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.

February 16, 2023

Business Continuity Plans: Lessons Learned From Puerto RicoThe pandemic and subsequent supply chain disruptions have been harsh reminders of the need for manufacturers to create or update their business continuity plan (BCP). Disruptions of some sort are likely, and manufacturers must be prepared for all types of scenarios including natural disasters, technical failures and cyberattacks. Having a BCP already in place is essential for the initial response to a disruptive event. A BCP also enables manufacturers to continue operations and can help during an extended period of time.

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February 9, 2023

Revolutionizing American ManufacturingManufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Director Pravina Raghavan recently appeared on Government Matters TV, where she discussed how MEP National Network experts around the country are working with small manufacturers to revolutionize U.S. manufacturing. From 3D-printed body organs and predictive maintenance to sensors that improve supply chain visibility, the future of manufacturing is about making processes more efficient and getting people what they need when they need it. Raghavan said, “Last year alone, we helped do $18.8 billion in sales for manufacturers. These types of technology modifications ensure that manufacturers are getting what they need at the right time, and real-time inventory getting out to the public.”

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February 7, 2023

The 2023 Workforce Development Word of the Year is …For 2023, the Workforce Development Word of the Year is “Seamless.” This theme should inform all our workforce efforts. Does your hiring process seamlessly cultivate the job seeker from initial interest to engagement with your website to the interview to their first day on the job, all while giving an outstanding employee experience?

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January 31, 2023

WHAT WILL YOU BE IN 2023?Tom Brady, a snowy owl, and a Leader of one of our vital North Dakota Manufacturing Organizations walk out of a locker/conference room having just heard the latest news…

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January 23, 2023

Infographic: Training: Responding to the Skills GapThere aren’t enough workers to meet U.S. manufacturers’ needs. A 2021 survey by the National Association of Manufacturers found that 80% of companies say their top challenge is the inability to attract and retain a quality workforce. The situation will worsen as baby boomers continue to retire. Adding to the challenge, the “great resignation” has resulted in people looking for more flexible and rewarding work. According to Deloitte, there could be 2.1 million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2030. A new infographic, Training: Responding to the Skills Gap, describes both common workforce challenges for small and medium-sized manufacturers and possible solutions.

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January 9, 2023

When in Crisis, Manufacturers Can Look to KataThe Toyota Kata framework can be a stabilizing force to guide manufacturers through rough terrain and uncertainty while helping them become agile enough to respond to changes in their environment.

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January 3, 2023

5 Things We Learned in GermanyYou’ve probably heard the buzz around the German apprenticeship system – but does it really live up to the hype? That’s what a recent mission of 16 workforce professionals from around the United States set out to learn. One of our goals was to educate our peers across the U.S. about what we learned in Germany. Here are five valuable lessons that we took away from the trip.

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December 15, 2022

A Lean Management Road Map to Build a More Proactive Game PlanCreating a company culture that encourages new ideas and being willing to consider better ways of doing things are key to getting out of a risk-averse mode. Continuous improvement starts with this mindset of openness but takes it further. Continuous improvement depends on a methodology whereby activities become routines that can be measured and reviewed. A lean management road map can help your company become more proactive and resilient. The plan follows a typical lean journey using five areas.

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December 5, 2022

3 Lessons Manufacturers Can Learn From NASCAR RacingOutside of the racetrack, could the NASCAR pit stop be the answer to exciting young people about manufacturing? Could you use lessons from NASCAR to improve your company’s teamwork? Racing can inspire us to see how manufacturing is truly a work of art, remind us that from large parts to small, manufacturing powers racing – and our lives and see how racing teams are the future of our workplace. If you want your company to be lightning quick and capture your own spot on the manufacturing podium, consider the value of integrated teams. And if you’re an educator working to inspire young people, consider using the racing experience as a way to excite students about the possibilities of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

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November 30, 2022

Demands for Increased Visibility Are Impacting Cybersecurity PreparednessThe manufacturing industry continues to be at high cyber risk as a result of global competition and geopolitical tensions. Companies up and down the supply chain are demanding more transparency into their customers’ and suppliers’ reliability in order to mitigate risks from disruptions. Some are starting to require cybersecurity assurances, a trend that will only gain momentum. Enforcing cybersecurity standards will ultimately protect U.S. innovation and competitiveness. Learn how manufacturers can be proactive in their preparedness.

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