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.

May 26, 2022

The Secret to Improving Your Leadership… ReallyWhy do so few leadership improvement efforts produce the results that leaders and business sponsors want? What is in the way?

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May 16, 2022

Cybersecurity and Industry 4.0 – What You Need to KnowThere have been four major technological trends during the past few hundred years that have revolutionized both industry and manufacturing. With Industry 4.0, communications and cybersecurity cannot be viewed as isolated processes. To take full advantage of the opportunities that Industry 4.0 has to offer, manufacturers of all sizes will need to understand its capabilities and potential risks.

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May 9, 2022

Realizing the Blazing Potential of Promising Workforce ProgramsTo respond to the current workforce crisis, a growing movement has swept across universities, community colleges, workforce development boards and nonprofits nationwide.

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April 25, 2022

Innovate Your Way to Growth While Minimizing RisksInnovation comes with risk, but the benefits of being innovative can be significant. Manufacturers that build new product development into their culture often develop “intrapreneurs,” staff members with an entrepreneurial spirit who will help their companies grow. Not sure where to start? The MEP National Network is here to help manufacturers achieve growth through innovation and new product development.

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April 5, 2022

NIST MEP Helps Manufacturers Respond to the Pandemic and Thrive Despite ItThe Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a program of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has announced the results of its fiscal year 2021 manufacturing client survey, as well as the impacts of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding through January 2022.

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March 25, 2022

Strengthening U.S. Manufacturing: Manufacturing USA® and the Manufacturing Extension PartnershipThe infographic, Strengthening U.S. Manufacturing: Manufacturing USA® and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, highlights how Manufacturing USA and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) support U.S. industry to manufacture high-quality American-made products that can compete in the global marketplace. Both are public-private partnerships headquartered at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The programs improve national manufacturing competitiveness through different models.

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March 15, 2022

Insights from the 2022 MEP Workforce SurveyImproving the collaboration, cooperation and communication between MEP Centers’ workforce efforts requires two essential ingredients: data on what they’re currently doing in workforce, and information on what they want to be doing in workforce in the future. The 2022 MEP Workforce Survey conducted by America Works has two goals. First, figure out where the puck is currently, understand where it’s going, and then stay ahead of the trends with programming that supports MEP Centers on their individual workforce journeys. Second, empower the MEP Centers to connect with each other directly so they can share their best practices and lessons learned, making the Network more efficient.

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March 8, 2022

Aligning Domestic Sourcing Efforts with Business SuccessDisruptions in the global supply chain have led to a new dynamic for many small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) – the need to be more strategic about “second sourcing” and reshoring. The biggest increase is in what’s referred to as second sourcing, which adds redundancies such as a second source of a supply to minimize risk while increasing options. But supply chain experts also are seeing an interest in relying long term on domestic supply sources.

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March 4, 2022

Want to Fill Your Job Openings? Hire Those With “Unique Abilities”In addition to building our lifesaving and world-changing products, let’s manufacture something else: inclusivity. There are hundreds of thousands of Americans with unique abilities who are either unemployed or underemployed. At a time when American manufacturing needs over two million workers, it’s time for manufacturing companies to expand their perspective.

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February 8, 2022

Metal Fabricator’s Future Shines Brightly With Updated Quality Management SystemHendrick Manufacturing, an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, desired an external resource to assist in upgrading its quality management system (QMS) for certification in ISO 9001:2015 to ensure its quality processes and protocols met client requirements. If they did not upgrade the QMS, Hendrick was at risk of losing many of its most lucrative accounts. The Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC), part of the Pennsylvania MEP and the MEP National Network™, provided a two-day gap analysis of Hendrick’s existing quality management system under ISO 9001:2008 to the ISO 9001:2015 standard in addition to employee training. Results of this engagement included $250,000 in increased or retained sales, 5 created or retained jobs and $20,000 in cost savings.

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