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.

December 4, 2020

Midwestern Manufacturing Leaders Learning the Lessons of Testing TimesManufacturing leaders from several Midwestern states describe their experience since the current health situation emerged as transformational, forcing them to embrace virtual meetings, develop deeper connections to their staff and appreciate supply chain resilience.

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November 23, 2020

Where Manufacturing Is Growing (and Where It Is Not)Over the past few years, I have written more than a few blogs and papers looking at manufacturing productivity across the 50 states. I wanted to update some of these analyses to reflect more recent data, see what it tells us and examine how states were performing when looking at the change in real manufacturing GDP since the Great Recession, but before the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, how do we know where we’re going if we don’t know where we’ve been?

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November 18, 2020

Midwest Manufacturers — Make Do, Can Do, Will DoOn Aug. 26, 2020, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) brought together manufacturers virtually as part of a series of conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic impact. Their goal in hosting these listening sessions, which they call the “National Conversation with Manufacturers,” was to discern how best to support manufacturers through the current uncertainty and beyond.

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November 13, 2020

Manufacturers Share Views on Leadership from the Pandemic Shop FloorManufacturers describe the months since the pandemic started, altered daily life worldwide and threatened normal business operations as a test of leadership. This is the first of a series of conversations we call the “National Conversation with Manufacturers” about how manufacturers have been weathering the pandemic and ensuing economic downturn. This series of 11 virtual listening sessions were geared toward discerning how best to support manufacturers in the current environment of uncertainty and beyond.

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November 3, 2020

Supplier Scouting Provides SolutionsDuring this difficult time, businesses are looking for any opportunity to not only support their bottom line, but to also ramp up production of critically needed items. Enter the MEP National Network™. In FY 2019, the MEP National Network completed projects with 8,900 unique clients and interacted with 28,213 manufacturers, particularly small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs). One of the ways the Network has assisted these SMMs is through Supplier Scouting.

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October 28, 2020

The Future of Connected DevicesThe vision of a connected manufacturing system that can sense, analyze and respond will soon be a reality. As we look to the future of edge computing, connected devices and IoT, cybersecurity plays a crucial and integral role. Learn how to ensure the secure deployment, use, monitoring and maintenance of these new technologies.

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October 23, 2020

Securing Internet-Connected Medical DevicesIoMT represents a more personal aspect of cyber-physical convergence than that seen in other IoT applications — they enter our intimate physical “trust zone.” Because of this, building data privacy, device integrity and cyber resiliency into the design and manufacturing of medical devices and equipment is essential.

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October 20, 2020

Suspicious Minds: Non-Technical Signs Your Business Might Have Been HackedYou don’t need an IT background to keep checks on cybersecurity threats. A good rule of thumb is for employees to report any noticeable changes or anomalies in operations.

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October 1, 2020

Creating a Culture of SecurityEvery manufacturer should hold cybersecurity awareness training for all their staff at least once a year. Many people are spooked by the mere mention of the words “cybersecurity” and “training,” so October seems like an appropriate time for it. Your training should, at a minimum, cover relevant company policies such as your IT security, information security, and physical security.

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