Impact Dakota Blog is a blog dedicated to supporting North Dakota’s manufacturing community improve People, Purpose, Processes and Performance. Entries provide information on opportunities, new ideas, quick tips, celebrations of success, and well, frankly, anything to help you become a better manufacturer.

June 7, 2024

The MEP National Network’s Supply Chain Optimization and Intelligence Network: Helping Manufacturers Bridge GapsWhen a foreign company wants to manufacture goods in the U.S., it needs new domestic suppliers for just about everything. When such an initiative involves new technology, it creates even more opportunities for a regional ecosystem and associated supply chains.

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June 4, 2024

Leading the MEP Program – and Giving Back to this Land of Hope and PromiseAs part of a series celebrating and sharing the stories of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander manufacturing leaders, MEP Acting Director G. Nagesh Rao, a self-professed “Lego nerd”, shares how he got interested in manufacturing, what he likes most about it, and the importance of his work helping U.S. manufacturers succeed. “The MEP National Network, with an MEP Center in every state and Puerto Rico, helps make that magic possible. It’s a center of gravity for those various manufacturing innovation ecosystems. It’s infectious and exciting to me to be an architect helping bring about a better tomorrow here in America.”

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May 9, 2024

Empowering Women Will Create a Culture That Benefits AllCompanies with above-average gender and racial/ethnic #diversity are eight times more likely to be in the top 10% of organizations for financial performance. Manufacturing leaders can increase their financial performance by empowering all employees, especially women, to accelerate their careers, improve their skills, and gain recognition in the workplace. Simply hiring more women is not enough to close your workforce gaps. You will become more successful through a strategic approach to addressing workplace issues in ways that benefit all employees. Your local MEP Center has experts who can help you make the right investments in your people. Learn more with this blog from Kristen Goodell of Catalyst Connection, part of the MEP National Network.

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April 18, 2024

NIST Explores AI-Enhanced Monitoring in Manufacturing ProcessesManufacturers across all industries are looking for technological solutions and enhancements to maintain their competitive advantage. The growing connectivity of devices, coupled with high demands of production and precision, mandate robust monitoring and control systems. As technologies develop, how can manufacturers determine the best products for their applications, and how do developers find the high-fidelity data needed to test and evaluate their products? The Industrial Artificial Intelligence Management and Metrology (IAIMM) team led by Dr. Michael Sharp at NIST has a mission to provide evaluation guides and metrics to give apples-to-apples comparisons and assessments of all levels of intelligent automation.

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April 11, 2024

Making it Happen in a Man’s WorldWith a career of more than 40 years in the manufacturing industry, Brenda Martin can look back now and see that she was greatly influenced by her father, who worked for an engineering firm. She has worked with the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS, the Iowa MEP Center) for more than 20 years. As the Workforce Programs Director, she applies her industry experience to helping CIRAS and its manufacturing clients. Her advice for women interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing is to answer the question “What is it I want?” Then make it happen! Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know.

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April 3, 2024

If You Build It, They Will Come – Opening Day Musings From a Baseball FanBaseball’s Opening Day brings with it both nostalgia and excitement. Everyone is brimming with hope for what the season might hold. I’m amazed to now realize how much manufacturing contributes to the game I love. The more I learn about the manufacturing industry, the more I realize that it’s intricately woven into all aspects of our lives. The baseball analogy made me want to learn more about how manufacturing is intertwined with baseball.

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March 25, 2024

Rachel Camarillo: Blazing a Trail for Women in ManufacturingThis blog is part of a series highlighting women who are making an impact on the manufacturing industry. When Rachel Camarillo was a little girl growing up in Hawaii, she helped her mother and two aunts with what they called a hobby. They’d draw flowers, screen print the art onto fabric, and cut and sew the fabric meticulously into kitchen sets they’d sell at craft fairs.

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March 21, 2024

In Manufacturing, Hoarding Labor Is a Good Thing, ActuallyYour company needs not just to acquire talent but actively keep it. In an era where skilled labor is harder and harder to find, manufacturers must transform into “employers of choice” to retain their valuable human assets.

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March 1, 2024

How to Avoid 3 Common Missteps in Pursuing International SalesThe fact that about 85% of the global market is outside the U.S. should alone be a compelling enough reason for manufacturers to pursue international sales. Exporting allows manufacturers to diversify their customer base, tap into new markets, and mitigate the impact of economic fluctuations in any one region.

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February 11, 2024

Integrating Sustainability: Insights from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business CouncilIn the heartland of America, where dairy farms dot the landscape, the spirit of conservation runs deep. The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (part of the MEP National Network™) works with strategic partners, such as the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (WSBC), to provide additional services and information to Wisconsin manufacturers. Together with the WSBC, the MEP Center’s suite of sustainability services supports manufacturers to advance sustainability programs, increase efficiency, and get the credentials needed to integrate and operate sustainably.

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