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.

July 10, 2018

Preparing for Technology and Automation Integration in ManufacturingAs Heraclitus said, change is the only thing constant in life. In the context of manufacturing it seems that there is almost a prescribed course—a road map with regularly spaced forks, one always leading to growth and prosperity, requiring change, and the other to stagnation resulting from fear of change, i.e., doing nothing and hoping that the definition of insanity is just a myth.

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July 5, 2018

Your Day to Open Doors & Open MindsA recent study by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte revealed that more than 8 out of 10 Americans acknowledge the importance of the manufacturing industry but less than one-third of those surveyed would encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career due to concerns around job security and stability, weak career paths, and poor pay.

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June 28, 2018

When science and technology meet social and economic systems, you tend to see something akin to what the late Stephen Jay Gould called “punctuated equilibrium” in his description of evolutionary biology. Something that has been stable for a long period is suddenly disrupted radically—and then settles into a new equilibrium. Analogues across social and economic history include the discovery of fire, the domestication of dogs, the emergence of agricultural techniques, and, in more recent times, the Gutenberg printing press, the Jacquard loom, urban electrification, the automobile, the micro-processor, and the Internet. Each of these innovations collided with a society that had been in a period of relative stasis—followed by massive disruption.

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June 25, 2018

If you’re contemplating hosting a Manufacturing Day Event, you probably have a lot of questions, ranging from “What is a Manufacturing Day event?” to “What sorts of resources are available to help me make my event a success?”

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June 22, 2018

Certification can help you become a high-value commodity to your employer and be among the most sought-after individuals in your industry. Certifications not only help you attain knowledge, they prove it. Certifications are a recognized and respected industry credential.

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June 13, 2018

Although the workforce shortage ranks quite high nationally, it is, I believe, the number one issue constraining the growth of North Dakota businesses, especially in the manufacturing arena, based on on-going interviews within that segment of our economy. We hear all of the speculations and assumed root causes, such as, it is difficult to attract talent because of our winters, etc. Whatever the reason, no one has come up with the secret sauce that will fill the thousands of job openings that exist right now. Perhaps a novel approach to at least partially, and probably significantly, resolve this issue is to take a hard look at the jobs listings themselves.

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June 11, 2018

In some earlier posts, I wrote about the variation across states and industries in terms of productivity at a particular point in time. I like to think about these measures as gauges of what I call economic condition. Another way to look at things is to examine changes in productivity over time. These types of changes I refer to as a gauge of economic performance. GDP by industry is a good proxy for productivity since it’s defined as gross output minus the cost of goods sold.

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June 7, 2018

By 2018, supply chain will need to fill 1.4 million new jobs, and this doesn’t even count jobs people will be retiring from. While it’s great to see this kind of growth, there may not be enough bodies to fill these positions. Will this stifle the industry’s innovation and progress? In The Supply Chain’s Weakest Link, SDC Executive points out the shortage and how to fix this issue. Below we list 3 Ways to Address the Supply Chain Labor Shortage.

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May 21, 2018

Most manufacturers are working diligently on “getting better.” The question is: for what purpose? I’m frequently told that cost reduction and implementing employee ideas are the goals, and they’re not bad reasons to take action. They are not, however, the reason your business exists.

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May 18, 2018

Without manufacturing, the room where you make dinner would be rather stark and barren. There’d be no pots, no pans, no stoves, no spatulas, no appliances – big or small. There’d be no way to prepare the meals that give you and your family sustenance. With no counter, there wouldn’t even be a place to set down your coffee cup!

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