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.

March 2, 2018

Just as manufacturing has seen huge benefits from Lean, automation and advanced IT, Artificial Intelligence promises to be the next breakthrough in productivity improvement.

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March 1, 2018

It’s critically important to create successful policy solutions for manufacturing to help this job machine thrive.

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February 28, 2018

A recent survey conducted by a software industrial company indicated that a number of industrial companies are not taking cybersecurity seriously enough. The “Putting Industrial Cyber Security at the Top of the CEO Agenda” survey, that was conducted by Honeywell in collaboration with LNS Research, included responses from 130 strategic decision makers from industrial companies across North America, Europe, and other parts of the globe.

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February 27, 2018

Over 45 percent of the manufacturing companies that the MEP National NetworkTM serves identify product development as one of their top three challenges over the next three to five years, while many say financing is also an issue. One product development funding source to consider is the federal Small Business Innovation Research (link is external) (SBIR) program. (Another option is SBIR’s sister program, the Small Business Technology Transfer (link is external) program (STTR), which requires participation with a non-profit research institution.)

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February 20, 2018

With the new ISO 9001:2015 standard there is no longer the requirement for a documented quality manual. I have seen different reactions to this change: “Great, we will drop it all!”, “I am going to keep the one I have - just in case”, “We will copy the new standard and call it our manual. Like in the good old times.” Whatever your initial reaction, it is now your responsibility to answer the question: to keep or not to keep the quality manual?

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February 8, 2018

As the former owner of a small manufacturing company, I know how important the manufacturing industry is to the local and national economy. Manufacturing is the backbone of the United States. It created strong communities and brought us together as a nation and helped the U.S. become an economic powerhouse. As the director of the incredible organization we call MEP, I want us to have the strongest manufacturing base on the planet.

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February 1, 2018

There’s an apocryphal conversation between Hemingway and Fitzgerald where Hemingway observes that the difference between the rich and others is that they have more money. The accurate account is that Hemingway was talking with literary critic, Mary Colum. When Hemingway mentioned that, “I am getting to know the rich,” it was Colum who responded, “The only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money.”

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January 25, 2018

Have you ever heard of Moore’s Law? According to Intel founder Gordon Moore, electronic devices double in speed and capability about every two years.

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January 22, 2018

Congressman Kevin Cramer supported bipartisan legislation passed by the House of Representatives to provide tariff relief on imported goods for American manufacturers.

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January 19, 2018

74% of supply chain companies have experienced supply chain disruption at least once, based on a recent Business Continuity Institute study. A similar number of respondents (72%) admitted to not having full visibility of their supply chain. Lou Feretti, Project Executive at IBM, and Pierre Mitchell, Chief Research Officer at Spend Matters, discussed supply chain risk in a webcast on 5/4. The two pointed out the challenges and complexities of supply chain risk, and how to overcome them. One issue that was frequently brought up was the visibility within the supply chain.

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