efficient. They’ll emphasize how staying nimble and resilient, being willing to pivot to different products or alter a process with deliberate and purposeful actions will help manufacturers stay relevant.

Register for the Jan. 28 Executive Manufacturing Forum
Click here.

Purpose also extends to long- and short-term planning. The pandemic taught most manufacturers how new, unexpected changes can occur almost overnight to drastically change the game. Short term planning will help diminish the effects of those changes. Long-term plans, meanwhile, exist at that 30,000-foot level, can still help guiding the ship toward the North Star.

At the same time, the second P — process — helps maintain a true course. Manufacturers, our consultants say, should strive for ongoing improvements in the utilization of resources. One way this can be done is through automation, a word that in the past has understandably spooked many manufacturing employees who feared job loss. But as we wrote a few weeks ago (and as manufacturing executives know), automation is a job creator, not a job killer. With proper planning, automation can not only improve your bottom line, but also provide the freedom to better utilize a workforce.

And that final P — people — enables everything come together. Well-defined purpose and efficient processes can’t succeed without an engaged workforce. Manufacturers can generate effective buy-in from employees, training them advance with the skills and expertise they need to help the company adapt.

The pandemic has also shined a light on that final P. Smart manufacturers show their workers that they understand how trying times affect not only companies but also the people who work for them. After all, manufacturers don’t just want positions filled; they want people who want to be part of the team. As Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward together, success takes care of itself.”

On Jan. 28, our consultants will go into great depth on these issues. With vaccine distribution about to make the new normal the old normal, this presentation will be a great reminder that planning for the future — however it looks — requires a holistic approach to growth.

To register click here: January 28th Executive Manufacturing Forum

I look forward to seeing you on Zoom!

Olsen Thielen CPA - Oct 2020

Events Calendar

January 13 – Driving Continuous Improvement in Uncertain Times
David Ahlquist, one of Enterprise Minnesota’s CI experts, will show you how continuous improvement methods keep employees engaged and focused on value-added activities. Online via Zoom  Learn more and register

January 20 – How Your Employees Can help Improve Profitability in the Coming Recovery
Michele Neale, a talent & leadership expert, will demonstrate how you can foster an engaged and productive workforce as part of your employee retention strategy. Online via Zoom  Learn more and register

January 28 – Thriving in a State of Change: Leveraging Purpose, Process and People
This Executive Forum is for SE manufacturing executives who want to grow and innovate to work through the COVID-19 recovery. Three of our expert consultants will show you how to identify gaps that may exist within your purpose, processes, and people and help you create a step-by-step action plan to achieve a clear company direction, optimize process improvement, and more readily navigate change. Online presentation  Learn more and register

February 4 – A Model for Manufacturing Excellence Using ISO 9001
ISO Certification expert Keith Gadacz will show you the value of the ISO and how it can help your company grow. Online via Zoom  Learn more and register

See more upcoming events

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Industry News

U of M Board of Regents approve BioMADE Collaboration
In what promises to be a catalyst for significant growth in bioindustrial manufacturing, the UMN Twin Cities campus will serve as the primary site for BioMADE, a new, federally supported Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Jan. 8, University of Minnesota  Read more

New website aims to help Iron Range businesses recruit workers showcases things to do on Iron Range and answers common questions to help support recruitment efforts of area businesses. Jan. 8, Duluth News Tribune  Read more

Minnesota factories continue recovery but pace of growth slowing
American factories as a whole grew in December, although manufacturing in Midwest and Minnesota was a bit slower than in the fall. Jan. 5, Star Tribune  Read More

MN cabinet maker Dura Supreme buys Bertch Cabinet Manufacturing
Bertch, a family-owned manufacturer based in Waterloo, IA, was acquired by Dura Supreme Cabinetry, headquartered in Howard Lake, MN. Jan. 4, The Courier  Read more

Anderson Companies construction

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